Francisco Costa on capturing the Amazonian dawn in a bottle. By Jamie Rosen.
It’s not just a perfume but truly a delicious thing that can be worn by whomever, however, wherever.”
When Francisco Costa debuted his namesake and earthbound beauty line Costa Brazil three years ago, the Resine de Breu was (and still is) the thing that hooked us, and has since become a coffee table staple. Costa shares that the hunks of raw breu are used for everything from “repelling mosquitos to repair boats to ceremonial rituals s given the belief that it carries calming, grounding and mind-expansive properties.” The ritual of lighting hunks of raw breu on fire is immersive and transporting; this rough artifact from the Amazonian almaciga tree set aflame for an ephemeral burn, wherever you are. But how to make it last longer, and wear it yourself?
Now there is an answer: The resinous breu Costa first smelled while in Brazil has now inspired Costa Brazil’s first scent, AROMA. From the smell to the packaging to the experience of wearing it, it doesn’t feel like a typical perfume in any way. “ I actually call it AROMA for this reason,” says Costa. “It’s not just a perfume but truly a delicious thing that can be worn by whomever, however, wherever. The unique blend is all about enhancing our natural body odor, which is as unique as a fingerprint—and not masking it; I think that’s why it smells so differently on everyone.
It is meant to evoke “waking up in the jungle at dawn,” a feat accomplished by sustainably sourcing ingredients to evoke phytoncides—chemicals emitted from trees that have a proven physiological effect on stress levels and mood—and formulating the product in the lab.
Everything about AROMA feels deep and resonant, like a fragrant liquid left soaking itself into gnarled wood. Tinges of herbaceous cypriol, spicy nutmeg, grassy vetiver and white jungle flowers wrap around a wooden core of cedarwood, patchouli, and amber. It’s the kind of smell that makes you close your eyes and breathe deep, refocus and move forward with something more in your soul. It’s a spiritual wood with a smoky, grounding stickiness we cannot stop smelling.
In keeping with Costa’s commitment to environmental responsibility, the bottle itself represents a new standard in eco-conscious luxury. Its outer casing is a reusable, sustainably-sourced white ash cube in a red oak finish. There is a removable magnetic bottom so glass refills can easily be slipped in and out. The act of opening and closing the cube is its own momentary ritual.
But nothing compares to the spray itself, meant to be applied liberally all over your body or wherever you feel it needs to go, interacting with your own natural aroma to create something entirely new. The intention, says Costa, has “always been love, inclusivity, sensuality, which is a very Brazilian thing to say, I know.” True, but also, mission accomplished.