Human senses are central to how consumers experience brands and products. While sight is the dominant sense that most design agencies focus on, PSFK has always maintained an interest in how branding works on other senses including sound and scent.
12.29 is an olfactive branding company that works with fashion designers to turn the collection’s color palette and overall vision into a matching scent. The agency custom-scented the NY Fashion Week runway shows earlier this month, elevating the sense of smell to the same level as sight with fashion brands such as Tocca, Calla, and Prabal Gurung. She described 12.29′s creative process to Co.Design in a recent post:
There is a creative process I bring the designers that dissects their inspiration for the season. We look at the collection’s color palette, textiles, muse, and overall vision. We spend about 90 minutes together talking about all of these elements, as well as the other sensory details of the show, including the music, set, and audience… Approximately one month later, I present a few directions for the designer to choose the one he/she feels best fits the now evolved collection. We then scent the show and continue to scent the designer’s showroom when the buyers and press return.
In another interview with Business of Fashion she said that:
The scent [we design] is solely based on the identity of the brand. There’s a creative process I take them through and we dissect all of the brand cues — the aesthetics, the sound, the shapes, the target market — and I translate that into a smell, so the sky’s the limit on what you can use.
Another notable company to keep an eye on is ScentAir. They focus on enhancing more mainstream consumer experiences such as creating unique smells for different departments at H&M, boosting the smell of cotton candy at sports stadiums, or creating enhanced scents for various Disney World rides. We also encourage you to check out The Fragrance Foundation, a non-profit aiming to increase scent appreciation.