Birth of a Universe: A Visual Journey Inspired MCM’s New Fragrance

Let Kervin Brisseaux Take You on a Visual Journey Inspired by MCM’s New Genderless Cognac Eau de Parfum and Its Tiny MCM Backpack Bottle.

MCM Eau de Parfum Birth of a Universe Header

Image via Kervin Brisseaux

MCM Eau de Parfum Birth of a Universe Header

MCM just dropped a new Eau de Parfum. With fruit top notes, floral middle notes, and rich, earthy base notes, MCM’s new scent is a novel blend that works well on anyone, regardless of their gender identity. Created by Senior Perfumer Clément Gavarry of Firmenich, the Eau de Parfum plays on the MCM’s travel heritage, and even comes in a tiny bottle designed just like the brand’s beloved leather backpack. Gavarry explains that “tribes of fearless free thinkers” inspired the new MCM Eau de Parfum, motivating him to “design a sustainable blend of classic and modern elements that fuse together to create an attitude of unbridled optimism and powerful connection.”

With that in mind, MCM linked with illustrator, artist, and designer Kervin Brisseaux to create a custom artwork based on the scent. Brisseaux was formally trained as an architect, but his art offers much more than that, adding elements of pop culture, music, video games, and anime to his dynamic sketches, creating vivid pieces exploding with energy. Full of hidden gems and “Easter eggs,” Brisseaux’s work is graphic and spirited, slowly revealing secret symbols and sophisticated allusions upon repeated viewing. For this MCM Eau de Parfum-inspired work, Brisseaux created a mosaic-style drawing in which multiple smaller pieces can stand on their own, but also combine to make an exciting whole. Featuring a magical being and a sprinkling of MCM motifs throughout, Brisseaux’s mosaic takes viewers on a journey inspired by the way MCM’s Eau de Parfum reveals its scent over the course of a day. 

To learn about his work for MCM, Complex recently caught up with Brisseaux for a discussion about his life, art, process, and inspirations. Take a look, then hit up the MCM website to try its new Eau de Parfum for yourself.


Principium: The Beginning

01 Principium The Beginning MCM Eau de Parfum

Brisseaux on Working With MCM Eau de Parfum:

“There was a real opportunity to re-envision this package in the universe that I’m creating here so that it became a reinterpretation of the MCM experience. MCM was gracious enough to let me experiment and play with the rules to see how I could find a nice balance representing that brand essence.”

On Visual Narrative:

“I wanted to approach this using one of my main influences: stained glass art. When you look at stained glass art—forget about the religious connotations that usually apply to that—it’s composed in a lively way. There’s this beautiful narrative that happens when you take a moment and pause and look at each of the individual parts of the whole. That was what started this idea for the composition of this narrative piece that would be made up of all these different parts. You have all these different characters, all these different elements.”


02 Eau de Parfum  Fragrance MCM

On His Other Influences:

“It’s kind of a mix. There’s a comic manga style of illustration infused within it. Then some typography, some street fashion influence, and a lot of other things from my childhood that I try to bring back.”

On Creating Characters: 

“As an illustrator who loves to create a character as a focal point for a lot of my pieces, I knew that there would be some sort of a lead character in this piece as well. So starting there, I turned to the product, and I knew I wanted the leading focal point of the product to be asymmetrical just to make it feel a bit more dynamic. And then the second component is that the character was almost like this web that would connect the rest of the other three or four pieces.”


03 Ferocity MCM Eau de Parfum

On Wearing MCM Eau de Parfum:

“When it comes to the fragrance, there’s this beautiful journey that you get scent-wise. It starts off fierce and quite masculine, and then as the journey continues throughout the day, as the smell starts to dissipate, it gets softer and more feminine.”

On Authentic Experiences:

“I had to approach this by trying not to be too daunted by the expectation of MCM, but just being honest about my own experience of it, because ultimately, I’m also the consumer as well. So in many ways, it’s more authentic as a fellow consumer to explain that experience, and also have the opportunity to convey that on a canvas visually, which not many other consumers would have.”


04 Legacy Complex MCM Eau de Parfum

On the MCM Logo: 

“One of the things that really inspired me was the laurel leaves on the MCM logo. Ultimately, that was the starting point for this because if you notice on the main character, on their ear, there’s this earring, which is an Easter egg of that portion of the logo. There’s something about that language, that fluidity of the logo and the ribbon and how those elements are opening up almost as if it’s like open and welcoming arms.”

On Easter Eggs:

“I’m always trying to be sensitive to what the focal point or the main message is, and the main message is the MCM brand. So for this, I looked at that and I tried to find moments where either, A) I make it bold and on center or B) I create sort of Easter egg anecdotal moments that can be peppered throughout this complex piece. I chose the former, because I felt like it was nice to have that story that allowed for moments of discovery, especially for a piece like this which is editorial.”

On Experimental Opportunities:

“I think it’s rare to be able to have an opportunity as an artist, especially within the commercial space, to create something so experimental and so freeing. I think that’s highly commendable that brands are willing to experiment in that way.”

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