Led by the nose – graduate designs a ‘Scent Palette’ that could revolutionise the way we shop

Royal College of Art 2015 graduate Kyugum Hwang designed a unique perfume station for her final show, allowing shoppers to create bespoke fragrances by picking fragrances based on complimentary coloured containers. Designed in response to the increased demand for personalised perfumes, Scent Palette consists of a rotating base with three concentric circles of fragrance samples arranged around it, containing top, middle and base notes in bottles of differing shapes and colours. Grouped as floral, ambrée, woody and fresh notes according to the Fragrance Wheel – a classification chart first developed in 1983 by the revered fragrance expert Michael Edwards – which is a familiar point of reference in the fragrance industry, Hwang advises customers to choose their favourite fragrance from each circle, with advice from staff on-hand to ensure the selection works well together.

The bespoke perfume is mixed and given back to the customer in a bottle echoing the colours of the sample containers. ‘Scent Palette aims to make the experience of creating personalised perfume more emotionally intuitive by embracing the value of colour and shape as a method of communication,’ said Hwang. ‘After smelling a lot of fragrances at once, it is hard to pinpoint and differentiate the smells and recall favourites given the fact that fragrances are invisible and the smells have slight similarities, variations and differences, which combined is quite confusing,’ Hwang explained. ‘I wanted to transform the processes in a more intuitive and emotional experience. Fragrance affects us on a deeply emotional level, based on instinct, and colour is one of the major tools that create our intuitive responses.’

With innovation and creation at the forefront of fragrant retail and design, the future is certainly looking fresh thanks to talented graduates finally thinking outside the [perfume] box. We’re all for enlivening the process of buying fragrances in-store, and goodness knows, the stores themselves are always looking for new ways to make the experience more intuitive and tempt shoppers away from buying exclusively online.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

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