Born in São Paulo, raised in Japan and a true modern craftsman and nomad, Carlos Kusubayashi has always encountered life and inspiration organically.
After finishing high school and working briefly in a car factory, Carlos apprenticed and worked for seven years in Tokyo under a master kyoji, a craftsman who mounts calligraphy or paintings on handscroll, screens, or sliding doors. His skill caught the attention of a Parisian art collector who hired Carlos for a lengthy restoration project on his Asian art collection.
Rather than return to Tokyo after his stint in Paris, Carlos moved to New York City where he joined a gilding studio in Brooklyn. Amongst the community of craftsman Carlos found in Brooklyn, he met a sculptor who worked to incorporate avant-garde scents into his sculptures. They began to work together. When the sculptor decided to sell some of his scents on his website, Carlos took over the business side of their endeavor. This exposure to scents and their collaboration on producing fragrances inspired Carlos to launch his own fragrance.
In 2011, Carlos launched L’Anonyme ou OP-1475-A, the first fragrance by A Lab on Fire. Unlike the avant-garde fragrances the sculptor had designed, Carlos wanted a scent that was simple but refined. He turned to perfumer Olivier Polge to create a modern, minimal and compelling fragrance, cultivating his collaborative nature.
After adding two more fragrances to his collection by the summer of 2012, What We Do In Paris Is Secret and Sweet Dreams 2003, with perfumers Dominique Ropion and Thierry Wasser respectively, Carlos’s nomadic spirit once again took over. It was time to seek out the remoteness and desolate landscapes that have inspired artists like Donald Judd, whose work is crucial to Carlos’s own philosophies. It seemed natural for Carlos to find a new place to live: a small town in the expansive deserts of West Texas. There, he continued to collaborate with world-class perfumers remotely, and created seven additional refined, contemporary fragrances. However, after four years, he decided to move closer to Japan.
Today, Carlos enjoys his passions of swimming and running on the Big Island of Hawaii, and his global vision for A Lab on Fire is carried out by a company in Italy.