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YVRA 1958 / L'essence de l'essence

Creative Agency:
Creative Director: Durk Hattink
Project Type: Produced, Commercial Work
Client: YVRA 1958
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Packaging Contents: Perfume
Packaging Materials: Glass, cardboard & paper

Once an established journalist, Yvo van Regteren Altena became immersed in the world of fragrance houses and new scents. As a result of this exposure, renowned perfumers, including François Demachy from Dior and Jean-Claude Ellena from Hermès, encouraged him to create his own perfume. Yvo started this creative journey in 2013, which culminated in the launch of YVRA 1958 in 2016. The name refers to his initials and date of birth.

Yvo has extensive experience in collaborating with creative director Durk Hattink. The packaging of YVRA 1958 had to embody the subdued yet indulgent character of a niche fragrance with a high perfume concentration of 20%. Hattink was also requested to connect Yvo’s beloved 1950s era to the present using a nostalgic yet timeless color scheme and typography. Hattink: “Inspired by the citrusy nature of the fragrance, a muted shade of orange was the obvious color choice. If you look closely at the details of the box, you can see Yvo’s love for subtle striping.

However designing the flacon presented a whole new set of challenges. When I asked Yvo what our allowed expenditure was, he told me ‘budgets are made to be broken.’ And that is exactly what happened. Transforming the most precious materials into our vision of YVRA 1958 requires a high level of craftsmanship and commitment. Yet all the hard work paid off. During our visit to Pitti Fragranze in Florence, Chandler Burr, former New York Times perfume critic, called YVRA 1958 ‘extremely elegant and sophisticated’ and his reaction exceeded our wildest expectations.

What's Unique?
During the whole design process, Yvo and I discussed many different options. What struck us the most was the total lack of humor and wit in the world of fragrances. We tried to inject some tomfoolery by adding a few comical details to YVRA 1958. During final testing of the product someone slightly irked Yvo by commenting that it was as if he had created a chic, high-end insect repellent. I, of course, simply couldn’t resist making a small reference to this. If you glance through the bottle and read the inside of the label you notice the sketch of a dead mosquito and the inscription, “women die for it, mosquitos too”. Yvo’s meticulous eye for detail led me to include a booklet elaborating upon his long list of ingredients, which I also had engraved on the bottle.

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