Of darkness and light, water and moss, aroma and air

Image: Jens Markus Lindhe

The Cisterns, Copenhagen’s underground reservoir, was built in the mid-19th century in an attempt to halt the spread of cholera through the city’s existing water supply. In 1996, it was transformed into a unique exhibition space – one with a constant flow of water, consistently high humidity and CO2 content, and relatively little light.

As part of celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Denmark and Japan, The Cisterns is currently host to an extraordinary installation by renowned Japanese architect Hiroshi Sambuichi – widely known for his sensitivity to the natural environment. Titled ‘The Water’, it effects a wondrous subterranean world that binds the Copenhagen site to Japanese landscapes and culture – particularly in its interpretation of Itsukushima Shrine, a Shinto landmark on the western island of Miyajima.

In atmosphere, philosophy and materiality, the installation aligns uncannily with the thinking and inspirations behind our latest fragrance, Hwyl. Visitors will encounter a similar aroma throughout the installation due to Sambuichi’s use of Cedar, Hinoki and moss – all key influences for Hwyl.

Accordingly, we are delighted to partner with The Cisterns to invite you to an on-site talk on 20 January by perfumer Barnabé Fillion, with whom we collaborated on its creation. Barnabé will speak about our partnership, the creative process behind Hwyl, its key ingredients and the ways in which his work resonates with that of Sambuichi.

Camilla Stig, Architect, from The Cisterns will also be in attendance to speak about The Cisterns and its collaboration with Sambuichi. A question-and-answer session will follow the talks between the two speakers.


Should you wish to join us for this special event, please note that places are limited, and that they will be given to the swiftest respondents. Those who are successful (only) will be notified by email.

If you are unable to attend, we warmly encourage your visit to the installation on another occasion; it continues at The Cisterns until 2 February 2018.



Saturday 20 January, 2.30pm



The Cisterns


2000 Frederiksberg


Should you not already have received a reply from Aesop Frederiksberg, you are unfortunately not granted a space at the event. As numbers are strictly limited, we kindly ask successful respondents to confirm their attendance by Thursday 18 January.