Fragrancing a brand: CPL leads workshop with IED, the European Institute of Design
How does a brand become a smell? And, how might a manufacturer answer that question? CPL’s Fine Fragrance developer Aitana López de Carrión led a project and olfactory training workshop with IED, Spain’s top design school located in Madrid, to explore the process of translating a brand identity into a fragrance.
Students on the Styling and Communication in Fashion programme discovered how to approach devising, creating and then communicating a scent. Using fragrance notes and accords provided by CPL Aromas, the students were tasked with designing a fragrance that would suit the brand image and ethos of the Spanish jewellery and accessories designer, Andres Gallardo. The brand takes inspiration from flora and fauna, magic, fantasy and antiquary.
The workshop included an exercise with the branding teacher to extract the ethos of the brand. Naïve surrealism, magic nature, the familial and artisanal, and nostalgic sensitivity were named as the main themes. The brand's myriad references provided extensive inspiration for the fragrances. With its strong colour identity and use of materials such as porcelain and leather, the jewellery designs also enabled students to think of the connection that a smell can have to the other senses, and how this can be brought to life in the creation process.
This is particularly true for the perfumer or evaluator, who may consider the texture of a scent, whether an ingredient is hot or cold, or whether it ‘has’ a colour. How these perceived characteristics of a scent work with the finished visual and tactile product is crucial in the fragrance industry.
And of course, jewellery and accessories are worn on the body, much like a fragrance – not forgetting the fact that amongst the larger brands fragrance is often created and sold as an accessory.
Students came to the workshop with ideas for their scent, and then concentrated on exploring the nature of the raw materials and accords in such a way as to help them shape the fragrance they envisaged. Fragrance is once again reinventing how brands conceptualise their offer, and the workshop provided a space for this future generation to think in terms of this increasingly important sphere.
"It is always inspiring to work with young talents. Throughout the week I was able to experience their evolution and growth of interest in fragrance creation. They loved smelling raw materials and were surprised to discover the actual smell of ingredients like tuberose, patchouli, violet leaf or oud." Aitana López de Carrión
"With my fragrance I wanted to communicate nostalgia, romanticism and the fragility and delicacy of the Andres Gallardo pieces. I created a floral aldehydic scent with powdery rose character". Marta, student
"I created a duo of scents inspired by a love story between the Moon and the Sun (elements used by Andres Gallardo). Both scents contained the same top and base notes, but the heart is different. The heart of Sun is warm and sensual with tuberose and ylang-ylang, whilst the heart of Moon is a naïve neroli bouquet. They could be worn individually or combined (following the scent layering trend)". Chi Ye, student
"After this workshop, I will consider to work in the communication of a Fashion brand with perfumes. I think it's an exciting world!" Carmen, student