“It’s fleeting desire captured in an image. It’s not falling in love, but it’s like falling in love. It’s not sex, but it’s like sex. It’s a relationship compressed into a moment.”
Rankin, world-renowned photographer and founder of Dazed & Confused, AnOther Magazine, AnOther Man and Hunger, has collaborated with award-winning fragrance designer Azzi Glasser of The Perfumer’s Story to launch unisex perfume S&X. Describing the similarity between the two art forms, Rankin explained that ‘perfume creates presence, similar to portraiture’ and he worked with Azzi to capture the ambiance of his artistic character with a scent she describes as ‘animalistic, visceral and addicting’.
Over breakfast in his North London gallery and studio space, Rankin praised Azzi’s ‘chocolate shop of perfume, a den of seduction with elixirs and portions’, in which they experimented with smells that would evoke the mystery, sensuality and rawness in his work. For Azzi, it is vital to conjure the energy of her bespoke clients, the way they feel about life, in the most honest way she can. For the S&X perfume by Rankin, they were drawn to the idea of a person’s own unique DNA, the smells of blood and flesh and skin, which when mixed with other ingredients become headily sexual, mysterious and alluring.
The first perfume Rankin became loyal to was YSL’s Kouros at the tender age of fourteen, a powerful smell requiring a strut to his walk, a degree of swagger and bravery. This mood of the fearless provocateur, with a sense of humour, has carried over into S&X, with top notes of poivre, leather and magnolia, a hint of jasmine and base notes of amber resin and white musk. In a beautiful Art Deco inspired glass bottle small enough to fit in your handbag, it imparts a lightly carnal lift to your day.
Launching exclusively October 1st in Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge and online at The Perfumer’s Story, S&X will later be available from independent retailers and Net-A-Porter from December 1st. At £95 for 30ml, it is an ideal gift for friends and lovers. As Rankin says, ‘Now you can give people sex!’
riginally published in Eclectic Magazine.