Brooklyn fragrance house DS & Durga, founded by wife-and-husband team Kavi Moltz and David Seth in 2008, has collaborated on a new fragrance range with new wave pop band Duran Duran.
The collaboration, initiated a year ago by Duran Duran members, is the first of its kind for Moltz and Seth, both of whom wanted the creative process to be genuinely synergetic, rather than simply ‘stamping the band name on one of our products’, Moltz explains.
Working with a band was a natural move for Seth, who’s also a musician, which has informed the brand’s previous fragrances; one of which is called ‘Debaser’ after The Pixies song, while another is named ‘White Peacock Lily’ after a piano piece by the American composer Charles Griffes.
While Seth brings the noise, Moltz brings the branding. In another life, she trained and worked as an architect, latterly in hotel design in New York, and has become renowned for channelling the ‘vocabulary of design and the language of critique’ into fragrance, using the tools gained from her first career, which she eventually became ‘frustrated’ with. ‘I would stay up working all night on an architectural project, and then not even get invited into the meeting room in the morning,’ she explains. The lack of personal signature on her work, and the rarity of getting to see a project through from start to finish, prompted her to move into design on a smaller scale. ‘I wanted to own the design process.’
All the more reason for the Duran Duran collection to be approached collaboratively from day one. The nightclub-neon and midnight-black packaging (pictured top), which Moltz dreamt-up in partnership with the band’s keyboardist Nick Rhodes was an ‘organic process’, she explains. ‘The resulting designs are a mix of my own personal style and Nick’s.’
For inspiration, they looked to 19th century British illustrator Aubrey Beardsley, re-working his black-ink sketches for the digital age, by way of 1980s synth-pop. Moltz and Seth hand-drew all the packaging designs themselves, with an iPad pro and stylus. ‘It’s quite a departure for us aesthetically,’ she says of DS & Durga’s consistently minimal and monochrome packaging, ‘which is what makes these kinds of collaborations so fun’.
Inside, the powerful pocket shots of scent are reminiscent of DS & Durga’s other work in their simple glass casings, and oil-based rollerball tops. The fragrances themselves take inspiration from the band’s discography, with titles like ‘Hungry like the Wolf’, which has notes of leather, atlas cedar, cade, sandalwood and patchouli; and ‘You Kill Me with Silence’, which, with notes of smoke, cistus flower, ice and incense, musters memories of 80s club majesty.
Courtesy Wallpaper Magazine