Central Saint Martin Students, Firmenich Perfumers Team on Forward-looking Project

FUTURE FRAGRANCE FOCUS: Art and design students from Central Saint Martins in London teamed with Firmenich perfumers on a project exploring the role of fine fragrance in the future.

The 21 resulting projects focus on themes such as scent travel, water conservation and heat relief.

“These inspirational projects with the talented next generation of designers are nourished by science and art,” Mehdi Lisi, vice president, global fine fragrance, creation, development and innovation at the Swiss fragrance and flavors supplier, said in a statement.

The 14th edition of Firmenich’s Olfactive Design program involved the collaboration with students in Saint Martins’ Master of Arts of Narrative Environments and of Material Futures. They worked with the suppliers’ fine fragrance perfumers to imagine seven future worlds, with utopian and dystopian attributes.

The teams worked together on prototypes, installations and bespoke scents inspired by the students’ creations.

“This is the first time our students worked with perfume,” said Bethenay Shepherd, professor of MA Narrative Environments at Saint Martins. “With the rise in popularity of immersive experiences and meaningful interactions, students were keen to explore how scent can link both personal and cultural memory, and how olfactive experiences connect people to better understand each other and their environments.”

The prototypes were shown live at Saint Martins for one day in December 2020, and they are now available on Firmenich’s Regeneration website.

“Firmenich is empowering a positive future for fine fragrance,” said Ilaria Resta, president, global perfumery, at Firmenich. “Through both Regeneration and Olfactive Design, we are writing a new story including creation, distribution points, distribution methods and physical or digital experiences, to reinvent the value of fine fragrance. Perfume becomes a social intermediary, identity marker and mindful catalyst.”

Firmenich’s Regeneration program was introduced in July 2020. It is billed as a call to action to embrace the radical optimism of change and how it will shape the fine fragrance industry’s future.

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