Case Study

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Design with Scents, Kingston University London, July 2012

Design With Scents, the first course in the world about the design of places through the sense of smell, led by Nicola Pozzani, founder of SSence, with guest lectures from Joanna and John from Pandora at the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, Kingston University, London.

Nicola recounts the week:

  • The one-week, full-time scent course took off with a fantastic group of students, coming from different walks of life, all highly engaged and talented. Fragrance oil kits and sensory materials were provided for individual use.
  • From China, Germany, France, Belgium, Saudi Arabia and the UK, the participant's backgrounds covered sensory marketing, urban environment, tobacco flavouring, jewellery design, communication, cosmetics and event design. Academics, professionals and perfume lovers were all welcome.
  • The perfume trip started with the holistic perfume experience, discovering how scents can affect emotions. We used synesthesia (cross-sensory modality) to study perfume as a creative language. Through interactive sessions, we discovered the scents that form the perfumer's palette.
  • We took the time machine and looked at how, throughout time scents have talked about history, fashions and culture, with an inspiring session led by Jo Norman.
  • One of our students, Dr. Victoria Henshaw from Manchester University, presented her PhD. research "Smell In The City", about scents and urban environments, which helped to raise awareness of the relationship between the two.
  • Having such a good combination of experience and interest from our students was incredibly lucky. Each one contributed so much to the success of the course, the learning process, the exchange of knowledge and passion in the creation of a scent design network.
  • As the workshop progressed, students formed "Scent Agencies", analysing a specific environment and developing scent design solutions. Guided by John Ayres, we experienced how to translate that vision into scent, through a truly inspiring fragrance creation session.
  • On the final day, the results were presented whilst peers, course leader and guest speakers provided feedback on the whole creative process. Working on retail, residential and shared spaces projects, each project showed excellent concepts and fragrance solutions.
  • The more our senses opened, the more they were demanding attention.
  • The course ended with a visit to Floris, the historical London fragrance house, as they kindly took us on a tour of their perfume studio in Jermyn Street.
  • On the verge of sensory overload, the trip finished with a gourmand experience of macaroons, sipping gin and tonic over indoor strawberry fields and finally a real Italian pizza, to celebrate our happiness!
  • Outstanding feedback: "I myself felt that I learnt more in the one week than in any other single week of my education" said Dr Victoria Henshaw, from Manchester University , "An absolutely outstanding course that I would recommend to anyone interested in learning about or working with fragrance" Prask Sutton, consultant at 76MsMA, multi sensory marketing agency.
  • The experience was thoroughly enjoyed by teachers and students equally. Due to our excitement and the overwhelming feedback, we are happy to announce that the Design With Scents course will be repeated next July 2013 - Click here for the programme and to book your place.

Photographs courtesy of Ezzidin Alwan, Web and Multimedia Team, Kingston University, London.

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