There's a reason why in the last year, fragrance sales have shot up. In an unprecedented period of little travel and sporadic togetherness, scent and its mystical ability to transport us to memories abroad, new seasons, and imagined caresses is pretty powerful. Hence our investment in a little bit of an olafactory pick-me-up.

So we're excited to introduce you to two relatively new, independent fragrance brands, both attempting to break out of the "it smells nice" box and into a more multi-sensory, theoretical and spiritual approach to the way you smell.

Meet Ffern. Founders Owen Mears and sister Emily Cameron offer up a plastic-free, season-based, community approach to releasing their limited fragrances. Working with the noses François Robert and Elodie Durande, locally sourced, season-appropriate organic ingredients are the main focus. One must sign up to their "ledger" in order to even get access to buy the scent, a smart business move enabling the brand to drive community building and a feeling of rarity.  Launching on, say, the date of a winter solstice, each seasonal fragrance is accompanied by an artist-commissioned film. 

Arpa will take a bit of time to get your head around. Not the scent itself - we tried RECEDERE and it's deliciously smokey and sweet and perfect for chilly winter days when you need something to get your mind off the long, grey days. The brand's website is a deep dive into the artistic and research project looking at the neurological phenomenon of synesthesia, or the blending senses, something that founder Barnabé Fillion (the nose behind Aesop’s Hwyl and Le Labo’s Geranium 30 blockbuster scents) experiences himself, particularly in relation to sounds, smells and textures. He uses all of that to create his scents under his own umbrella brand. Basically, Arpa is a unisex fragrance brand with studios in Paris, Mexico City, and Kyoto, and all of the Arpa scents are linked to specially curated sounds, which help you listen to the scent. 

Yup, you read that right. Listen to the scent. Ours came with three vinyl records, by the musical artists Sene, Cyrus Bayandor and Joseph Schiano Di Lombo. It also came entombed in a box of soap, a beautiful idea more fragile products should use as a solution to waste.

Both Ffern and Arpa are doing things their own way, but at the end of the day, their scents are delicious and we know you'll be making memories wearing these sometime soon.

Visit FFERN and ARPA