“We want to share our passion, invite people to our world and guide them in discovering the beautiful work of scents.”

Swedish niche perfumers Agonist celebrates their 10 year anniversary in the most fitting way – by launching new unisex scent ‘Say Yes’. As part of the year-long celebration – which includes expansion in Asia and Scandinavia – founding couple Christine and Niclas Lydeen is coming to Stockholm for a pop up at Auktionsverket on October 4-7, same time as the big Fashion! auction. We invited ourselves ahead of time to a virtual meet and greet with Niclas, and asked him to share some knowledge, news and insight.    

Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary! How has your passion for and relationship to scent developed over this time?  

– It started more as a fascination for the sense of smell and the perception of beauty surrounding the perfume industry. We felt that we wanted to add something new and after intense research, and several years in the industry, our passion for scent has just increased and become something we live for and constantly work with.

What is to expect from your pop up at Auktionsverket, and why did you choose this location?  

– Having worked mostly internationally with Agonist, we are now finding that the interest has increased a lot in Sweden and Scandinavia, and we want to share our passion, invite people to our world and guide them in discovering the beautiful work of scents. Auktionsverket is a great location, and the context is perfect since they have their fashion auction at the same time; and we work with invisible fashion.

Tell us about your new perfume ‘Say Yes’ and the process of creating it.

– Scent has amazing power to inspire, influence our wellbeing and give energy. We felt that the world now needs more hope, happiness and positive energy. A perfume that makes you say ‘yes’ to life, feel brave and inspire you and others to challenge fear and negativity. The power of optimism.

“Just let go of the old concept of signature scents and start exploring how a scent can complement your style and self expression.”

What importance does your Swedish heritage have to you creatively, and how is this recognizable in your products?

– We travel the world to get inspiration and ingredients for our perfumes. Then we come back to Sweden where we have our studio, and where we develop the creative platform for each new project. It’s something about the contrasts and the contemplative approach that we enjoy and that somehow is conveyed in our work; in the way the compositions are made, where we work with the traditional art of perfume making but add our Scandinavian vision; it is conveyed in the design of our bottles where the focus is in details; and in the transparent way we include the customer in the olfactive pyramids by placing all the notes on the front of the bottle so you can follow how the scent develops. We believe in transparency, equality (scent goes beyond gender) and individuality (each scent experience is unique for each individual).

How do you make your perfumes, and what ingredients do you favor?

– We have a small team of highly skilled perfume artisans in France and Italy that we have worked with since day one. Together we have developed a unique formula that we apply to each new project to keep the Agonist character as a red thread, even though each perfume is different from the other. What constitutes a Agonist scent is the longevity (how long it stays on your skin), the quality of raw material and the way it develops during the day. We love to work with different woods, oud and flowers, and always add something unexpected.

How do you relate to sustainability in your work?

– We never take any shortcuts in our selection of raw material. We invest a lot in the product and not in marketing. When you try them, you will feel a big difference in the product, and that makes the price higher than regular perfumes. We believe in quality before quantity.

Can you develop this phrase: ‘Scent is a silent language’?

– It is an expression of our poetic approach to perfume making. A scent has the power to evoke memories, inspire fantasies and associations, and tell you stories. We want everybody to discover the power of scent, wake up their noses and ask themselves ‘what does my life smell like what does the scents around say’. The people around you, your loved ones, the food you are making, the flowers in your home, the weather and environment around you – life becomes more interesting when you pay attention to all of your senses.  

All your perfumes are unisex. What’s the secret to making a perfume the works for all genders?

– The secret is to focus on the actual ingredients and not consider the concept of gender at all. Perfume goes beyond gender.

How do you create a perfect scent wardrobe, and what does yours look/smell like?

– We have different perfumes for different moods and situations: the power scents, for when you want to make an impression; the seductive scents for when you want to entice and be beautiful; the scents for well-being, that adds energy and makes you become your best self, and so on. So just let go of the old concept of signature scents and start exploring how a scent can complement your style and self expression.    

What’s on the horizon for Agonist?

– We have a lot of interesting collaborations planned ahead and will keep introducing new scent in our collection.


Visit Agonist here and follow them here.

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