Material Board 07: London in Seven Scents

Nirvana CPH

Overhead Shot of Material Board 07 Box

Solutions Involved:

At Nirvana CPH, we understand the power of materials and design in awakening the senses. Over the years, our series of Material Boards – in which a chosen designer combines one material and one process in an A5 footprint – have focused primarily on touch. From playful puzzles by Anthony Burrill, to novel eggboxes by Accept & Proceed, we’ve used foam, wood, acrylic and felt to inspire and excite.

For Material Board 07, however, we chose to take a different approach. Working with Amy Radcliffe, a researcher and pioneer of scentography – the capturing and archiving of smells from specific locations – we switched attention to our noses.

The result is an olfactory map of London, the city we call home, written through the scents of its most iconic landmarks. Drawing on the extensive scent library of IFF, we produced seven vials that evoke places as diverse as Kew Gardens, Buckingham Palace and Battersea Power Station.

Overhead Image of Material Board 07 and Test Tube Fragrances
Above: Each of the seven scents captured the essence of an iconic London landmark

The packaging design for Material Board 07 is a visual representation of the three components of scent – base notes, head notes and heart notes. Using chromatography, we produced colour dispersions that mirror the movement of smells through the air. And, naturally, we finished the clear sleeve with a map of one of London’s only true constants – the River Thames.

Overhead Image of Material Board 07 and Test Tube Fragrances