The Architecture of Scent Part II
Feature Article

Photography Reuben Gates

The Aromax Diffuser by Air Aroma – create the perfect scented ambience with the looks to match.

A first impression is formed in only a matter of seconds, an almost primal response.

Consequently, the tiny fragments of information absorbed in such a small frame of time can be the most significant. To formulate an informed and accurate judgement of that person, place or thing, often our initial and instinctual reaction is the most real. Often neglected or considered an afterthought, our sense of smell is most important in creating long lasting memories that are charged with emotion. As our most primitive and underrated sense, smell has the ability to impact our first impressions and emotions, with 75% of our daily emotions generated by smell. It is through this first impression which can enliven our experience within a place and lead to the formation of opinions, memories and perceptions upon arrival. As described by award winning Swiss architect Peter Zumthor,

“We perceive atmosphere through our emotional sensibility – a form of perception that works incredibly quickly, and which we humans evidently need to help us survive.”

For this reason, the first impression is one that an architect must consider as the first and most vital stepping stone towards a meaningful emotional journey throughout the entirety of the space. With the addition of a signature fragrance congruent to the overall aesthetic, the experience is elevated to a level beyond visual and tactile senses but with the ability to impart powerful emotional and memorable connections.

The minimalist cone-shape design of the Aromax and the sensual texture of the smooth anodized aluminium creates the essential home diffuser to complement any interior.

Just as architecture aims to create an enjoyable atmosphere for those dwelling inside with the underlying objective being to generate a memorable impression such as a distinct style, sustainability or function, fragrance has the ability to craft a desired environment whilst instilling vivid memories. The power of scent is utilised not just as a pleasant addition to enhance the ambiance but as an integral multisensory extension of the architectural experience. In a land of indistinguishable mass-produced fragrances, the act of bespoke fragrance creation becomes an extension of the architect’s vision; a custom-made scent to compliment, strengthen and evoke and the entire architectural and interior design.

The new Aroscent Diffuser by Air Aroma, fragrance and technology come together to deliver the best scent experience possible.

Honouring the custom, the bespoke, the tailor-made, Air Aroma utilises a unique signature scent development process that approaches the concept of fragrance design on a holistic level. With close to two decades of fragrance development experience, Air Aroma’s dedicated team of brand strategists, fragrance experts and visual designers carefully consider every aspect of the client’s objective, fully immersing themselves in the project. Similar to how an architect would commence a new build, the concept of signature fragrance development is conceived through an initial exchange of ideas, drawing on key inspirations to clarify the scent motive. The next phase includes in-depth discussions to review floor plans and imagery before clarifying the scent direction. A detailed Signature Scent Brief is complete with the client, weaving every detail into a unique tapestry, drawing on key indicators such as objective of the building, demographic, location, materials used and décor, and most importantly, the desired emotions that should be aroused within the space. Through close communication with their team of perfumers in Grasse and New York City, the delicate process of fragrance creation begins, carefully pairing specific scent notes to reflect objectives of the brief. With origins in essential oil fragrances, Air Aroma’s partnerships with sustainable Australian suppliers ensure ingredients with the highest level of quality, creating fragrances with a sense of naturalness while boasting therapeutic benefits.

The Aroslim by Air Aroma – the ideal solution for banks, retailers and smaller hotel lobbies.

The formulation of each complex fragrance begins from the bottom up starting with the underlying structure, the foundation of the scent. The most long-lasting and enduring scent notes are the base notes, creating solidity and acting as a fixative to additional layers. Base notes feature richer and heavier notes like woods, leather, musk, incense and amber. Strengthening the base and becoming the “heart” of the fragrance are middle notes. Middle notes define the fragrance family, creating a rounded and balanced impression. Such notes are usually florals, stone & tropical fruits, green accords and aromatic spices. The final flourish of top notes provides a sense of sparkling freshness usually defined by the zest of citrus. As the most volatile, top notes are noticed first before seamlessly softening to the rest of the composition. With endless opportunities in terms of fragrance creation, a signature scent can play a diverse role within a space.

Thanks to its understated looks, stylish anodised aluminum body and plug & play ability the Aroslim is also a great fit for office receptions, fitness clubs or even for homes.

To illustrate this process in practice, a recent collaboration involved Air Aroma and Balinese based jewellery brand, John Hardy, who sought a signature scent to mirror the brand DNA and values, capturing the power, drama and inspiration to transfuse into their first brick & mortar retail stores. With a focus on crafting a calming and relaxing ambiance for visitors, a fragrance to stimulate the fusion between sophistication and traditional Balinese hospitality was the final touch to the multisensory store experience. Through a close partnership, Air Aroma gained an in-depth understanding and appreciation of the John Hardy brand ethos and the unique aesthetic of their store designs, blending modern sophistication with traditional Balinese touches. Briefed with the interior designs together with the core brand identity, Air Aroma began the process of designing the John Hardy signature fragrance, note by note. The philosophy of the John Hardy brand rests on three key values of Community, Artisanship, and Sustainable Luxury. These sentiments are ingrained in the design and production of the jewellery and are evident throughout the stores through the use of mood lighting, neutral colour palettes and sensual textural materials like natural woods, bamboo, and metallics. These features are reminiscent of artisanal techniques from the workshop where all of the jewellery is made; in the lush surrounds of Ubud, Bali. A thoughtful selection of individual scent notes were chosen to express each core value then blended together to transport visitors to the Ubud workshop, the embodiment and origins of the John Hardy experience. The fragrance opens with exotic florals of tuberose, synonymous of the local Community and Balinese landscape. A clean sea breeze accord derives from a sense of elegant purity which embodies the goal of Sustainable Luxury. Finally, a gentle wave of incense, sandalwood and amber radiate delicate artisanship while echoing the physical materials used in the store designs and traditional Balinese ceremonies.

“I enter a building, see a room, and – in the fraction of a second – have this feeling about it.” – Peter Zumthor.

Grasp this opportunity to evoke feeling, eliciting an immediate emotional response by crafting a space that is highly emotive and deeply memorable with the powerful addition of scent.

Styled by Bek Sheppard.

Photographed by Reuben Gates.

The Aroslim is designed to make scenting at your business or home effortless. Easily change fragrance strength with the touch of a button with six different strength settings to select from.

Published 13 November, 2017
Photography  Reuben Gates
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