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The Next Wave, Part I

Posted: February 20, 2007

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Sculpting Scent

“The way I approach each project is not that different from the way I sculpt,” says Shioya. “Creating art always has the aspect of reconstructing something that exists. For instance, if I’m going to sculpt a figure, I will take the model apart in my head and in preparatory drawings and then, once that process is done, I will reconstruct that figure the way I want to see it.”

When Shioya began to develop his fragrance house in 2000, there weren’t many US niche brands. He recalls Demeter as a pioneering brand and has always admired Frédéric Malle. Developing his first commercial fragrance—Jet-Scent—with Morillas, Shioya was already thinking about how to reengineer the model of a fragrance house to his liking.

“I didn’t want to sell via cosmetic stores,” he says. “I wanted to deconstruct and reconstruct—I had to do something very different. Jet-Scent was very much about my memory about surfing. The scent itself is very much reminiscent of surfing—it reminds me of the smell of a wet suit and the ocean and [Zog’s] Sex Wax, which [surfers] use for traction on the board.”

Shioya limited sales of Jet-Scent through the Shaping Room site and surf shops. But then, as he puts it, “I started to grow up a little bit. I wanted to do something a little bit more artistic and creative.”