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MOTH &RABBIT – The Multisensory Path From Perfume to Cinema

My entire life I was convinced that perfumes define who we are: within 5 seconds of meeting someone, their perfume says more than they have. Scents can be shy, clean, ethereal or strong, offensive, overwhelming, intoxicating, exhilarating, uplifting… Just like us, they have a life of their own, they change with the years passing by and… they die… But, some fragrances are refreshingly unimpressed by life, and by their eventual death.

There is a strange resemblance between the life of a perfume and the life of a movie. They are both the best time machines, transporting us in an instant – from Past into the Future – sometimes making us forget about our own Present. They teach us that, often, our fear of death is not the problem, but how we perceive it, relate to it and process it.

Wise people say that meditation is the solution because it helps us relate to our emotional state of mind and it carries a sense of calm into our everyday life.

Wise people say that meditation is the solution because it helps us relate to our emotional state of mind and it carries a sense of calm into our everyday life. As I write this, a wave of pure Zen washes over me and with that, my mind relaxes and I start to assess how I ended up here, on my sofa, with a box of “discovery bottles” on my lap.

When I heard that the name of this relatively new German brand was “MOTH&RABBIT” I was startled. What an unusual combination of words. It instantly captured my imagination and curiosity. Testing so many fragrances, on a regular basis, it is not very often that I come across a house whose ethos is so “out of the box”. Looking beyond the implicit marketing fog, I want to see/sense for myself that this brand delivers the “unusual juice” that it promises.

The brand was established in 2016 by Elke Filpes and Seong Nam Choi with the aim of “translating stories and emotions into olfactive experiences”. This does not sound like an easy task. But Mark Buxton, the exceptional perfumer who signed all the 12 fragrances of the brand knew he would be up to this mission. All these fragrances are named after movies.

Mark Buxton was born in England, grew up close to Hamburg and fell in love with Paris over 20 years ago. Mark Buxton is above all a hedonist, wine connoisseur, and talented cook, with a passion for antiques, especially for art deco style.

He collaborated with international leading fragrance houses such as Givenchy, Versace, Van Cleef & Arpels, Paco Rabanne, Lagerfeld, Burberrys, Cartier, Chopard, Ferré. After he dedicated his talented energy to niche perfumery, Mark Buxton created scents for several brands such as Riaz Danz Perfumes, Elternhaus, Wiener Blut, Linari perfumes, House of sillage, Zoe Karssen, Brooklyn Soap company, Verdúu perfumes, Folie à plusieurs, Romy Kowalewski 2787 Perfumes Barcelona, Le Labo, Comme des Garçons, Renegades, Thorsten Biehl Kunstwerke and Calé Perfumes.

MOTH&RABBIT is a house based in Paris and Berlin and the inspiration for each fragrance comes from the principles of transformation and reproduction typical of the visual arts, particularly film, and the personalities of the artists who created them.

The stories told by these fragrances focus on what surrounds us, seen through the eyes of filmmakers and artists, and filtered through Mark's sensitivity and creativity. Anybody can be part of this multisensory experience. You spray the perfume on your skin and then you watch the movie that inspired it. And, you just let the magic happen…

You suddenly feel the harmony between the two arts, just like you would be submersed into another world, where two souls are in synch, in a total surrender, the kind of abandon reserved for those blessed with complete compatibility. Sensual pleasure given and received in an atmosphere of shared emotion.

From the dark and realistic films of Mathieu Kassovitz to the Japanese icon Takeshi Kitano, MOTH&RABBIT fragrances reflect the dreamlike landscapes of the filmmakers. The scents are made from the noblest raw materials and are presented in bottles with a minimalist look.

The names of the perfumes (first launched in 2019 and the latest in 2021) carry a touch of humor and loads of mystery: PARASITE, DOLLS, DUKE OF BURGUNDY, BLOW UP, THE LOBSTER, CLUELESS, ENTER THE VOID, DREAMERS, LOVE EXPOSURE, MOOD INDIGO, SINGLE MAN, THE VIRGINS.

The fragrances that I have tried so far from this brand have a very special way of developing on the skin, with an easy, lazy confidence. There is nothing aggressive about them, no punch of heavy oud or stingy vanilla, just a dazzling symphony of ingredients coming together in the most wonderful harmony imaginable.

I have often wondered during my perfume consultations: what does a person really want from a fragrance? What is his/her secret wish, desire or dream? I try to guess all of the above, but what if I fail? What’s the worst that could happen? The answer is always the same: So what if you fail? SO WHAT? You tried. Life satisfaction comes from trying and knowing you did. And anyone – ANYONE – can do it.

I invite you all to try this unusual, unconventional, young German brand. Be brave, have the courage to go, just like them, “out of the box” and out of the comfort zone. Watch those artful movies that inspired the perfume, try to decipher the mysteries. Start telling the truth and experience the catharsis that comes from minimizing the divide between who you say you are and who you really are.

Dare to follow the path that leads you from perfume to cinema and back again, never the same, never the same…

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