Kenzo Power


The new perfume from Kenzo caught my eye
upon a recent visit to the drugstore. Glancing from corner of my eye, I noticed
it was standing out from the perfume crowd if only because of its unusually big
size. The box casted a shadow on all of the other small, after all, perfume
bottles. When I came closer, I noticed that the packaging was made of textured
paper, with little embossed detail. Then I reached for the metal bottle with a
shape that seemed to come from an alcohol brand instead. Later on I discovered
it was designed be renowned Japanese designer Kenya Hara, who indeed used a
bottle he had previously designed for… sake. This is how Kenya Hara describes the process of designing the bottle:

"I designed a very simple bottle for Sake called Hakkin. This bottle holds 720ml of liquor
and I had that clearly in my head as one of the factors to be included in its
design. When I was asked to design this perfume bottle, I did not know if I
could apply this idea of Sake to perfume. I was actually more doubtful at first
whether I could rearrange a Sake bottle for perfume. I drafted many sketches
for the perfume bottle along with what resembles a Hakkin's bottle design but I
became aware that it was difficult to overcome the 'Hakkin's design. And I
realized what I was expected to do here.

What I had in my mind may have been an image of design for 720ml. By changing
the size, the liquor bottle can become that of perfume or vice versa without
altering the shape or design. I realized that it is sometimes possible to
create a few different bottles by using the same form with different

Following – photos of
the Kenzo range and more from Kenya Hara.


"The bottle was beginning to form its shape but we then needed to work on the package. Perfume is usually displayed on the shelf in accumulated manner so the boxes needed some creativity without over
doing them. After consideration, we decided to make the box with a slight angle
of inclination toward the top. By doing so, there creates some space for lights
to come in from above when the boxes are displayed together. This very minor
change created a tremendous effect to the box and the display, I persuaded
strongly to use this idea for the box. It actually turned out to be a bit
difficult to make this box with inclination but it came out nicely at the end
thanks to the package manufacturer’s efforts. The package may look simply
plain, but we carefully planned every detail such as paper which was chosen by
its touch and texture. For the paper, we decided to use something with special
features which I created in the past. This paper is unique in a way that
letters become dented and semitransparent after printing. We wanted to use this
paper for the box and found something of similarity in European Market."


"Kenzo is a
brand of colors, but I only use colors when necessary because I am a designer
of “emptiness”. Of course I use colors as communication method such as using
red for fire extinguisher or for essential buttons on machines, but I minimize
the usage as much as possible for other purposes such as design. If I am to use
metal, I will use its original metallic color. When using the glass, paper or
whatever the material would be, I will use their original colors. Upon printing
words on the product, I will use black prints without any question. As I am
always piling up simple ideas as such for my designs, the design that I
presented for this project too was not colorful."