Firmenich partners with Central Saint Martins for future fragrance experiences

Scent Fountain (copyright: CSM)

Swiss flavor and fragrance company Firmenich has partnered with London-based arts and design college Central Saint Martins to re-imagine fragrance experiences for tomorrow’s world.

The collaboration is part of the company’s Olfactive Design program. This year’s Olfactive Design focuses on the Firmenich movement RE|GENERATION, which the company launched last July. RE|GENERATION is described as a call to action to rejuvenate and transform fine fragrance.

Students partnered with Firmenich Fine Fragrance perfumers to imagine what the company calls seven future worlds with both utopian and dystopian attributes: Hope & Re-Enchantment, Danger/Chaos/Risk, Circularity, Generations & Memory, Hybrid Experiences, Identity and Pleasure & Wellbeing. The teams created prototypes, installations and bespoke fragrances inspired by the students’ work to show how fragrance will impact the world in the years to come, says the company.

Student Lars Dittrich created a Fragrance Ventilator, which was inspired by global warming within the Danger/Chaos/Risk theme. The ventilator captures hot air as it rises, humidifies and cools the air in a tube, then releases jets of fragrance from vents as cool, scented breeze. Senior perfumer Dora Baghriche created a scent to reflect the refreshing sensation, with a green accord and a mineral facet. She also added Freezestorm® which is a new technology that delivers a long-lasting cooling sensation.

Within the Pleasure & Wellbeing theme, student Alessia Yu created a Mindful Dining experience. The project is described as restoring a person’s full awareness to their taste as olfaction contributes as much as 80% to 90% to the taste of food, says Firmenich. The experience begins with a customized dessert subscription, delivered with a scent box diffuser and audio-guided meditation. When beginning the experience, the person is introduced to each ingredient and layer of the dessert they are about to eat via fragrances emitted from the diffuser box as well as imagery on screen.

For Mindful Dining, Firmenich perfumer Alexis Grugeon created a banana bread fragrance. Using Smell The Taste™ technology, Grugeon mixed banana with notes of walnut, wrapped in a refined orris trail.

Student Aliza Ruzavina created a communal Scent Fountain as part of the Hope & Re-Enchantment theme which is described as helping communities make decisions via fragrance. The fountain is at the center of a town and includes opinion polls regarding community issues. When voting, people smell scented tubes around the fountain containing fragrances related to different outcomes of the poll. Each scent correlates to a  unique characteristic of what the community could smell like if a change is made. Once a person has smelled all the options, they cast their ballot by pushing a button.

For the Scent Fountain, principal perfumer Hamid Merati-Kashani made a fragrance described as being in favor of positive and eco-conscious communal behaviors. It features pink pepper notes, an exclusive NaturePrint® magnolia scent and biodegradable and renewable Sorbettolide® musk as key ingredients.

A total of 21 projects were showcased in a live, day-long, closed-door exhibit at Central Saint Martins in London last December. Video and images of the projects can be now accessed online via Firmenich’s RE|GENERATION website. Additional content will be added every two weeks and will cover new themes, projects and insights.

The Olfactive Design program launched in 1998 and explores a theme from artistic and sensorial standpoints.