To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, the twentieth century’s most influential design school, we asked Berlin photographer Axel Kranz to add some spice to the Bauhaus’s mission statement: Less is more.
On April 12, 1919, Walter Gropius’s proposal to create the State Bauhaus in Weimar was approved. Looking back over the century, choreographer and dancer Richard Siegal (The Bakery, Munich) sums up its reach: “Every contemporary art stands on the shoulders of the Bauhaus.”
The goal of the Bauhaus was not to create a new style, but to give birth to a radically new way of design thinking that would comprise every aspect of human life. Here at SCENTURY, we believe that the sense of smell still needs a little push to the fore, some added fragrance infused into the idea of a radically modern Gesamtkunstwerk.
For our olfactive homage to Gropius and his gang, Kranz paired each image with an inspired Bauhaus hero, always keeping in mind Wassily Kandinsky’s motto: “That is beautiful which is produced by the inner need, which springs from the soul.” Enjoy!
PHOTOGRAPHY, SET DESIGN & STYLING: Axel Kranz
In Bauhaus we trust!
The smell of minimalism.
01. Beso Beach: Beso Negro
Designing is not a profession but an attitude.
The creators describe this scent as an invitation to awaken “a unique personality with a carnal kiss, where the darkness and the moon are the only witnesses.” What better way to start a design revolution than through the power of love? This image was inspired by Moholy-Nagy’s AM7, 1926.
PERFUMER: Christophe Raynaud
02. Byredo: No Man’s Land (gel douche)
Together let us desire, conceive, and create the new structure of the future!
— Walter Gropius
In 1923, Bauhaus architect Rudolf Belling designed a radically futuristic gas station that still holds up against Byredo’s minimalist bottle design for No Man’s Land almost a century later. The fragrance’s DNA reveals a rather radical and daring character by offering red rose, raspberry bloom, and amber to a unisex target group.
PERFUMER: Jérôme Epinette
03. Ciro: Ptah
God is in the details.
—Mies van der Rohe
The perfume brand Ciro was founded in 1921, and is experiencing a reawakening after a long sleep. The bottle design of the relaunched brand is sleek and clean, but high-quality material and attention to detail reveal a less-is-more-attitude that any Bauhaus student would have loved to take a whiff of. The set design here refers to Walter Kampmann’s disturbingly futuristic Aethermaske, 1920.
PERUMER: Alexandra Carlin
04. Andrea Maack: Dual
It is our task to become pioneers of simplicity.
Inspired by Oskar Schlemmer’s work Raumlineatur mit Figur, 1924, this shot features a delightfully weightless scent by Iceland-born designer Andrea Maack. Dual mimics the purity and simplicity of fresh water on a bright new morning — so Bauhaus!
05. Narciso Rodriguez: Pure Musc For Her
Abstraction is real, probably more real than nature.
If abstraction is real, it must be sensual! Bauhaus artist Walter Dexel’s 1926 Figuration embodies the perfect union of both, serving as the impulse for Kranz to create this image. Pure Musc For Her makes a match with its impeccably minimalist and sensual bottle design — never anything less from Narciso Rodriguez.
PERFUMER: Sonia Constant
06. Extrait d’Atelier: Maître Céramiste
The room is there for the human being — not the human being for the room.
Complex layers of light and shadow in El Lissitzky’s Proun from 1921 set the design staging for this scent, which celebrates the artistry of pottery. The craft was part of Walter Gropius’s curriculum from the start, the Bauhaus consequently producing a long list of influential ceramicists
PERFUMERS: Maurizio Cerizza, Luca Maffei
If you enjoyed our olfactive Bauhaus tribute you might also like this art-inspired still life series.