The company specialises in supplying ‘ethical’ fox fur for use in clothing. The idea to commission a fragrance came from Nikolas Gleber, a young Berlin based consultant who specialises in advising companies on lifestyle and sustainability matters.
“Friendly Fur uses animals that are not killed for fashion” he explains. The foxes have been killed as a result of forest management, either due to epidemics or ground breeder management. These pelts are normally thrown away.” Gleber estimates that about 60,000 pelts a year are potentially available. “I heard about this, so I decided to create a network to use these resources”, he says.
He decided to commission a perfume after a newspaper described him as ‘the star of green glamour’. Gleber says it’s important to remember that it is not a contradiction to be green, but also stylish.
“I’m not in the perfume scene, but I thought to myself, how does it smell this Green Glamour? ” says Gleber, “then a friend introduced me to a girl from Paris, and she turned out to work for Symrise. She said ‘Why don’t you give my friend Mark a call?’
The Mark in question turned out to be perfumer Mark Buxton, though Gleber had no idea who he was or his stature in the perfume world.
“I called Mark and he said, ‘sure’ I’ll do it. I knew what I wanted the flacon to look like, so I designed it and took it to him. I told Mark ‘it has to smell of neon green and dark forest,’ and I told him about my personal favourite ingredients like roses, violets and oak tree. He sent me the first hit and that was it. It was exactly the right thing, we didn’t need to change it at all. It starts off green then it goes to civet and castoreum.”
Gleber studied Arts and Marketing at University. “I called the perfume À Rebours, because in French it means going against the grain - even if it’s tough and the harder way and hurts a little, sometimes art has to hurt a little. À Rebours is also the name of a very beautiful novel written by Joris-Karl Huysmans about an artist in 1884, he’s a little bit crazy too, striving for perfectionism. A friend gave it to me and said I reminded him of that character – I hope I’m not as crazy!”
À Rebours EDP costs €180 for 20ml, and the refill, 2x20ml bottles cost €80 Euros. Enquiries about availability can be made at the Friendly Fur website.