Sustain by APC is a new total-concept perfume inspired by Ray Davies's song Waterloo Sunset. The composition contains 12 essential oils to allude to the 12 string guitar used to play the song. The wooden packaging is the reproduction of the numerical image of that same song. The name was chosen to refer to the pedal that prolongs a musical accord. Finally, in this intertwining of perfume and music, one of the ideas for the scent was to express "...the perception of the smell of a guitar case --lined in bright velvet-- in which rose petals would have been scattered."
The scent was introduced on September 10, 2009. Only 300 copies have been released worldwide.
Jean Touitou, the founder of fashion label A.P.C. did not even like perfume in the first place. But then impromptu fell hard for the line of fragrances created by LA-based perfumer Haley Alexander van Oosten. Her wooden packaging was a big part of the charm...
You can read more about the creative process here
"The mere idea of making a perfume turns me off. I find this vulgar and gross. One of the reasons is that there are quite a few good ones around already. If push came to shove, I would have thought about some Cologne reminiscent of industry, in a tin bottle; and that would mean something like... 'This is it, no kidding'. I haven't got a clue to what "it" stands for, by the way. So, no perfume in sight.
Then one day in Los Angeles I meet a girl who blends essential oils and displays them in little wooden boxes containing glass bottles containing the oil. I find this a bit too feminine, this idea of essential oil, the way you apply it and the tiny quantities involved, the price, the size of the bottle.
Definitely girls stuff. I nevertheless sample some, and it quickly becomes first pleasant then necessary, before this new obsession turns into an addiction."
Of the 300 copies distributed worldwide, there are 12 bottles at Colette. Each 8 ml perfume is priced at 180€.
You can watch a video of a live rendition of Waterloo Sunset by Ray Davies below,