Niels Strøyer Christophersen, founder of the Copenhagen based design studio and apothecary Frama, shares the scents that send him. By Jamie Rosen.
When Niels Strøyer Christophersen moved his design company Frama into St. Pauls Apotek, a former apothecary building in Copenhagen, it rounded out a vision he had for a house of design, music, lifestyle, food and art. “It brought a new energy,” he says. “People thought we were this industrial brand with metal and visible joints, but the pharmacy gave us this really interesting dynamic in what we presented, with more of a focus on natural materials, and smells that are there, so subtly you’re not sure they’re coming from.”
Those smells, the kind that seep into your home, or become one with your body, have also informed Frama’s Apothecary line, scented personal and home care products with a minimalist aesthetic and aromas that are grounded in nature. “Fragrance should be something you wear and not the fragrance that wears you,” he adds, sharing a particular affinity for the smells that stay, the ones that become part of an environment. Here, he shares the stories behind a few of Frama’s most memorable products, each intended to become integrated into the spaces you inhabit.
“A friend of mine gifted me a perfume for my birthday and we’d been at the pharmacy for a year. It was a tiny bottle, and it didn’t have a name. She made it from scratch, inspired by me and our new space with its old storage and smells of wood. It took a year and half, but we turned that into St. Pauls.” Those cabinets of wood with tinted glass have led to the brand’s first perfume, a delicate yet deep expression made with Mysore sandalwood, cedarwood, lemongrass and coriander.
“This scent is like a cousin to St. Pauls, it’s related but the smell is slightly different and the application is different. These and the St. Paul’s perfume were the first three products we introduced.” The Hand Wash and Hand Lotion are vegan formulas made with scents of ylang-ylang and wood, and come in reusable glass bottles.
“A friend of mine in South Korea connected us with a friend of hers who invented this gift she could give clients at the end of a partnership. It was something I’ve never seen, so sophisticated but extremely material-based and pure, everything from the spheres of baked Korean soil to the wooden pine box.” He developed the idea with them even further, and worked with a nose in Korea to create a scented object for the home that is as visually striking to look at as it is grounding to smell.