Words make scents

An unusual cultural exchange is matching perfumers with poets to explore the language of scents and inspire a raft of new fragrance commissions.

How do perfumers interpret a brief to create a new fragrance? How important is the language used? What difference can the chosen words make to the creative process and success of the final fragrance? These are just some of the questions an innovative collaboration between two creative disciplines hopes to explore.

The project brings together some of the UK’s leading perfumers responsible for creating fragrances for established international brands including one of Seven’s creative perfumers – Kate Williams – with established and up-and-coming writers.  The challenge for the perfumers is to create a new fragrance around a poem from the writer’s repertoire.

Kate Williams, comments: “This is a completely different style of brief from our usual marketing-led commissions.  Poetry can be highly emotive and encompass all the senses; we must bring this complexity to life through a carefully formulated fragrance.  It’s an exciting approach and one which I hope will enhance the creative process is a commercial context.”

“The perfumers are embarking on a new challenge,” added Odette Toilette, founder of Scratch+Sniff events and co-organiser of this project, “one where they can be much more directional than the industry tends to permit.  I am looking forward to seeing how the audience responds to the new perfumes and whether they agree with the interpretation of the poetry.”

The results of the collaboration will be presented during an evening event on Tuesday 12 June at The Book Club in London.  Attendees will have opportunity to sample the new scents and hear readings of the poetry that inspired it.  The International Fragrance Association UK (IFRA) will be showcasing the initiative at their next industry forum in the Autumn.

Please contact us if you would like to attend the event.