Dezeen Magazine

Kyugum Hwang creates coloured Scent Palette for customising perfumes

Graduate shows 2015: Royal College of Art graduate Kyugum Hwang's perfume-designing station allows shoppers to create bespoke fragrances by picking complimentary scents from coloured containers (+ slideshow).

Kyugum Hwang_Scent Palette rca

Designed in response to the increased demand for personalised perfumes, Scent Palette comprises a lazy Susan-style rotating base with three concentric circles of fragrance samples, containing top, middle and base notes in bottles with different shapes and colours.

The scents are arranged into floral, oriental, woody and fresh notes according to the Fragrance Wheel – a classification chart first developed in 1983, which is a familiar point of reference in the fragrance industry.

Kyugum Hwang_Scent Palette rca

Customers are encouraged to choose their favourite scent from each circle, with advice from staff to ensure the selection works well together. Their bespoke perfume is mixed and given back to them in a bottle that mimics the sample containers for their three chosen notes.

"Scent Palette aims to make the experience of creating personalised perfume more emotionally intuitive by embracing the value of colour and shape as a method of communication," said Hwang.

The station is designed for cosmetic counters in retail environments to simplify the process of creating bespoke perfumes.

Kyugum Hwang_Scent Palette rca

"After smelling a lot of fragrances at once, it is hard to pinpoint and differentiate the smells and recall favourites given the fact that fragrances are invisible and the smells have slight similarities, variations and differences, which combined is quite confusing," Hwang told Dezeen.

"I wanted to transform the processes in a more intuitive and emotional experience. Fragrance affects us on a deeply emotional level, based on instinct, and colour is one of the major tools that create our intuitive responses."

Kyugum Hwang_Scent Palette rca

"Each fragrance family has corresponding industry-standard colours, which held the key to my journey in finding a new way to categorise fragrance," added Hwang.

The colours are used both in the station and testers, and in the final perfume bottles.

Kyugum Hwang_Scent Palette rca

Hwang's design, which was presented at the Show RCA graduate exhibition in London from 25 June to 5 July 2015, reflects a growing trend for designers attempting to add value to the perfume industry.

Kyugum Hwang_Scent Palette rca

Scent was a popular trend at Milan design week this year, where furniture brands launched fragrances while numerous independent designers experimented with smell.

Examples included a range of dip-dyed scent diffusers and a series of perfume-themed installations by designers including Jaime Hayón, Nendo and Front.