Aesop, fragrance

All journeys eventually come to an end and so it is with olfactive adventure from Aesop, Othertopias, with the unveiling of their latest scent Ouranon.

First launched back in 2021, the Othertopias were an experiment in spatial experiences via the sense of smell. Rather than trying to mimic nature, as perfumery often does, Aesop wanted to explore place and spaces as a concept.

Created by Aesop’s long-term fragrance collaborator Barnabé Fillion, Ouranon is a melange of spices and citrus: petitgrain and lavender lift the opening aided by the green energy of resinous elemi before it moves into a herbaceous heart of frankincense, hay and chamomile and, finally, a dark heart of myrrh, patchouli and animalic notes styrax and woody notes of cedar, sandalwood and vetiver. The result is an earthy, meditative fragrance that somehow still lifts the soul.

Aesop, Ouranon, fragrance

If you can imagine the smell of incense in a cave, you’re not far off according to Fillion’s own explanations: “I think there is something very nice with the rich, dark earthiness from the Vetiver and Patchouli, which for me really connects the Patchouli with the red desert of Petra.”

In fact these red deserts of Petra, and their famous ruins, played a pivotal role in the creation of Ouranon.

Inspired by the concept of the Monolith, “an indestructible sculpture of architecture and encapsulates the interplay of permanence and decay via earthy minerality” Fillion looked to the rock-built Great Temple of Petra in Jordan to communicate these idea. “The commanding presence of the ‘Monolith’ and the architecture of the past is really this dialogue, the desert ruins of Petra– something between earthy, mineral, and the ruins.

“So, I think we have minerality in some of the perfume, but it’s more about stone, the indestructible sculpture of architecture.”

But Fillion says it’s not just the Petra of today, but how he imagined it was: caravans bringing spices and flowers and the dust rising from the hooves of horses.

Like of Othertopias at Aesop, despite being the final destination so to speak, Ouranon is still a journey that is rich and complex. Maybe the most rich and complex of the series. It’s also the only Othertopia to relate to a tangible, visitable, space. The opening trilogy explored the liminal, in-between places. Eidesis went inwards and Gloam, which came out only months ago, went inwards and out again into the that middle world between flesh and spirit.

“For me, it feels like disappearing into a vast desert, and almost becoming dust, like being absorbed by something bigger,” explains Fillion. “There is this sensation of being infinite, like very, very big but also disappearing. There is something interesting and scary about that, but it’s a very particular feeling.”

Ouranon is a contradiction. All endings are in their own way also a beginning and so while Ouranon closes one chapter it opens the door to a new phase in the aromatic journey at Aesop.