Deciem founder Brandon Truaxe is nothing if not his own man. As the (well documented) drama continues to unfold at his company's HQ – co-CEO Nicola Kilner was recently let go amid concerns about Truaxe's unfiltered Instagram posts – and without any official press announcement, it seems that the brand is venturing into the world of fragrance.
This is fantastic news for fans of Deciem, the parent company of brands like The Ordinary and NIOD. Having stormed the industry with its transparent, (nearly) marketing-free approach, and affordable, accessible products – which actually work the skincare wonders they claim – news of a move into fragrance is only a good thing.
Here's what we know about the olfactory offshoot so far: The brand will be called Avestan, which is an eastern Iranian language derived from Zoroastrian scripture (one of the world's oldest monolithic religions). Truaxe's current state of mind may explain the new brand's name, given his recent – somewhat questionable – Instagram postings from across the globe.
There will be five lines within the brand: eau de parfum, parfum concentré, candles, 'lifestyle' (made up of shampoo, conditioner, body cleansing gel, body lotion and bubble bath), and finally, a 'fragrance for paper'. This is called 'Printer's Ink', and its label – rather romantically – bears a quote by writer and critic Edmund Wilson: "No two persons ever read the same book." Each line contains the same range of scents, from Budapest – described as "A discovery of copper in Budapest architecture" – to Tibet, which, equally abstractly, is labelled as "A humble selflessness amongst the sands, rocks and gusts of Tibet."
Conceptual fragrances are certainly booming right now – think Glossier's 'You' and Byredo's recent collaboration with Off-White, 'Elevator Music' – but Avestan's scents seem to be further out there than most. After all, how often can you tell someone you're wearing Tent in Tanzania when they compliment your perfume?
Truaxe's introduction to the upcoming launch can be found on Avestan's online landing page, and while he does indicate that his recent travels have indeed inspired the launch, his words are as meandering as the product descriptions themselves:
"It began in the presence of things decidedly unworthy of much admiration in the world of aromas: coated clay vats filled with argan oil, earthly walls of a typical village abode and the mud that had formed on my bare feet having crossed the river that bordered the township of Asni in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains. I had been aware of my inner fascination with aromas for years, but it was this moment that caused me to discover the intensity of my absorption.
"I had often been told by masters of the field that aromas reconnect us with our past experiences. And that it is through this journey in the mind that we establish whether or not we find an aroma pleasant and to what depth. Standing in the almost aroma-neutral abode, I became aware of an aroma. An aroma so faint, yet so intense, that it abridged the argan oil, the clay walls, the mud, the village, the river, the place, the moment – and, most notably yet, an aroma that did not connect me to a distant memory and instead created an elucidation of something unfamiliar.
"Avestan is the embodiment of this pleasing unfamiliarity. It is a deviation from familiar notes that move us through the past. It is an exploration of the untried. It is a journey to create new meaning through scents. It is a departure from lavender and rose to an unfulfilled journey of unfamiliar notes: clays, stems, saps, places and moments. Avestan is an avant-garde play on nature – one that disallows the mind to identify but creates instead a welcomed occasion to explore. Welcome to Avestan."
Welcome, indeed. Deciem's latest newcomer may sound far more fantastical than NIOD or The Ordinary's rooted-in-science products (Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%, anyone?), but we'll be first in line to try out the whole range.