Paco Rabanne commissions ‘Futuregazing Artists’ to celebrate launch of new fragrance

PHANTOM, the new men’s fragrance from Paco Rabanne, has been dubbed the first ‘connected’ fragrance of its kind, combining neuroscience and artificial intelligence to decipher the emotional benefits elicited by the modern elixir’s unique combination of ingredients. What if a perfume didn’t just change how you smell, but how you felt too?

Tested on young men 18-35, with 45 million measurements taken from their brains, PHANTOM’s top three feel-good reactions championed sexiness, self-confidence, and energy. Pushing boundaries thanks to these new technologies created by the perfumers, scientists, and technicians of International Flavours and Fragrances (IFF), the aromatic scent is – naturally – held in a robotic bottle with an interactive bottle cap that, when tapped with your phone, allows you to speak to the space-age creature in a parallel universe.

Nicholas Delap

From his first Manifesto Collection in 1966 – “12 Unwearable Dresses in contemporary materials” – Paco Rabanne’s space-age garments challenged classical codes, echoing the artistic avant-gardes of the Sixties and exploring ideas of radical craft, from the use of metal mesh as fabric that contours the body, to assemblages of unconventional materials that create kinetic silhouettes. With the arrival of Julien Dossena as artistic director in 2013, the house became infused with a renewed youthful vibrancy. Dossena has taken Paco Rabanne’s iconic DNA, reimagining and reigniting it for a whole new generation.

Now in 2021 with PHANTOM, the brand is continuing to break boundaries, offering a singular vision to reflect the aspirations of the younger generation: a world where everyone can be true to themself. A bold invitation to step outside the ordinary and celebrate life. A utopia where different is beautiful.

Working with creative agency Impero to develop the brand positioning and consumer tribes for its range of fragrances in the UK, Paco Rabbane identified Phantom’s tribe as the ‘Future Gazers’: those who are drawn to brands that celebrate innovation and have a positive attitude for the future. Future Gazers are using tech to open their minds to what might be possible when you ignore tradition and do things your own way.

Harry Vincent

Exploring this utopia further and connecting with creatives in a range of digitally-focused disciplines, Paco Rabanne invited young artists to submit their proposals, responding to an open brief of “the Future of Fragrance” and what this means to them.

From submissions around the world, six outstanding artists were selected for their forward thinking, pioneering visions – becoming one of Paco Rabanne’s’ new ‘Futuregazing Artists’. From interactive design to generative art, each commission speaks to the themes of the campaign, thinking intelligently and pushing the boundaries of how art can communicate emotions and ideas – in distinct visions of a futuristic utopia, where humans and nature meet technology in symbiosis.

Paco Rabanne’s ‘Futuregazing Artists’ are: Nicholas Delap; Stephy Fung; Oliver Hunter Pohorille; Aoife tOL; Harry Vincent; and Scarlett Yang.

Oliver Hunter Pohorille presents A FUTURISTIC EFFLORESCENCE UTOPIA, a new digital video work depicting the symbiosis of humans and nature, with nature and technology working together instead of against one another to create the perfect dreamscape world. We’re moving forward but the principles around our commitment and need for plants and flowers are still the same. We’re moving forward together. In this future dreamscape the scents that we put on our body are made from natural ingredients that form a part of who we are.

Stephy Fung

Scarlett Yang’s NOTE 0 is a digital animation display that conceptualises the temporal states of the notes of the Phantom perfume. Combining algorithmic shape generations, the 3D artwork visualises the shifting abstract landscapes of the sensorial perception throughout a single application of the fragrance. The final 3D moving visuals will be played on loop, with “top, middle and base notes” displayed with the animation. Using programmable 3D modelling, Scarlett’s practice is deeply informed by bio-organisms – the work simulates biological growth and the degrading processes. Applied onto a combination of abstract, soft and translucent virtual material language in 3D, the result is a stunning animating full of organic subtle movements, gradually changing shapes, colours and textures into representations of the next stage of the perfume notes.

Nicholas Delap’s digital installation, entitled SHINING TOR, is an interactive, virtual world space hosting a CGI sculpture as its focal point. The central sculpture is a living, breathing, fluid form, mirroring natural forms, but rendered with futuristic, ethereal like materials, arrayed with different British flowers, herbs and plants serving to inform the audience on themes of environmentalism and conservation. Under the control of the audience, it is an

interactive, virtual space displayed on large scale projectors, connected to a computer which runs the installation from afar. In SERENITY, Stephy Fung’s abstract take on the future of fragrance, the artist uses 3D motion and objects to depict the sense of smell as well as the associated emotions. Abstract shapes undulate and move in a free-spirited way, ringing to the title name ‘Serenity’ to impart a sense of calmness whilst appearing as a visual breath.

Harry Vincent’s work, THE SENSES: SOMATOSENSORY, is a series of mixed-media illustration and imagery that explores the journey that Phantom takes you on. Presenting the future of fragrance as somatosensory – that is, relating to or denoting a sensation which can occur anywhere in the body, in contrast to one localized at a sense organ – the portraits and hands of masculine humanoids are at once Anatomical, Android, Angelic. They are gateways of visuals that are transformative of different worlds and places. Our senses transport us. To other worlds. To imagined paradise. To the future.

And finally, Aoife Tol’s MOLECULAR GARDEN invites guests to walk through a cosmic garden of other worldly botanicals that grow in the vastness of outer space. Some are crystalline, some glimmer and some have tentacles that want to reach you. Each one explodes pollen, dispersing its unique scent into the garden. Molecules such as Limonene, Vanilla, Linalyl Acetate and Linalool float and mingle together visually recreating the signature Phantom fragrance. The future of fragrance is being immersed in the Molecular Garden of Phantom.

Paco Rabanne has always been about the future, ever since the house launched in 1966 with space-age dresses designed for alien beauties. This new class of ‘Futuregazing Artists’ presents this freedom – looking forward to a feel-good world and embracing difference through creative expression.


©2021 Paco Rabanne, Stephy Fung, Harry Vincent, Nicholas Delap