Is this the future of fragrance?

type - big idea
Big Idea
sector - luxury
Genderless, carbon-neutral, synthetic: luxury veterans Enrico Pietra and Rodrigo Caula are building the future of fragrance – with a little help from NASA technology

You both have a wealth of experience in the luxury industry. Could you tell me more about your backgrounds?

Enrico Pietra: We both completed the master’s in Design for Luxury & Craftsmanship at ÉCAL, where we collaborated with brands like Hermès, Cartier and Christofle. In early 2018 we set up our own design practice, NUOVA, which stands for New Understanding of Various Artefacts. With NUOVA, we worked with companies wanting to explore new codes of luxury and gain a deeper understanding of sustainability and circularity.

Rodrigo Caula: With both of us coming from industrial design backgrounds, we have a deep understanding of how objects and materials are manufactured from A to B. Before co-founding NUOVA, I’d been responsible for managing Tesla’s advanced colour and materials division, developing biomaterial and supply chain integration strategies for the company at large. Extending this ethos through NUOVA, we’d brought similar approaches to brands like Seed, Yeezy and Rimowa, where we oversaw LVMH’s first Web3 launch before non-fungible tokens (NFTs) went mainstream.

Published by:

16 November 2022

Author: Lavinia Fasano

Image: Aeir, US


Aeir, US; Enrico Pietra and Rodrigo Caula, co-founders, Aeir, US

Can you tell me more about the collaboration with LVMH?

RC: We’d been working with the Ethereum Foundation during the pandemic in 2020 and received a grant to develop Web3 and blockchain infrastructure at a time when NFT and decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) technologies were still in their infancy. With Rimowa, we wanted to merge digital technology, physical products and fine craftsmanship, so we designed and manufactured a collection of luxury objects inspired by Rimowa's heritage and legacy called Artefacts for Time Travel. Using materials like Murano glass and space grade aluminium, each piece was made by craftsmen in Italy, authenticated on the blockchain, and sold as NFTs. The winning bidders also received a physical product.

Why, then, after working in several sectors of the luxury industry, did you decide to launch a perfume?

RC: Working at the intersection of luxury, sustainability and biotechnology, and building brands for others, we asked ourselves: ‘What would happen if we took the DNA of NUOVA and incubated a new company that used the most emotional piece of the human puzzle – smell – to express this narrative?’ We created Aeir to express our vision for universal luxury.

‘The perfume industry should take a step back and look at what impact it is having at scale.’
Rodrigo Caula, co-founder, Aeir

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