From left: Samantha Goldworm, Business Director and Dawn Goldworm, Scent Director

Combining the concept of commercial branding with the power of the emotionally charged olfactory sense, 12.29 is creating signature “brand logo” scents for companies around the globe who are looking to translate their story through the sense of smell. Beauty Insider sat down with Dawn Goldworm, Scent Director of 12.29, to see how her and cofounder Samantha Goldworm’s visions are transforming the way companies can communicate with customers.

Beauty Insider: You have an extensive background in the fragrance industry having worked for Coty on lines such as Kate Moss, Pierre Cardin, Kylie Minogue and Lady Gaga. What made you explore the concept of scent beyond the fragrance industry?

Dawn Goldworm: When I was at Coty in New York I went back to school in the evening at NYU and my thesis was on olfactory branding, which was a new idea. When I went to Paris the son of Bottega Veneta was opening a new store and I asked if I could brand him a scent. I had this real vision that scent could be used beyond skin application. Not that it’s not sensual and romantic on skin, I just knew it could be used for so much more.

BI: You are able to create everything from scented media and marketing packages to ambient sprays, diffusers, hang tags, draw liners and custom candles. Is it difficult to translate scents into so many applications?

DG: You have to be very careful of how you use scent as you don’t want to upset people. The olfactive memory is the most acute and powerful part of your memory. It can automatically and unconsciously make people think of you in a positive way, however it can be negative and you can alienate consumers if the scent doesn’t fit with the brand message. At the end of the day, we are manufacturing on memories and scent is the way to do it. It has to be seamless.

BI: How does creating a brand logo differ from creating a company perfume?

DG: What we are doing is taking the existing company references and translating it into a smell. When we talk with a brand we don’t talk about scents at all. This is all their language. We look at the emotional territory they live in as well as their target market and then by the end of the process I have a firm idea of what they should smell like.

BI: What type of companies are currently using “brand logos” as a means of communication?

DG: Right after we did Art Basel in Miami things started rolling for us and we began doing restaurants, nightclubs, hospitality, retail and even financial institutions…It is for anyone that thinks they can use scent to communicate their brand further.