Feature Article

The Architecture of Scent

Cheltenham, VIC, Australia

“How does it feel?”

– Is question central to any design concept looking to create an engaging and impactful experience. Evoking emotional responses results from appealing to the senses, which is why multisensory design is having its moment. Design is a method of expression and relays a story, whether that is subtle or clearly stated.

As a designer, it’s part of the role to ensure the message is clear, the story is conducive to the brand, and the right emotional approach is infused with every detail. Since architecture and design serve a much deeper function than just providing structure, an approach through multisensory design results in more memorable, authentic and impactful spaces. As Finnish architect Juhani Uolevi Pallasmaa puts it;

‘In memorable experiences of architecture, space, matter and time fuse into one singular dimension, into the basic substance of being, that penetrates our consciousness. Architecture is the art of reconciliation between ourselves and the world, and this mediation takes place through the senses.’

The Aromax Diffuser by Air Aroma Proving that nature, sleek design, and innovative technology can come together to create the best scent experience possible.

Our senses help inform us about our environment and our sense of identity in relation to our surroundings–essentially who we are and where we are. All senses are involved and firing continually to create and relay this information, creating unique and powerful messages that enrich our lives. Emotional design positions itself based on the notion that emotions play a crucial role in the human ability to understand the world and how we learn new things, so designing with this in mind creates more dynamic results. A holistic approach to design is the way to entice and retain people so that your design makes an impact. As our world continues to materialize into the information age of overstimulation and order, we seek all-encompassing moments, with stronger connections and inspiration to ourselves and to the larger world. As the digital era robs us of more direct physical interaction, people are becoming more appreciative of something that moves them emotionally in real time.

Often overlooked in architecture and design, the olfactory image of a space offers great potential for emotional response, since studies show that our emotions are triggered by smell, which is linked to pleasure, well-being, emotion and memory. Our sense of smell is the one sense that has a direct link to the part of the brain that processes memory and emotion, and often helps complete a memory, thought, or feeling in a way that no other sense alone can do. According to Dawn C. Buse, Ph.D., clinical psychologist in the Department of Neurology at Montefiore Medical Center, “the first time that we experience a particular scent, we associate with events, people, and emotions of the time.” When entering a room that is scented with intention, there’s a greater chance for emotional response and a unique memory to be created. Embracing olfactory imaging in design along with light, sound, and color adds more texture and depth, but the distinguishing factor with scent is its ability to remain active in the imagination and continue its effect long after the exposure is over – the story continues and the experience is kept that much more alive.

The Aromax Diffuser‘s minimalist, cone-shaped design, with the sensual texture of smooth anodised aluminum, makes it complement any interior.

Scent has a quiet power. Though it remains subtle and mysterious, it is a fundamental element of how we experience a space. Encountering a new unique scent offers a moment of magic, where you’re transported to a new place, completely in the moment, experiencing the fruit of the senses. Everything is suspended in time, if only for a brief period. The wonder and magic of our existence breeds vitality here. Since there are literally endless possibilities in the world of scent, it’s a marvel that much of it remains untapped potential.

A pioneering scent marketing company seeks to explore this potential; for close to two decades, Air Aroma has been creating custom fragrances for spaces around the globe. As the world’s first olfactive branding agency, they’ve worked with some of the largest and best known global brands, influencers and fortune 500 companies. Founded in Melbourne, Australia, and a family run business, Air Aroma is very much a global company, located in over 70countries with headquarters in New York, Dubai, Tokyo, Amsterdam and Hong Kong. A dedicated team of perfumers, branding experts, and visual designers work together to create scents that tell stories and better connect brands with consumers. The innovative scent creation process yields beautifully complex creations that have lasting power and emotional impact. Each fragrance note is carefully selected to help tell a story, so that the essence of a concept can live within the scent.

Whisper-silent operation and an adjustable fragrance output, you can keep your space smelling great with the ultimate ease. Revitalise the air in which you live.

A recent project completed by Air Aroma’s New York office is a notable example of emotional design and engaging all the senses to deliver a holistic design vision. Located in Manhattans Greenwich Village, the high end residential development, is driven by the architectural vision of a wellness focused residential environment. Originally built in 1897 as a garment factory, the building has seen a sophisticated upgrade. The result is a stunning contrast of old meets new, with a ornate Italianate façade, set against glistening oversized windows. With an emphasis is on enhancing the resident’s wellbeing, sustainability and green technology can be found throughout. In keeping with the integrated design, Air Aroma worked with the architects to design a signature scent that not only reflects this but also perpetuates the architectural vision of the space. A combination of bright, airy notes of Neroli, Orange Flower, Mandarin and Bergamot revitalize for a spritely effect. Contrasted notes of soft woods, saffron and French Mimosa, adds texture and creates the effect well aged leather, a nod to the buildings history. Diffused through the buildings HVAC system, the aroma is present in the lobby. The scent is familiar yet unique, creating a sense arrival and feeling of wellness for residents.

How do you get someone to really be in the room and remember their experience? What does it take to truly engage an individual so they are immersed and inspired? Considering the landscape of scent design while conceptualising a space can present new ways to receive information within multisensory design – like feeling colour, seeing sound, or hearing texture. Humans are incredibly perceptive and complex creatures with the ability to absorb information in many ways, so when you can create opportunities to experience something in a multifaceted manner that inspires,there is potential for creating spaces that are truly special and memorable.

Clean lines, quality finishes and great colours describe one of Air Aroma‘s bestselling product ranges, the Airoscent Range.

Air Aroma - The Architecture of Scent - Feature ARtcile - The Local Project - Australian Design - Image 1

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