neo-animism: the first fragrance by mami wata

African surf culture. That’s our story. We like to tell it in many ways, mainly through the lens of African design principles and storytelling. But how else?

Fragrance is a powerful storyteller. But how could we tell the story of African surf culture in a scent?

Surf is informed by our experience both in the ocean and our lives around it. We needed scents from both in and out of the ocean to tell the story.

Our fine fragrance Neo-Animism has been created with two dominant notes:

African ocean minerals. These capture the experience of being in the water. The minerals in the ocean are understood by our bodies and minds in almost imperceptible ways, but it is through our nose that we identify them.

‘Green bar soap’ is a ubiquitous soap product available throughout Africa. It is used on everything from bodies to clothing and all manner of things that need cleaning. This captures the daily lived experience of African surfers growing up in Southern Africa. The most common brand of green bar soap in sub-Saharan Africa is called ‘Sunlight’. It has the power to conjure memories for many people, summoning ideas of mothers, home, fresh linen or the beginning of a new day. The use of a ‘common' scent for a fine fragrance challenges the idea of luxury. 

Neo-Animism brings together the scents of ocean minerals and green bar soap to tell a unique story of African surf culture.

Mami Wata_Neo-Animism_FragranceThe signature fragrance was developed in partnership with South African-born Etienne de Swardt, founder of niche fragrance house Etat Libre D’Orange and French nose Mathilde Bijaoui.

The name? The fragrance is part of our new Luck Is Alive range which is informed by Animism, the belief that all objects have a sentient life spirit. Like the ocean. Or even the idea of luck.

Neo-Animism is a fragrance that is alive. 

Mami Wata_Neo-Animism_Fragrance
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