A decade or so ago, a delightful scientific discovery was made: skin cells have sound receptors, akin to those found in the ears. This revelation that the skin can quite literally ‘hear’ sound validated a conviction that had shaped the Aesop experience from the very start—that the right soundscape for an occasion is as affecting as the right aroma for a room, or the right formulation for a skin type. Each attends to the body and psyche, encountering that specific environment, and enhancing it.
Sound has always been held in great reverence at Aesop—as has silence, when the time calls for it. From the literal mixtapes of New York bebop, Melbourne post-punk, Nina Simone and Gregorian chant that played in our first stores, to the digitally disseminated tunes that inspirit our spaces around the world today, the auditory sense has been used to establish an atmosphere—be it via music, or a field recording, or a spoken story.
In our stores, our offices, and our online premises, sound reverberates—whether to set a mood of tranquillity, induce a surge of energy, or provoke curiosity. This devotion to imbuing spaces with meaningful vibrations comes together in Radiomatique, our sonic catchment. It is here that Playlists, Mixtapes and Future Fables can be found, curated to suit the situation, and make the moment.
Curated in-house, our themed Playlists are designed to provide auditory answers to everyday needs. Starting at the very beginning—of the week, that is—Music for Mondays is an extensive collection of reviving recordings that is frequently refreshed to make the commencement of your seven-day cycle pert and productive. Then there’s Music for The Task at Hand, featuring textured tracks aimed at heightening focus, supporting thought, or turning a chore from a bore to a bliss.
Music for Hosting is a selection totalling more than seventeen hours (and counting), designed to run like a current under the flow of conversation at boisterous celebrations and intimate dinner parties alike. The ample duration of this Playlist ensures the serving up of fresh sonic fare, gathering after gathering. After the party, the desire to wash it all away with a soothing soundtrack can be answered via Music for Bathing, the consummate complement to a well-earned soak. And finally, Music for Midnight is the list for the most restless late-night contemplator, designed to lend a cinematic quality to the wee hours.
By rousing the spirits, telling a tale, firing up a dance, or inviting a chorus, music disintegrates the barriers between us. Aesop Mixtapes—a veritable kaleidoscope of global voices sharing auditory experiences—is a place to revel in the connective power of music. Created and broadcast in partnership with Worldwide FM, these 60-minute compilations are created by individual artists to reflect their style, taste and story. From the transcendent soundscapes proffered by AUKA—trombonist and bandleader of the all-female Latin ensemble Colectiva—to the playlist of Australian First Nations singers selected by Gumbaynggirr and Yamatji singer-songwriter Emma Donavan, to the hour of tranquil sounds from nature and original compositions woven together by American multi-instrumentalist Laraaji, Radiomatique Mixtapes is a gradient of audible colours, flavours, scenes and feelings to elevate everything from meditative train rides to meandering wanders to sleepy Sundays.
Created in partnership with Literary Hub, Future Fables is the Aesop podcast of fabulous tales conjured by esteemed writers from around the world, designed to guide and inspire. The series charts a course through friendship, envy, empathy, fear, change, love, death, community, and everything in between—all through the adventures of rats, river cats, wolves, butterfly folk, and even humans. With a nod to the narrative form of the great fabulist and company namesake, each of these mini fictions unfolds as a kind of fanciful bedtime story for adults, while taking the listener on a journey through contemplation-inducing, conversation-provoking notions. For maximum effect, these flights of fancy are best enjoyed by the light of an aromatic candle, under a cosy quilt, and with a cup of something warm, fragrant and delicious.
‘I have a rendezvous with life.’Countee Cullen