Highlighting the vanishing breeds enchantment
I am happy to announce The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store (T.E.M.P.S., French for time), a hypothetical perfume line set in the future when many things in nature would have disappeared as we know it because of climate change. This is the first collection of eight scents.
The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store from Catherine Young on Vimeo.
Climate change leads to rising sea levels, threatening to swallow up the world’s coastlines.
Coffee bean production is dependent on cool mountainsides that are running out because of rising temperatures. Pests are also flourishing because of the warmer weather.
Climate change can make flowers open too early before bees emerge from hibernation, causing their numbers to decline.
Climate change is altering growth conditions for grapes, leading to changes in quality of production in wine-producing regions.
Eucalyptus species are increasingly affected by drought and flash floods. Their long regeneration times and short dispersal of their seeds mean they may not be able to keep up with the pace of climate change.
The scorching heat drastically reduces the quality of peanut production, leaving more peanuts to be processed into oil rather than the edible quality.
Higher temperatures are causing the earth’s glaciers and permafrost to melt.
Different species of trees, such as cedar, pine, and fir, are being decimated as climate change increases the risk of forest fires.
To bring the project to life, I reached out to Givaudan, a Swiss flavors and fragrance company, who sources materials that preserve the environment, stimulate the development and well-being of communities, and safeguards an efficient use of previous resources. I am grateful to Marilyn Yao, Givaudan Singapore, and Givaudan Philippines for their help in the perfumes, Maribel Garcia who curated The Apocalypse Project: Imagined Futures exhibition, Stephanie Faith Bautista who designed the logo, and Nino Carandang and Peter Lorenz Frac of Shuttermaster Pro for help with photography and video.
The project was a collaboration between the perfumer who mixed the scents in the lab and myself who created the world the perfumes inhabited. Claude Charmoille, VP of Perfumery in Asia, took on this challenge. Charmoille was born in the south of France where scents abound and vary according to seasons. “After completing my botanic and chemistry education, the subtle alchemy between arts – craft – andscience attracted me to the perfumer’s profession,” says Charmoille.
Personally, my favorite scent is Coasts, because it smells of a place as opposed to the others that smell of a specific objects. Because I smell the beach, I remember my childhood memories in the beaches of the Philippines—white sand, coconut trees, the ocean breeze, salty seashells and all. For Charmoille, it’s Eucalyptus. “This one is my favourite, it brings back memories from my childhood when we visited small islands in the Mediterranean sea close to Cannes. In the hot summer days, the eucalypus and pine trees would perfume the air to a degree one can not forget, this warm aromatic and fruity whiff will always remain deeply linked to seaside vacation and family memories.”
As a designer, my intention was to show people a different side of the climate change scenario. Smell is very sensuous and visceral; its effects are instantaneous. Instead of showing statistics of what will disappear because of climate change, I decided to let people smell them. Highlighting the temporary breeds enchantment. As smell is linked to memory, I’m hoping that people will think about how their lives will be without these seemingly ordinary objects that we take for granted that might not be there anymore.
The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store
Concept and Design
Catherine Sarah Young
Claude Charmoille of Givaudan
The Mind Museum
Maria Isabel Garcia
With thanks to
Givaudan Singapore Pte Ltd c/o Claude Charmoille for providing the fragrances
Marilyn Yao and Neri Mamburam
Stephanie Faith Bautista
Video and Editing
Peter Lorenz Frac of Shuttermaster Pro
Shot at Shuttermaster Pro