Beauty

Dries Van Noten’s Mystic Moss Embraces the Unexpected

The celebrated fashion designer discusses his new fragrance and why working with contrasts will never go out of style.

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Dries Van Noten’s Mystic Moss Embraces the Unexpected

The celebrated fashion designer discusses his new fragrance and why working with contrasts will never go out of style.

Renowned for his bold and distinctive collections, Dries Van Noten’s venture into the realm of perfumery is nothing short of luxurious, nuanced, and unexpected. Although the fashion designer has recently shown the final collection of his eponymous label, he continues his foray into the olfactory with his newest, Mystic Moss. Known for being eclectic and pushing the boundaries of fashion, his fearlessness is vibrantly visible in the very nuanced world of beauty.

This latest scent is inspired by the success of his previous fragrances, the third in a trio of scents (joining Orange Smoke and Sur Ma Peau) that explores Noten’s obsession with “impossible combinations,” a way of examining how elements that don’t usually go with each other behave in a beautiful way when they’re fused together. Van Noten desired a fresh reinterpretation of Cannabis Patchouli, blending unexpected elements into a harmonious symphony of intriguing notes. As the fragrance makes its debut, Dries Van Noten invites fragrance enthusiasts to embrace the unexpected.

“When working with perfumers, I give them carte blanche to take risks, experiment, and combine different ingredients that you might think could not work together,” he tells Hypebae. “I aim to surprise by creating something unexpected.” Mystic Moss emerges as a testament to creativity, craftsmanship, and the art of sensory storytelling. The fragrance promises to captivate the senses and redefine the boundaries of modern perfumery, sourcing sustainably from different parts of the world — oak moss from Macedonia, mandarins from Calabria, and patchouli from Indonesia. We spoke to the legendary designer about the fragrance’s humble beginnings, the feelings he hopes it evokes in its wearer, and what sets it apart from the rest of the fragrances in his collection.

On Mystic Moss’s conception

It all started in 2022 with a beautiful gesture, when the nose, Nicolas Bonneville, gifted me a patchouli plant for my garden, considering my passion and appreciation for floriculture and botanicals. Patchouli is quite a special ingredient in perfumery with a strong identity, and it is one of the principal ingredients in Cannabis Patchouli. Naturally, I wanted to explore a different vision, a fresher interpretation of it. It is also a continuation of the idea of “impossible combinations.” My definition of beauty intertwines with contrast, so each fragrance is crafted from an unexpected pairing of ingredients.

On Dries Van Noten’s process – for fragrance and fashion

When I create my fashion collections, I want to tell a story. I work with contrasts so that my clothes evoke specific emotions, associations, and connections. Similarly, when working with perfumers, I give them carte blanche to take risks, experiment, and combine different ingredients that you might think could not work together.

On what sets Mystic Moss apart

We wanted to push the boundaries with Mystic Moss through a long-lasting, unexpected splash of freshness, which was quite a challenge. To ensure this freshness and longevity, Nicolas incorporated an overdose of citrus. It was a unique creative process.

 

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On the unexpected notes of Mystic Moss

We crafted an unexpected pairing of salt and mandarin, with ingredients like vetiver, cardamom, and algae, to create something fresh yet very specific. We explored the clash of the minerality of algae with the contrasting juicy mandarin. There is also a juxtaposition between moss, seaweed, and salty notes, which act as counterpoints for the sweet facet of mandarin. It’s about vibrancy and depth.

Patchouli is one of the iconic materials in perfumery with a distinctive olfactory profile. It offers multiple facets that allow for various combinations. When paired with the minerality of oak moss, the sharpness of mandarin, and the salty notes of a flower, it truly enhances its strong character.

On the familiar feeling it should evoke

Rather than just a personality, it’s more about a feeling. It’s about how the person feels at that particular time and the moment they want to use a perfume. I personally prefer when people have a fragrance for the day, for the evening, and perhaps even for the night. Why not?

Dries Van Noten’s latest fragrance in his collection, Mystic Moss, is available now through the retailers Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as on Dries Van Noten’s website for $255 USD. 

While you’re here, check out our coverage of the launch of Ôrəbella, supermodel Bella Hadid’s first foray into fragrance and her journey to becoming one of our favorite beauty brand founders.

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