Do you remember what it feels like when your life is about to change What about how it smells? Aedes de Venustas 16A Orchard marks a moment of rebirth, a skin scent that adapts to its wearer with revered, natural roots.
It was commissioned to celebrate Aedes de Venustas’s reinvention and move to 16A Orchard Street, on New York City’s “Lower” Lower East Side, a vibrant area that attracts a hip and diverse crowd, where galleries, skaters, cafes, and small, exclusive shops create crackling energy and excitement. In 2021, it has taken on a deeper meaning to Aedes de Venustas founders Robert Gerstner and Karl Bradl. “Every single soul went through a massive change in their lives,” says Gerstner. “During this time, we rooted here, in this neighborhood that represents the turnover of New York City. Unknowingly we have made something that is so much more important.”
Not just a smell, but a feeling. Something that is nurtured and then grows. “I aimed to create a sense of emotional wellbeing through a simplistic fragrance structure,”says perfumer Frank Voelkl. “The use of ingredients extracted from natural roots like ginger and iris tie us back to our earth, making us feel grounded and centered.” But rather than recognizing a single note or fragrance category, 16A Orchard presents as a bit of a mystery. “You don’t know what to make of it right away, and that’s what makes it interesting,” says Gerstner. “You can’t put your finger on it. That’s also the essence of the Lower East Side. It teaches you to think —and live—outside the box.”
Earthly materials become airy in Voelkl’s hands. Ginger raises questions, throws you off course. Iris brings you back into focus as it reveals cold yet delicate qualities. Quince and muguet amplify the roots. Dry cedarwood and cashmere-like tonka create a spicy, dry roundness for more ephemeral notes of bergamot, lemon, cardamom, and jasmine.
Aedes de Venustas 16A Orchard is presented in a precious vessel: A fluted glass bottle marked by peacock blue accents, a matte black insignia-stamped cap, and a sleek yet weighty design that marks the next chapter in the Aedes de Venustas story.