Leather lord Rick Owens and Australian skincare specialists Aesop have been on the same wavelength for years now, with the former shouting out the latter’s design credentials across numerous interviews. The mutual respect is clear, which is why it’s no surprise to see Owens hook up with Aesop for the legendary designer’s very first foray into the lucrative world of fragrance and body care. Following his Fall-Winter 2022 show at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, which is where the new Rick Owens fragrance was pumped from gold-plated smoke machines, Aesop have revealed the exclusive collection conceived as the ultimate grooming travel kit.
While Rick Owens is a constant on the collaborative circuit, working with the likes of Moncler, Dr. Martens, Converse and Birkenstock, this new Aesop project marks the first time the maverick American designer has stepped closer to the self-care market. While the new collection doesn’t look as provocative (and dark) as some of his more controversial pieces, the travel kit arrives alongside a scented candle and an all-new fragrance that has been worked up with Aesop’s go to perfumer Barnabé Fillion, who is known for his eccentric recipes.
Stoic Eau de Toilette is at the centre of the collection, with Fillion working up a fragrance profile featuring a spicy aroma of black pepper and coriander seeds to reflect Owens’ input, and frankincense and woody notes (which is a vague way of saying vetiver in this case) with patchouli to mirror the Aesop side of the equation. Reportedly, Owens wanted the fragrance to be something soothing and fit for everyday use, skewing the characteristic divisiveness and opting for accessibility.
Stoic EDT ships with a chain of ceramic beads that can be perfumed and worn to help diffuse the scent throughout the day, adding a more tactile element to perfume for those who prefer longevity and projection.
The aforementioned scented candle has also been imbued with the scent of Stoic, available in the sizes all of which are encased in special ceramic vessels inspired by the famed sculptures of surrealist Dadaist Hans Arp and modernist Constantin Brancusi.
While Stoic – both the fragrance and the candle – best represents Rick Owens input into the collaboration, the travel kit focuses more on the designer’s curatorial work. Inside pocket-sized tubes of Owens’ favourite Aesop body and hair care products, from coriander seed body cleanser and resolute hydrating body balm to classic shampoo and classic conditioner.
In typical Rick Owens fashion, the smallest details are the most meaningful to the collaboration. The travel kit arrives in a cotton jersey wrap with an coded grosgrain strip. In an Instagram post, Owens explains that the wrap was designed after the threadbare T-shirts often seen on Sid Viscious and in Satyajit Ray’s films, as well as the draped jersey dresses of French couturier Madame Gres, and the fabric Greek goddess Nike is portrayed in for the Hellenstic statue Winged Victory of Samothrace – which is located at the top of the staircase at the Louvre.
“I am not sure if it was my body responding positively to the alchemy of the unguents they produce or my head responding to the quiet and gentle aesthetic of their ethos as a company,” said Owens in a press release.
“But Aesop’s balms represented a soothing mood that I wanted to continue seamlessly throughout my home life and my travel life.”
The Aesop x Rick Owens travel kit retails in Australia for $220 and includes everything from the collection expect the candle. If you want the candle, you’re looking at a starting price of $55.
Keen on learning more about the best fragrances out there? Check out our regular column, Fragrance Friday, where each week we take a look at the new and old scents that we’ve been loving lately in the Boss Hunting office.