A Carbon-Negative Perfume That Evokes the Earth’s Natural Elements
While many businesses, in the midst of the climate crisis, scramble to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, the New York start-up Air Company zeroes in on enhancing its production process, which sucks CO2 out of the atmosphere. Co-founded by entrepreneur Greg Constantine and chemist Stafford Sheehan, in 2017, the brand uses a proprietary procedure to convert carbon dioxide into impurity-free alcohols, which serve as the foundation for carbon-negative liquids including hand sanitizer and vodka (the latter of which Joe Doucet, the company’s partner and designer, spoke with us about in 2019). Recently, the company ventured into the fragrance realm with Air Eau de Parfum, a unisex, limited-edition concotion pulled quite literally out of thin air.
Science is key to making the sweet-smelling scent. The company begins by putting carbon dioxide and hydrogen into its Carbon Conversion Reactor, a solar-powered apparatus that transforms the gases into methanol, ethanol, and water. The latter two are then mixed together by hand, and given olfactory dimension via a handful of floral ingredients: top notes of orange peel and fig leaf make way for jasmine, violet, azalea, and sweetwater, which sit upon a base of musk and tobacco. (Air Company worked with Joya Studio, a Brooklyn-based fragrance design and development firm, to develop the well-rounded bouquet.) The fluid is housed in a clear bottle that can be topped in one of three ways: with a high-gloss chrome or satin-white cap, or with a simple chrome-finished clip that holds the pump in place for travel.
The resulting perfume is intended to bring the beauty, and the fragility, of the earth’s environment to mind. “I wanted it to be emulative of the elements—air, water, and sun—the three major things that make up our entire technological process,” Constantine recently told The Zoe Report. “The planet will survive and live on, but it’s going to become really tough for us to be able to stay here if we don’t act as soon as possible—as in yesterday.”