Art / Fashion / Perfumes

From Faking It to Making It: Icelandic Visual Artist Andrea Maack’s Perfume Line

A visual artist turned niche perfumer?  The Icelandic Review magazine features a story on Andrea Maack, a visual artist who began in the perfume world by creating four perfumes for an arts festival in Reykjavík in 2008.  Maack, who went to the Iceland Academy of the Arts and worked in fashion in London before turning exclusively to being an artist, created at the festival an installation and a performance of a fake launch for the perfumes.  Visitors were so taken by the scent that they asked for more.  Now, several years later, Maack’s perfumes are distributed worldwide.

Smart, Craft, Sharp, Silk, and Dark are among the monosyllabic, minimal names for Maack’s scents, with Smart being the first, created for the art installation.  Housed in a sleek glass bottle topped by a stone stopper, Maack describes Smart: “Smart started with a delicate pencil drawing, mapping the road to this unique scent.  Developed for an art exhibition, the inspiration for Smart comes from an empty white gallery space.  At first it is a light scent but as you go deeper it has a darker, slightly erotic mood lurking under the surface. An addictive scent with hidden notes, completely unique in its own way.”

Ingredients: Violet leaf, jasmine, sandalwood, vanilla, white musk, buckskin.

About Andrea Maack (

Andrea Maack was born and raised in Reykjavík Iceland and completed a B.A in visual arts in 2005. Her background and general passion for fashion and beauty became apparent when she started her art career, where she quickly became known for her romantic minimalistic installations showing the world of beauty and fashion through the eyes of a visual artist. She launched her eponymous line of unique fragrances originally created for art exhibitions in July 2010 with an exhibition titled “Eau de Parfum”. The project was featured in the FRAME MAGAZINE publication Powershop3. In September 2011 Maack launched her line into the niche perfume marked worldwide with high-end fragrance distributor Intertrade Europe who works with renowned brands such as Byredo, Nasomatto and New York cult brand Six Scents. Her first ever perfume creation was revealed at an independent gallery show in 2008, where she mimicked a perfume launch, handing out strips of her original artwork with a fragrance to the guest. The visual artist approaches the world of perfumery with a fresh vision. She works closely with her perfumers, which have included some of most upcoming noses such as Julien Rasquinet and Vincent Ricord. Her brief to the perfumers are her detailed pencil and mixed media drawings and the general feel and concept of the exhibitions. The challenge for the perfumers is to translate her world of visuals into exciting new fragrances. It ´s important to Maack that these creations are made out of the highest quality raw material and the perfumers can exercise their creative talents as her collaborators.


10 thoughts on “From Faking It to Making It: Icelandic Visual Artist Andrea Maack’s Perfume Line

  1. Hi Ms Kianga,
    Thank you so much for the Lisa Kirk link. Perfume + Revolution = Instant Love in my book. I’ve heard Uli Lang, a former art dealer, does great scents. Getting a sample of Revolution, will let you know how it goes! Hope your summer is going well so far! xoxo K.

  2. Something tells me that we are going to see a lot of artists turn to perfume as a medium for their work. Lots of things are pointing that way. We have already become accustomed to non tactile art through video, ephemeral art through performance.Perfume is the next frontier

    • I agree. The main issue is manufacturing–it’s hard to make a perfume inexpensively (much more than a canvas and some tubes of paint). Much of contemporary art is so “done,” that it could very well be the next avant garde medium.

      • Usually contemporary art is very expensive. Non tactile art like video and performance need a lot of money for production. I think we are going to see some very expensive perfume/art projects in the future. I think it will be a shame because it will give it an aura of exclusivity but what can we do?

        • Too late! As someone who has been on the production side as well as the selling side of art, I’m very aware of the costs involved. However, you can sell a Jeff Koons sculpture for $2,000,000 and make back all of the fabrication costs and then some. It’s hard to do that with perfume, since the costs are high and the price point is relatively low.

  3. Mad Perfumista, Another interesting post!! It reminded me of Bourjois and their “Evening in Paris” perfume. You’ve probably heard the story. In 1929, the French cosmetics company Bourjois sponsored a radio program in the States called “Evening in Paris.” They would believed it would add a cetrain caché to their products. Soon American women starting calling their local radio stations to ask where they could purchase the new and terribly romantic-sounding fragrance. Bourjois wasted no time in inventing the floral-woody scent!! It was then launched in France as Soir de Paris the following year. Funny tale! Enjoy the weekend!! Theadora

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s