Its debut collection, Scent Surrection, features six fragrances that leverage the DNA sequences of extinct flowers to understand what scent molecules these flowers may have once produced. This data was shared with world-renowned perfumers, who used their knowledge of aroma chemicals and botany to create the perfumes. For example, Invisible Woods spotlights Wendlandia angustifolia, a flower native to the mountains of southern India that went extinct in 1917 because of drought. Meanwhile, Solar Canopy is based on hibiscus flower Hibiscadelphus wilderianus, which was last seen in 1912 in Hawaii but was lost due to logging practices and deforestation.
“Fragrance has always been rooted in powerful storytelling and sensory experiences,” said Jasmina Aganovic, CEO of Arcaea. “We are excited to show how biology can create new stories and product experiences. Science is about more than clinical studies, it also represents new creative tools.”
The launch showcases positive developments for sustainability in the beauty industry as well as the creative possibilities of biotechnology. The individual story of each plant is shared on the packaging along with 100% recyclable caps evoking fossilised stones. Each fragrance features futuristic and colourful labels to ensure the aesthetic and visual cues align with its scent profile. “We believe biology is about more than just utilitarian function,” said Aganovic. “It’s also about creativity and storytelling, a core pillar of the beauty industry, especially in a category like fragrance that is completely driven by storytelling and emotional experience.”
For more on how brands are innovating with biotechnology, see Rethinking Sustainability: Beauty’s Biotech Future.