Arcaea Launches Fragrances That Smell Like Extinct Flowers

Biotech start-up Arcaea is taking floral fragrances back to the past, with a new range of scents based on extinct flowers.

Its new brand, Future Society, uses sequenced DNA from extinct flowers as inspiration for these formulations. That’s because this technology makes it possible to understand what scent molecules these flowers may have once produced.

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Once sourced, this data was then shared with perfumers including Daniela Andrier and Olivia Jan, both at Givaudan, and Jérome Epinette of Robertet, who created Future Society’s Scent Surrection Collection.

Fragrance has always been rooted in powerful storytelling and sensory experiences. We are excited to show how biology can create new stories and product experiences. Science is about more than clinical studies, it also represents new creative tools,” said Jasmina Aganovic, chief executive officer of Arcaea.

Launching with six scents, Future Society’s full-sized fragrances are available now on its website and will roll out on Oct. 16 on and in 20 Nordstrom doors. Each 50ml fragrance is priced at $98.

Grassland Opera, formulated by Jan, is based on the orbexilum stipulatum, last seen in 2018 in North American Plains. It became extinct due to buffalo migration, according to Arcaea; Reclaimed Flame, formulated by Andriere, is inspired by the leucadendron grandiflorum, last spotted in 1960 in South Africa, but wiped out by wildfires; Solar Canopy, formulated by Epinette, takes inspiration from hibiscadelphus wilderianus, last recorded on Hawaii’s southern slope in 1912; Invisible Woods, formulated by Andriere, is based on the wendlandia angustifolia, last seen in the India Western Mountains in 1917; Floating Forest, formulated by Epinette, is focused on the shorea cuspidata, last recorded in Borneo in 1998, and Haunted Rose, based on the Macrostylis villosa subspecies one and two and also formulated by Epinette, was last seen in South Africa in 1960.

“Each of these fragrances will transport you to another time and place which would not be possible without the groundbreaking science,” Aganovic added.

Arcaea raised $78 million in Series A Funding from investors including Chanel, Givaudan and Olaplex during the COVID-19 global pandemic, and earlier this year launched its first ingredient technology, ScentARC, which is geared toward deodorant brands.

Designed to target specific underarm microbes, the patent-pending prebiotic technology shifts a user’s odor profile by selectively and naturally preventing production of odorous compounds without antimicrobials or masking smells.

Arcaea was incubated on the Ginkgo Bioworks platform, which is where the original sequencing data for the extinct flowers was first generated.

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