On Tuesday the 17th March, we proudly put forward our new vision to the beauty and fragrance press in a launch that was to be the final launch for the foreseeable future.
Assassin Belarus was the culmination of five months work and development. It started in October as a fleeting observation. I passed by a man that smiled and it occurred to me that we can be blithely unaware of what could be hidden under a smile. A simple smile or laugh, when out of visibility, can belong to someone who retreats to a darker world. It was from this point that the idea of exploring the covert world of espionage seemed just too enticing not to explore.
The stamp sized receptors in our olfactory system can detect dangerous odours by collecting only a few molecules, immediately sending our brains warning signs. Drawing on this interesting instinct, it started a secondary exploration into the roots of espionage. I started by looking into the covert connectivity between east and west. The most intriguing, American George Koval, born in Belarus, dramatically reduced Russia's race to arms in the pursuit of nuclear dominance.
I started the structure of this concept by building a rich and dark base. We created a sensual earthy peat accord and spiked it with Russian Birch tar oil to add depth. Indonesian patchouli and decadent saffron were carefully intermingled. Playing with depth as a key protagonist we were intrigued by shadows fuelling the building of the darkness.
The heart of the aroma was inspired by the concept of creating a covert accord. The kind of accord built on secrets. Using multiple ingredients in smaller quantities so that they are rendered singularly undetectable. Powerful discretion. Virginian cedar wood and Sri Lankan nutmeg are just two of the featured stars.
At the top of the aroma a sensual and spicy organic black pepper note leads. Targeted, decisive and singular.
We used 15% more beeswax than usual so the wax feels a little harder but the potency of the aroma is significant when burned.
It is important to acknowledge the alliances that I forged during the development period for Assassin Belarus. Stepping right out of my comfort zone I reached out to the local businesses in Hackney and asked if they would like to align. Using my humble platform as an opportunity to showcase all of our unique talents in one symphony. We designed a signature cocktail called Belarus with the Looking Glass Cocktail Club, if you'd like to experience or try to make your own at home, the Looking Glass can be contacted by taking a peek here. We worked with up and coming culinary team Kai, who designed five superb espionage inspired canapés and executed an industrious "Pollock" style expressive food and art display. Take a look at their skills here ! We produced a short film with W4 Films headed by Arabella Burfitt-Dons, it is beyond incredible, take a peek here !
Friends from the industry stepped in to support (not only by showing up despite the encroaching difficulties) but supported by ensuring that we had marketing support and attendees. While confirmed journalists proverbially dropped like flies (I had managed to secure 27 British press by initiating a targeted and consistent approach), my supporters stepped in and ensured that we still achieved exposure. Thank you to Katie Meehan and Stephan Matthews for everything they did, it will never be forgotten.
Sadly three days after launch the world that we live in changed. The government announced that for the foreseeable future we would remain in lockdown. I can't even fathom the reality of the horror show that people are dealing with. Oddly ironic that my concept explores the worlds that exist underneath our reality and then reality changed right in front of our eyes.
I tried to volunteer for the NHS and the quota was filled almost instantly. So instead of offering my actual self I offered my artistry and we sent three care packages to the workers who are currently doing eighteen hour shifts and more while they deal with the crisis that shapes our new reality. My heart reaches out to everyone.