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Luxury perfume house Etat Libre d’Orange in France is set to release a fragrance made from organic waste this fall. Les Fleurs du Déchet (“The Flowers of Waste”) aims to showcase the ‘beauty’ in waste and reuse, as well as spark a conversation around how we utilize resources. Etat Libre d’Orange’s other perfumes retail for around USD 150 and include Jasmin et Cigarette (“Jasmine and Cigarette”) and Putains de Palais (“Palace Whores”).

For the first time, smelling like trash is now an intentional act! But Etat Libre d’Orange isn’t the only fragrance creator embracing the weird and the wonderful: Glossier sells “You”, enhancing the scent of your own skin, while Byredo will be releasing “Elevator Music”, a deliberately understated ‘background’ scent. Collectively, these perfumes are rebelling against the traditional fragrance industry – with its focus on evoking romance and sensuality – and appealing to novel and more progressive consumer desires. After all, what could be a more counter-intuitive (yet strangely compelling) status story for consumers than wearing a scent made from organic waste?!

But this trend reaches beyond the beauty industry. We see brand after brand subverting the rules of its sector and/or its own brand heritage to cut through the noise. Witness Lacoste’s crocodile-less polos and Diesel’s ‘authentic’ knock-off store.

Which industry norms could you rebel against? And are you prepared to be as bold – and as memorable – as Etat Libre d’Orange?

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