Christian Dior once said the perfume a woman wears speaks volumes about her personality, but when its creators are among the founding fathers of modern avant-garde fashion, the findings of this sniff test will prove harder to pin down. Airborne, the olfactory lovechild between Hussein Chalayan and Comme des Garçons, is certainly as conceptual as its progenitors, but the result is a far cry from the dreaded “acquired scent” diagnosis that has befallen similarly experimental fragrances.
The packaging’s white exterior opens up into a vibrant, colorful coastal scene recalling Chalayan’s native Cyprus. Likewise, at the heart of the fragrance is a fail-proof concoction of lemon, bergamot, musk, and cedarwood, inspired by a topographical study of the island that exposed a broad variety of plant life and other natural elements.
Yet the juice might be most interesting for its ability to evolve over time. “[Airborne] attempts to capture a sense of my journeys from Cyprus to London… [and] how these ingredients could incur change during and after an air journey,” explained Chalayan, who named the fragrance after his fall 2007 collection. “It blurs the lines between time and place. . .It [can] connect you to a familiarity of the past, or a possible unknown world of the future.”