La Fleur du Mal, Absinthium


Smith Lumen | Rotas Italia


Avery Dennison


Fasson® Cotton Black FSC


Italy, Europe

La Fleur du Mal, Absinthium is one of six award-winning designs featured in the Avery Dennison “Inspired by Diversity” envelope. Designed by Smith Lumen and printed by Rotas Italia, the design takes full advantage of the material’s capability by utilizing multiple printing techniques.

La Fleur du Mal is reminiscent of the famous work of Baudelaire and recalls the world of the cursed poets. Smith Lumen said this inspired the design:

“The deep and structured black exalted by the different possible levels of emboss has inspired in us the mystery of a secret time and place. Flashes of light behind dark windows, flashes of genius in the history of men, flashes of turquoise on bronze plates.”

Rotas Italia comments on the La Fleur du Mal label:

“The copper of the foil is long oxidised, the drawing comes from far away, a mysterious weave of reliefs. It comes from the dawn of time, with a hardly perceivable gazing eye, but with a thick relief to the touch. This print feels ancient, like perdition. “

Our M_Usings
“La Fleur du Mal,” refers to a volume of French poetry by Charles Baudelaire dealing with themes of decadence and eroticism. After The Flowers of Evil was published in 1857, both author and publisher were prosecuted for their “insult to public decency,” leading to the banning of six of the poems in France until 1949. During this period, public opinion of absinthe was similarly divided. Popular among artists and writers, including Modigliani, Picasso and Baudelaire himself, the spirit endured its own period of prohibition from 1915.

Smith Lumen have embossed Fasson Cotton Black with flourishes that hint toward the allure of decadent delight. The hot foil coupled with a matte teal ink mimics aged copper to suggest beauty in decay. The central Eye of Providence is mysterious, sitting centrally in a rectangle label placed on the form of an old, corked pill bottle.