Zep Torrenz’s perfumes have an unusual starting point: they originate in a novel written by the brand’s founder Josep Torrents. In Las Fragancias Olvidadas de Ultramar (Forgotten Fragrances from Overseas), Torrents tells the story of Enrique Martí, a fragrance pioneer who sets out to discover new flora in the jungles of the Philippines, hoping to recreate and package the finest scents imaginable.
A range of three perfumes – Oud (Ultramar), Jungle Flowers (Mindanao) and Deep Sea (Mar de Sulu) – sprang from this nineteenth-century narrative and inspired Barcelona studio Benana to create the brand’s intriguing packaging with the explorer in mind.
A reimagined perfume of 150 years ago had to look elegant and discreet, explain the designers, and the exterior features black-and-white imagery with metallic printing in three colours. Inside, the box reveals a surprise, in what the studio’s Diana Núñez and Rubén Cruz describe as a ‘colour explosion’ intended to match the smell of the perfume.
To achieve this effect the studio looked at the traditional ‘enfleurage’ technique, a centuries old method for extracting essential aromatic oils from fresh flowers. Núñez and Cruz devised a visual equivalent by placing the components of each perfume under pressure in a high-resolution scanner. The result is a glorious full-colour image of the elements that make up each perfume, ‘a balance between the conceptual and the aesthetic’.
‘With this process we obtained an infinity of textures with which to play,’ they say, ‘and these were applied to the outside of each pack in inverted black-and-white and, inside, with all its splendour of colour, simulating the olfactory process.
‘Once you open the perfume, its true essence is inside.’
Printer: Nova Era
Paper: Arena White Smooth 400 g/m2
Photography: Benana Studio & Imma Cortés