A smell can instantly transport us back to a place and time in our memories, and it’s that evocative olfactory power that creative directors Katie Facada and Thibault Gerard hope to harness with this very funny new project. “Usually it’s somewhere like a tropical island, or a warm summer evening,” says Facada. “We felt it would be fun to transport people to a place they never thought they’d long for: the office.”
The Eau D’Office scented candle range recreates six distinct odours reminiscent of their studio in New York, which aims to “bring a piece of the office to every employee’s home”. Scents range from the familiar and comforting “Warm 96-page deck left on the printer,” and “Afternoon rush at the coffee bar,” to the altogether less appealing “Room 12F.1 after a 6-hour workshop,” and bordering on repulsive “breakfast leftovers in edit suite 1”.
The accompanying lookbook describes each bouquet much like its peers in Diptyque, or a fine whisky. For example, the scent of “Thursday happy hour on a high table,” is summed up as “an inviting aroma of bourbon base notes, white claw middle notes, and Cheetos top notes”. And “Sushi Thursday at the cafe,” is explained as “spicy wasabi meets the zesty cleaning spray on a freshly wiped table”.
For the aesthetic of the range, the duo aimed to “marry R/GA’s minimal design aesthetic with the candle and fragrance worlds, to add to the humour and play up the contrast between the sophistication of that world and our scents that were anything but,” explains Gerard. The creative directors worked with Matthew Woodward on the design, who incidentally was also behind the very popular (and terribly kerned) Halloween typeface Hellvetica; and Thomas Huerta on product photography.
Facada and Gerard originally created the candles as a joke leaving present for two colleagues, but it went down so well the range is now available to request by any of R/GA New York’s 650 employees longing for a little studio ambience while working at home. It marked the anniversary of a year out of the office, “but in a way that says ‘Okay, a year is a long time. We are really starting to miss this place and all the people we spent our days with’”.
Peruse the full range on the project's Instagram page.
GalleryKatie Facada and Thibault Gerard, R/GA: Eau D'Office (Copyright © R/GA, 2021)
Katie Facada and Thibault Gerard, R/GA: Eau D'Office (Copyright © R/GA, 2021)