The bottle is inspired by absolute purity: hand-polished glass sheathed in a simple sheet of strikingly folded automotive steel, just like the panels crafted on the principles of Kodo Design at the Hiroshima manufacturer’s studios. Inside, a unisex essence laden with sweet, metallic touches. It is called Soul of Motion and is the fragrance developed by two of the most refined and creative Japanese companies.
“The background to this unusual operation is concealed in a shared vision of design as art”, explains Ikuo Maeda, head of Mazda design. “You feel something intangible in the sensuality of the lines of our models, as you do in the volatile charm of a perfume. To define the volumes of a car we always start with a handmade clay sculpture: here we wanted to go beyond this form of craftsmanship in order to enter something more conceptual, through its smell”.
“When Mazda contacted us, we wondered at first about such an unusual collaboration”, says Yoji Nobuto, Chief Creative Director of Shiseido. “Then, at the first appointment, we realised that it was not a commercial, merchandising issue: we were in the presence of authentic enthusiasts, looking for a partner with their own artistic conception of the product. This triggered an exchange of experiences”. Nobuto, who still remembers the hallmark smell of the old Citroën GS on which he obtained his driving licence, has thus discovered a stimulating new universe, drawing the inspiration from it to define the fragrance together with his team.
The result revolves around a definite Emotional Simplicity: an olfactory pyramid based on wood, leather and a touch of Asian rose, with the addition of lime and black currant to convey the metallic scent that could not be forgone. Mazda liked the skilful blend to come out of the first olfactory test. Is this the beginning of a more lasting collaboration? “We are looking at a variety of projects, all in the name of art”, the heads of the two brands respond in unison. For the moment, however, the scent of Mazda and Shiseido remains an experimental proposal, available only in Japan from a limited number of retailers.