On the page for its newly-released Brass Oil Burner, Aesop furnishes with a John Keats quote: “O for a life of sensations rather than of thoughts.” It quite tidily sums up the appeal of this curious object – created in partnership with Henry Wilson, a longtime creative collaborator of the brand’s.
Wilson claims asymmetry as an inspiration for the object’s form, which is akin to a curvaceous pick. It’s very much got both parties’ handwriting on it, which makes sense given the affinity that the two have had in partnering for store designs and exhibit designs at Salone del Mobile.
The burner is crafted from solid brass – a whole kilogram of it – with a burnished and unpolished finish. It’s beautifully wabi and refined, and works perfectly fine as a piece of decorative homeware. Part of its appeal, I think, lies in how its curved lines and ovoid shape seem drawn from Brancusi. In a quiet way, this little burner has a kind of solitary strength. Light a candle and add a few drops of an essential blend, however, and the product comes to life as a quiet mood-maker.
Aesop has been getting into the interior scenting area recently, with its excellent range of room sprays. On a similar bend, the brand has come up with a new oil burner blend: Béatrice ($53). The warm fold of patchouli, cedar, and lemongrass is a comforting mix ideal for general hosting. As a counterpoint, the Isabelle blend of spearmint, sage, and rosemary is herbaceous and earthy and wonderful for introspective quiet time. But, really, any essential oil will work just fine with the burner.
Aesop’s Brass Oil Burner ($245) is available online and at Aesop stores.