Today I received an exciting package from Aesop. As always I was struck by the captivating fragrance coming from the trademark cotton bag, but this time I was surprised by the weight of it. Definitely heavier than skincare, I was delighted to discover Aesop’s first piece of design for interiors, the Brass Oil Burner, designed for Aesop by Studio Henry Wilson. Featuring the Sydney-based designer’s signature sculptural expression and use of metals, I was immediately wowed by the beautiful design. But even more so when I learnt about the fascinating creative process behind the collaboration. Crafted from solid brass in Australia using a lost wax casting process—an ancient technique utilising wax moulds to cast metal objects—to ensure each vessel has its own character and brass patina, the alluring finish will also evolve over time. 

Weighing a substantial one kilogram, the intentionally uneven brass design is both pleasing and practical in equal measure. Dr Kate Forbes, Aesop General Manager, Product and R&D, says “The Brass Oil Burner is Aesop’s first foray into retailing a designed object and it represents an interesting new product direction for the company as it combines our passions of design, function and scent into the one product.” The resulting brass vessel has a contemporary form that marries purpose and timeless design to burn the distinctive Aesop oil burner blends.

Long-time Aesop collaborator Henry Wilson had previously designed two Aesop signature stores and exhibited his work in Aesop Brera, Milan during Salone del Mobile in 2017. The designer was inspired by asymmetry, the imperfect beauty of pouring molten brass, and the quiet ritual of lighting a candle. He explains, “The design intent was to create a vessel which was part tool, part votive art object, and to reflect Aesop’s strong eastern philosophy with regards to design where importance is placed on the irregular and asymmetrical as points of unique beauty and poetry. The amorphic design was carefully evolved to reflect the imperfect nature and process of casting molten metal, while the soft edges and quiet forms are intended to cradle the heat and invite a gentle intrigue.”

Designing the Brass Oil Burner presented a creative challenge for Henry and Aesop, the product evolving considerably during the design process. “We experimented with a variety of product shapes and materials, as each design alteration and material choice impacted the object functionality. We eventually settled on brass for its superior heat transfer properties, its tactility and warmth, and its long affiliation with candlelight.”

Alongside the release, Aesop is also launching a new Oil Burner Blend, Béatrice. The fourth blend in the Aesop range, I couldn’t wait to test it out, and my living room has been infused with the most gorgeous woody, citrus scent. Featuring notes of Patchouli and Cedar Atlas, the fragrance is even more enjoyable due to the incredible brass vessel it is housed in.  

Styling and photography by Michelle Halford for TDC

The Aesop Brass Oil Burner and Béatrice Oil Burner Blend is available at Aesop signature stores and Aesop online globally, from September 24, 2018.



This post was created in collaboration with Aesop. I only work with products I love and all opinions are my own. For more information please visit my About Page.

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