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Design Seen September/October 2014: Counter Culture

<< Back to Robb Report, Robb Report Home & Style September/October 2014

Bath essentials so beautiful, they deserve to be displayed.


Newcomers to this 27-year-old brand from Melbourne, Australia (shown is New York City’s Bleecker Street shop), are quickly won over by its plant-based products, most of which are free of added fragrances. The minimalist packages, including the elegant amber-colored glass bottles, also make an impression: Many Aesop devotees purchase the mouthwash ($25) and other items simply to decorate their vanities. 212.899.3359, 

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To create the fragrances for this 8-year-old brand, Ben Gorham enlisted the help of perfumers Jérôme Epinette and Olivia Giacobetti. Gorham’s own expertise—he has a fine arts degree from the Stockholm Art School—likely served him well as he conceived the distinctive packaging, complete with custom fonts, stark white labels, and patented magnetic bottle caps, for his perfumes, candles, soaps, body washes, and body creams (from $28 to $220). +46.8.525.02610,

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Pascal Morabito

A designer of everything from watches and jewelry to fashion and sculpture, the French architect Pascal Morabito created a bath line that exudes his Zen aesthetic. Packaging includes sleek vials with polished metal plates. The products, including the newest perfume, Or Black 2014 (shown, from about $90), are available in 40 countries, including Indonesia, at the spa within the Morabito Art Villa on Bali. 

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Tom Dixon

The British designer best known for his orb-like pendant lights has looked to nature for his latest candles, Scent Elements ($115 to $200); their fragrances are inspired by earth, fire, water, and air. Each comes in a colorful glass jar ideal for holding sundries long after the wax has burned down. +,

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Morihata and Chikuno Life

The brands Morihata (from Philadelphia) and Chikuno Life (from Japan) offer personal-care products made from charcoal, which is said to cleanse without chemicals and eliminate odors. The Philadelphia-based store Rikumo offers a range of such items, including Morihata Binchotan swabs ($8.50) and facial soap ($29) and the Chikuno air-purifying cube ($68), made with bamboo charcoal, all of which bring a bold hue and texture to the bathroom. 215.609.4972,  


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