Started with a fashion agency. Now we're here. How Photo/genics + Co dreams up its innovative fragrances housed in irresistible vessels.
“We don’t want throwaway products. We want people to keep them forever.”
It may be cliche to say true creativity knows no bounds, but in the case of Photo/genics + Co, it is undeniably the case. The brand was born from Photogenics Media, a fashion agency in Los Angeles which has expanded its mission from representing models and artistic talent to producing its own content and editorial products. A home aromatics line founded in 2017 has become a physical manifestation of founder Nicole Bordeaux’s experience as a child surrounded by medicinal herbs and an edgy, inventive design sensibility that makes its way to every single item. To start, the fragrances have roots in psychoactive effects of different plants, with each whiff evoking the therapeutic feeling one gets from consuming them. “We’re spiritual out here in California,” says creative director Melanie De Jesus. “We wanted to play with that.” The first three scents—Hashish, Indica and Sativa—nod to different experiences with cannabis. Hashish has an opulent warmth, with a blend of simmering spices, amber, black currant and wormwood. Indica is cleaner, more mellow and relaxing, with cool notes of ivy, musk and bayleaf. And because Sativa results in a more uplifting high, the scent is also bright and uplifting, with sheer white florals and tart geranium. Its newest scent, Resin, takes inspiration from the West Coast. “It was inspired by the cliffs of Central California,” says De Jesus. “It has this misty quality. You smell a little campfire in the background and all you see in front of you is a dark, vast ocean.”
Each fragrance comes in a variety of formats, from candles in concrete buckets with steel lids to diffusers in spherical bowls topped with sharp, spiky handles. De Jesus cites design references as diverse as brutalist architecture, S&M, and a quotidien bucket. Both the interior mists and extraits de parfum come in bottles that nestle on gray concrete bases, creating a minimalist arrangement of shapes and textures that would feel at home anywhere at home. De Jesus shares that fans keep the bases as paperweights or stack multiples in interesting ways, making each piece enjoyable as an olfactory offering and a lasting design object. “We don’t want throwaway products,” she says. “We want people to keep them forever.”