In a new concept store curated by himself and his three sisters, Icelandic musician Jónsi Birgisson, best known as the frontman of Sigur Rós, composes soundscapes and perfumes to draw in the customers.
The gorgeous store, occupying a 19th-century wooden house in Old Reykjavík, is named ‘Fischer’ after the building's first resident, a Danish merchant said to have imported the first pineapple to Iceland.
Late last year, the house stood empty after Jónsi relocated his recording studio. Meeting up in Reykjavík one night, the brother and sisters began brainstorming possible venues for the historic house. “Like so often, the idea came up over red wine – somewhere between the second and third bottle,” says co-creator Lilja Birgisdóttir.
The four siblings – Lilja, Jónsi, Ingibjörg and Sigurrós (the world-famous band was named after her) – share a background in art and each have a hand in the unique Fischer product line on offer in the store – a product line so popular that after the opening week, the hand-crafted stock ran out and they had to close for a short while.
The shop’s concept is to play with all the senses: guests see artwork, hear unique ethereal soundscape and smell candles, herbal teas and perfumes sourced with a natural Icelandic fragrant. “We want to create a holistic experience,” Lilja said, emphasising that on one hand the store is an art space.
The experience is completed with a visit down the basement (accessed by the shop's counter) where Jónsi shows a hidden talent as professional perfumer. His perfume organ – the traditional table used by perfumers to organise their fragrant materials – is in the corner of this underground lab.
His sisters sampled all his perfume before deciding which one to package for sale. They agreed on “Fischer 23”, made from 48 different aroma oils. “It has the elements of Iceland somehow,” Lilja says.
Words: Egill Bjarnason