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Stora Skuggan Banner

Stockholm, Sweden

We have not followed the traditional way to launch a perfume line by hiring established perfumers and design agencies and so on. We have done everything ourselves; every little detail has been formed by our hands.

— -Tomas Hempel, co-founder
Stora Skuggan was founded by a group of five multidisciplinary artists – Anna Barkne, Tomas Hempel, Olle Hemmendorff, Jonas Nordin & Martin Nicolausson – who met in 2005 whilst studying together at Stockholm’s Beckmans College of Design. The five embarked on a journey of olfactive exploration, learning and experimenting over years, before officially launching in 2015 with their first fragrance: Fantôme de Maules.
Swedish for “the big shadow”, Stora Skuggan meticulously handcraft gender-fluid niche fragrances, each imbued with an enchanting narrative. Combining the essence of nature with the refinement of Scandinavian design, their six fragrances evoke an ethereal escapism.

An olfactory impression of gold, with radiant warmth from saffron and blood orange, and the glossy, luxurious musk velvione (a material that has been described as pressing the nose to the skin of a newborn’s scalp). Gum acacia, a syrup made from acacia sap, provides sugary sweetness balanced by salty amber and incense.

The setting: Maules, a small village in the french-speaking part of Switzerland, surrounded by agricultural fields and dense forests. The subject: An enigmatic being, seen by many wandering the local woodlands for the past decade, dressed in nothing but cloaked camouflage and an obsolete mask. Most likely human but one cannot be sure. Looming at almost two meters tall he seems to take particular interest in the surrounding flora and fauna.

A highly unique fragrance, Mistpouffer captures the scent of mystical thunder – a sonic boom coming from the fog. After four years of trying to capture this phenomenon in scent, the result is a fragrance that is foggy but not aquatic; smoky but not heavy; natural, but in equal parts supernatural.

The famous Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner is considered the founder of modern zoology, but as a true 16th century scientist he was also: a prominent physician, botanist, linguist and – of course – spelunking adventurer. In his ‘Descriptio Montis Fracti sive Montis Pilati’ from 1555, he chronicles his climb to the summit of Mount Pilatus, but we also get to follow him into the caves of the Alps. ‘At night, the moon shines into the cave so brightly the light itself seems to take form, like a mist. It gathers in the ceiling and makes the limestone stalactites glitter and gleam, dripping tears of white liquid into puddles on the rock floor that never dries. Moonmilk.’

Silphium was a plant that grew in the area of Cyrene, present day Libya, and was widely renowned as a spice, medicinal herb and perfume ingredient throughout the empires of the classical antiquity. Stora Skuggan’s rendition of this historical plant is created by researching surviving assumed relatives of Silphium, using aromachemicals (the molecular building blocks of scents). This is set against a background of ancient incense, woods and leather.

Thumbsucker draws from an ancient story about a king named Yuvanaswa. Embedding nodes of purity and freshness, the heart of this scent creates a deeper sweetness through violet and cherry tones, with an underlying bitterness, just like the story.

Drawing from the eclectic backgrounds of its founders, Stora Skuggan craft fragrances that seamlessly interweave cultural influence and theoretical underpinnings with an air of mystique – we encounter an intersection of Freudian analysis, Indian folklore, an nods to times long gone.
In 2018, the label’s second launch, Silphium – built around an extinct plant used in Ancient Greece and Rome – was named a finalist in the Art and Olfaction Awards. Mistpouffer launched in 2019 after four years in development. The scent attempts to bottle the mystical, unexplained sounds sometimes heard along bodies of water, often likened to a cannon or sonic boom.
The fragrances are presented in sleek glass bottles with stoneware orb lids. Influenced by Scandinavian modernist design, the bottles simultaneously present the artistic divergence of ideas within the fragrance, whilst doubling up as a beautiful object.
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