Elixirs of Desire

After helping develop Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb and Giorgio Armani’s Acqua di Gio, this month French-born painter and perfumer Franck Salzwedel launched Élisire, a fragrance line all his own, at Osswald NYC and Bergdorf Goodman. For Salzwedel, each extrait de parfum is an “evocation,” using the power of scent to transport; the exotic, woodsy Ambre Nomade recalls his youth spent in Indonesia, with notes of spice, patchouli, and ylang ylang, while the bright, refreshing Jasmin Paradis is reminiscent of Zanzibar, intermingling Sicilian bergamot with orange blossom. “I wanted the Élisire perfumes to be as natural as possible in the feel and the approach,” says Salzwedel. “Like pure desirable elixirs.”

The collection of five fragrances is imbued with romantic nostalgia, and that doesn’t end with the scents themselves. Alongside lifelong friend and art director Malin Ericson, Salzwedel designed a clear, minimal bottle with an art deco-inspired, faceted glass cap. “It evokes the ancient perfume phials of our grandparents in a modernized way,” Salzwedel continues. “I wanted Élisire to convey a certain sense of heritage.”

Salzwedel’s paintings can also be found in the design of the collection, as each fragrance is boxed in a reproduction of one of his color field paintings, and the liquids themselves each take on a slight hue from his palette. These hues reflect matching paper bands wrapped around each bottle’s neck and trace back to Salzwedel’s interest in nature, where he finds inspiration in the color of the sky, stars, and earthly elements. As he says, these details join together to celebrate “perfume at its highest level, with exceptional ingredients and compositions that translate the infinite radiance of color.”