Sunday, 26 January 2014


It is fascinating how much the world of beauty, as in cosmetics, is always searching for new interpretations, aesthetics and solutions to make us feel “beautiful”, allegedly answering our own quest for beauty. Tonight I went to an inspiring evening of beauty and art, presented by Asian story-tellers. 

It was the launch of 001 (Double Zero One) beauty brand by Ada Ooi, who I met at Design With Scents 2013. A trained beauty therapist / aromatherapist and advertising strategist all together, Ada has that typical determination and energy which I found in Hong Kong women. 

To launch 001 Ada staged a beautiful installation in Soho, London, where we experienced her innovative range, designed to “return skin to a natural equilibrium” through works of contemporary Asian artists, who produced different pieces, interpreting her products.

Korean Olfactory artist Kyung Park (and another Design With Scents participant) was given the “Intensive Elixir”, a beautifully balanced blend of Sandalwood, Myrrh and other essential oils, as an inspiration. Kyung produced 31 seconds, an animation portrait of a virtual place, aiming to represent the similarity she found between the scent-making and painting processes.

Artist Rudy Chan Lam, a self-thought illustrator, focused on lavender with an ink on paper work, exploring the multifunctional use of lavender throughout history, from King Charles of France’s lavender cushions to the story of Rene Gattefosse, one of the founders of modern aromatherapy.

A miniature model by Taiwan-based artist Melissa Lin Ching-I depicted the adventures of the 001  team interacting with people and cultures as they searched for the right ingredients. “Miniature art requires you to look into the piece and discover new things”, says Ada, in line with Confucius’ quote appearing on 001 products: “Everything has a beauty, but not everyone sees it”.

The installation also included a small Tea Room, where a Japanese lady invited us to the appreciation of Green Tea and its ceremony, this ingredient being key in one of 001 products. It was in the silence, taste and gestures of the Japanese ritual that I saw a sense of beauty and art.

This dialogue between cosmetics and art was really enjoyable to experience. It nourished my skin and my spirit. Thank you to Ada and her team for suggesting a new way to feel beautiful. Perhaps this is what the future of beauty is about.


Saturday, 18 January 2014


Last year at Design With Scents I met Hyoi Kim, a very talented Korean student who explores the relationship between textiles and scents. Today I had the pleasure to see her interesting MA project which she is doing at the MA Textile Print of the Royal College of Art.

The project is about translating scent into textiles. Hyoi has created an experimental series of fabrics inspired by perfume making, giving a visual and tactile interpretation of the so-called gourmand and aldehydes ingredients used in perfumery.

For those in London, I recommend you check this one-of-a-kind textile/scent project, which is being exhibited as part of the RCA School of Material Work-in-progress Student Show until 19 January 2014. Congratulations to Hyoi, keep up the good work!

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