Reusable fragrance packaging from Esrawe and Cadena up the stakes in sustainable design

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Reusable fragrance packaging from Esrawe and Cadena up the stakes in sustainable design

Related tags Cosmetics

At Design Week Mexico earlier this month, the design and branding companies showcased the new bottle and cap they created for Xinú botanical fragrances.

This year’s was the 8th edition of Design Week Mexico, a multifaceted event founded by Emilio Cabrero, Andrea Cesarman, Marco Coello, and Jaime Hernández that brings professional designers, students, and the public together to explore the value design (across disciplines) has in life and society.

Naturally sustainable

The fragrance bottle, designed by Mexico City – based Esrawe and Cadena Associates out of Peru, was inspired by the so-called patriarch of modern sculpture Constantin Brâncuși, according to Dan Howarth who wrote about the packaging for

Designers at Esrawe and Cadena tell Howarth that “the formal development of the bottle is [also] inspired by the abstract precolonial sculpture, myths, magic, sacred geometry, the wisdom of nature, seeds, cells and spores.”

The fragrance package is made of glass and wood, two materials consumers commonly identify as recyclable and renewable natural resources. The bottle is a half sphere of glass. And the cap is a half sphere of wood. Modern sculpture enters in because the two hemispheres attach on the round side, with the wooden cap appearing to perch on the clear glass bottle.

Wood, besides being renewable, also has the advantage over plastic of not needing a custom mold for manufacturing. It’s simply cut, carved, and sanded in to shape.

Reusable design

The packages were made to have a life beyond the fragrance: “A key intention of the design was for the containers to be reused once the perfume runs out. Each half can hold thin items, like plant stems or incense sticks, in their narrow openings,” ​writes Howarth. The wood and glass hemispheres can also become tiny in-home sculptures, as they stack easily.

In an item on natural fragrance, Cosmetics Design reported earlier this year​ that “shoppers across demographics and with wildly different worldviews are opting for natural skin care, color cosmetics, hair care, and fragrances.” ​And Lisa Wilson, principal at Scent&Strategy, noted that “natural and organic personal care product sales represented $15.26bn in 2015 and nearly 19% of the total personal care market sales according to Sundale Research.”

Consumers passionate about botanicals and those seeking out beauty products made with natural ingredients appreciate packaging like the new Xinú bottles that feel natural in a modern way and that don’t have to become waste once the fragrance is used up.


A slide show of the Xinú bottle and cap design can be seen on​.

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