The Next Trend In Branding: Scent

Countless men and women consider cologne or perfume an integral, if invisible, part of their personal style. But until recently, the $9 billion fragrance industry has mostly focused on scenting individual people, not brands or events. The world's first olfactive branding company, 12.29, is changing that, at least in high fashion. The company brought the oft–overlooked sense of smell to the foreground with their custom scenting of the New York shows last week by Tocca, Calla, and Prabal Gurung––and hope to waft runways around the world.

Identical twins Dawn and Samantha Goldworm are the virtuosic noses behind 12.29. The duo has synesthesia, a neurological condition that causes senses to meld together. In their case, they see smells as colors and textures and vice versa. If a company identifies with the color blue and the texture of silk, for example, the Goldworms can translate that identity into a matching fragrance.

Co.Design spoke with Dawn Goldworm about scenting Fashion Week: "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," she says. "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."

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