Petite Mort (Parfum d’une Femme) by Marc Atlan

Petite Mort by Marc Atlan

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Scent is said to be the sense that is most tied to memory. Catching a whiff of fresh roses may bring about the same feeling you had when a date picked you up for a junior high school dance, while the smell of sun bathed garbage may remind you of a trip you once took to New York City. Regardless, scent is a very, very strong sense that relies on subtlety, chemistry, and–most importantly–human emotion.

Marc Atlan knows this and has used this knowledge to launch his first, truly one-of-a-kind fragrance: Petite Mort™ (Parfum D’une Femme). Those of you who know a little French (or love the band Korn), the name is referring to an orgasm (“little death”) and does its best to embody such a concept: the fragrance is said to embody the “elusive substance that is created by a woman when she is about to climax.” Rawr.

Photo © Rankin for Petite Mort™
Photo © Rankin for Petite Mort™

The fragrance is made possible by a collaboration with Bertrand Duchaufour/Art et Perfume. The product itself is said to lie somewhere between “the smell of skin” and evocative of “warm milk.” Naturally, it is said to be a very effective aphrodisiac. The fragrance comes in a beautiful bottle designed by Atlan himself and produced by Verreries Pocket, one of France’s eldest glassmakers, is absolutely classic, handmade, handpoured, and handfinished. A clear archetypal flask, containing 100 ml of the amethyst perfume, the bottle suspends the fragrance midair, containing it beneath a polished cast metal top and coiled black band. Each fragrance is numbered, as there is only a very limited selection of 100 bottles selling at $1000 each. It is said to only require a single drop to be effective.

Atlan does not fuck around with this fragrance: he’s worked with top fragrancers and has done bold, exciting work for years now. Foraging into his own products, Petite Mort is a logical step: exciting, smart, and exclusive. Moreover, Atlan even brings the concept full circle to design, featuring artists and personalities alike to create artwork they feel represents the fragrance. Entitled “As Seen By,” this subproject for the fragrance aims to these various personalities to “contribute an artwork that represents their vision” of the product. The “artists” include Andres Serrano, GotschoDenis Darzacq, Josephus ThimsterMatthias Vriens-McGrathChristian GhionBas LouterMona KuhnJean-Christian BourcartDewey NicksWolfgang JoopAntoine+ManuelMax VadukulEllen JongAristide Von BienefeldtTait RoelofsAllan Frankel, M.D.Albert GiordanOlivier Zahm, and Rankin.

Petite Mort is bound to cause quite a commotion. Or, at least, send Lady Gaga away, gnashing her teeth in jealousy.


February 14, 2011