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The Next Wave, Part I

Posted: February 20, 2007

A surfer turned sculptor turned fragrance house founder pushes the bounds of niche scents

“There are two things that I don’t like about today’s mass fragrance market,” says Nobi Shioya on his site Made by Blog (http://whatwedoissecret.org), “the insane number of new launches, and too many celebrity scents.”

Shioya is the founder of Brooklyn, New York’s Shaping Room, “the world’s smallest fragrance house.” Named for a studio in which surfboards are crafted, this sculptor has taken his novel outlook on scent into compelling directions by bringing his collaborating perfumers to the fore and providing them wide berth in interpreting his basic ideas, taking them out of the formalized corporate atmosphere in which they normally operate and into a more one-on-one, personal environment.

“They [perfumers] are genuine creators,” Shioya says on his blog, “but with an ironic mission. The perfumers have to make sure the designer, celebrity or the brand will stand out, not them.” At the Shaping Room, noses are the stars.

100% Love by Sophia Grojsman contains notes of rose petals, incense and black chocolate, while Christophe Laudamiel’s S-ex includes notes of malt, strawberry, black and white leather, willow, and camellia. Reinterpreting (or “remixing”) Alberto Morillas’ Jet-Scent, Laudamiel employed notes of vanilla bourbon, musks, salt and sandalwood to create S-Perfume.