As the well-documented drama behind the scenes (and publicly, via unfiltered Instagram posts) at Deciem continues to unfold, the parent company of cult-favorite brands like The Ordinary and NIOD has quietly, without any official press announcement, made another big move: venturing into the world of all things fragrance.
The upcoming launch, Avestan, is named for the sacred Eastern Iranian language known only from its use in Zoroastrian scripture, religious texts ascribed to one of the world's oldest faiths. There will be five distinct lines within the brand — eau de parfum, parfum concentré, "lifestyle" (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, and bubble bath), and a literal "fragrance for paper" called Printer's Ink — all available in the same range of scents. There's Budapest, described as "a discovery of copper in Budapest architecture," to Tibet, labeled as "a humble selflessness amongst the sands, rocks, and gusts of Tibet." There are no descriptions of fragrance notes listed on the website, though you will find, in true Deciem form, a complete list of ingredients for each product.
Conceptual scents are having a moment right now — from Glossier You to Byredo's new collaboration with cool-kid favorite fashion label Off-White, called Elevator Music — but Avestan's offerings seem a bit more cryptic than most. (Roofs Of Beni Isguen, for example, is described only as "a walk through alleyways of the roofless North African town of Beni Isguen." But how can it smell like the roofs if the town is roofless?)
Controversial Deciem founder Brandon Truaxe's personal introduction to the new collection can be found on Avestan's online landing page, which is the only place to find any information about it as of yet. The idea for the brand, he indicates, was inspired by his recent travels — but that's putting it mildly.
"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," he writes.
"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." And so, Truaxe says, "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 launch may have more of Truaxe's fantastical nature in its DNA than NIOD or The Ordinary's rooted-in-science products, but you can guarantee the company's diehard fans will be lining up at the door to get their hands on a whiff of Avestan. We just hope they're not looking for anything with notes of lavender.