“To start with, we had to understand Takasago’s DNA, just like for any brand”, explains Nathalie Helloin-Kamel, Head of Global Fine Fragrance of Takasago. As the only Japanese perfume creation house, Takasago makes a real difference on the perfume market. Their fine fragrance creation centre was established in 1978, in Paris, by two renowned perfumers: Pierre Bourdon and Michel Almairac. Their era was marked by blockbusters, like Cool Water, Jil Sander Sun, Jazz by Saint-Laurent, and Tsar by Van Cleef. Today, the house owns two other centres, in NYC and São Paulo.
“Great perfumes emerge from inspirational encounters, but also from deep beliefs. In fact, at some point, we need to understand each other and speak the same language,” adds Nathalie Helloin-Kamel. That is why perfume creation is a human adventure, above all. This belief was the common thread that helped build up a new visual identity and signature and infuse perfume with poetry again. “I wanted to unveil and highlight the fact that the act of perfume creation mainly depends on what the perfumer has on his mind. That is where beauty and magic lie,” she explains.
More than a visual, an artistic painting
To create the visual, the Marystone agency contacted artist and Artistic Director Valérie Lade. She started with a collage, an artistic piece of work made with elements that had nothing to do with each other. “To me, this artistic form corresponded to Takasago’s world,” she reveals. There is only one step from a dreamlike, fantasy, almost surreal form to a journey into the imaginary world.
“First, I chose a modern Japanese woman with lips adorned with red. But then, I deliberately made her nose disappear! The presence of clouds evokes the air, but above all, a journey into the imaginary world, with flowers of different colours. It is a way to highlight the fact that the perfumer’s creativity depends on what he has on his mind,” explains Valérie Lade.
In other words, this creation combines the Eastern and Western cultures: Takasago’s philosophy and vision for almost 100 years – an invitation to travel and immerse oneself in the creator’s sensorial world, from which the company draws its inspiration, dreams, and ingredients, to better imagine tomorrow’s perfumes. It is a real nod to the first journey of Tadaka Kainosho, founder of Takasago, from Kyoto to Grasse, in 1910.
A chemist by training, Tadaka Kainosho founded his company based on a strong R&D culture (Nobel Prize 2001, Ryoji Noyori, with chiral chemistry, green chemistry…). Created in 1920 in Kyoto, the company owes its name to a Japanese Noh drama tale about a couple who lived in peace and harmony under the twin pine tree of the town of Takasago. It may not really be a coincidence if pine is one of the iconic ingredients of the company’s R&D!
With this new signature, “Takasago. Maison de Parfumeurs. From Kyoto to Grasse. Since 1920”, the company intends to unite its story, that of its founder, of its origins, and of its inspirations. There is also a desire for refinement, delicacy, and beauty. In a word, “our raison d’être is to sell difference”, concludes Nathalie Helloin-Kamel.