Identical twins Dawn and Samantha Goldworm are the virtuosic noses behind 12.29, the world's first olfactive branding company. This Fashion Week, they scented New York shows by Tocca, Calla, and Prabal Gurung. Here, Prabal Gurung's ready-to-wear Spring '14 show, with Marilyn Monroe as muse.

[Photos via Style.com]

“Prabal Gurung’s scent was created around a rose with biting elements of animal notes and woody amber,” Dawn Goldworm tells Co.Design.

[Photos via Style.com]

The fashion designer also used the idea of the elegant woman as "an endangered species" as inspiration for his collection.
[Photos via Style.com]

The recent Tocca collection was ballet-themed, with white tights and gauze galore, inspired by a fully made-up dancer with her rehearsal clothes underneath. [Image via WWD]

“Tocca’s scent was inspired by rosin, a resin dancers use on their shoes so they don’t slip on the floor,” said Goldworm. [Image via WWD]

The 12.29 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, they can translate that identity into a matching fragrance. [Image via WWD]

Calla's ready-to-wear Spring '14 show. Calla's scent is "less based on the season's collection and instead created for the overall Calla brand identity. It is a dewy, petally, bouqueted floral with a soft powderiness and sweet pea touch for the sweet, downtown, stylish Calla girl,” says Goldworm. [Image via WWD]

“Scenting helps promote the designer's vision for the season and collection by tapping into the most emotional and acute part of the brain, the smell memory," says Goldworm. [Image via WWD]

"Scent also differentiates the show from the myriad of other shows and collections during Fashion Week.” [Image via WWD]

Co.Design

The Next Trend In Branding: Scent

What's the scent of fashion? The world's first olfactory branding company, 12.29, wafts the runways this season.

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.”

As each designer and collection has a distinct visual style, so each has its own scent identity. The recent Tocca collection was ballet-themed, with white tights and gauze galore, referencing a fully made-up dancer with her rehearsal clothes underneath. “Tocca’s scent was inspired by rosin, a resin dancers use on their shoes so they don’t slip on the floor,” said Goldworm.

Prabal Gurung declared before his show this season that “the elegant woman is becoming an endangered species.” Building on this threat of extinction—along with Marilyn Monroe as muse—his show featured pastels with plastic harnesses. To Goldworm, this translated to a scent “created around a rose with biting elements of animal notes and woody amber."

The 12.29 scent for Calla is one they designed years ago and apply to all of her presentations. “This brand scent is instead created for the overall Calla identity, which is consistent season to season," says Goldworm. "It is a dewy, petally, bouqueted floral with a soft powderiness and sweet pea touch for the sweet, downtown, stylish Calla girl.”

So how does olfactive branding effect the experience of fashion week? “Scenting helps promote the designer's vision for the season and collection by tapping into the most emotional and acute part of the brain, the smell memory," says Goldworm. "It also differentiates the show from the myriad of other shows and collections during Fashion Week.”

[Photos via Style.com | WWD | Robert Mitra | Marcus Tondo | Indigitalimages.com]

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1 Comments

  • Jennifer Dublino

    Interesting article, especially the part about how the twins can "translate" colors into scents. However, olfactory branding has been around since 2003 and there is an entire industry centered around it, with an annual conference called ScentWorld (taking place in New York June 12-13, 2014). It is just now that the wider corporate world is taking notice of this very powerful human sense and its positive impact on customer experience and business results.