‘bell ille’ by 12.29, the scent of design miamiimage © design miami



scent director of olfactory branding firm 12.29, dawn goldworm spoke at the much attended BE OPEN forum in miami, on 8th of december 2012.designboom attended the conference organized by the BE OPEN initiative that seeks to foster discourse on technology innovation with a compelling panel of designers that break the categories of design, art and problem solving.



dawn goldworm has been responsible for designing global fragrances for clients including adidas, david and victoria beckham, kylie minogue, kate moss, lady gaga and playboy. her company 12.29 has been scenting design miami‘s exhibition spaces with a custom aroma called ‘belle ille’ for the past four years. when approached to create the fragrance, goldworm was given a brief that had to translate the vibrant,  colorful, and energetic feeling of miami with an avant garde twist that is characteristic of the arts and design scene. through the layering of several nodes she developed a watery, aromatic floral bouquet with an anise signature.



scent director dawn goldworm discusses the flavors in the fragrance in the bespoke design miami scentvideo © designboom



branding through scentgoldworm described the power of manufactured experiences and the ability to more deeply engage customers and audiences through the emotional potency of scents. the process  involves first identifying your brand as a color, as a texture, as a sound, et cetera. when 12.29 partners with a company to create an olfactive identity exclusively for the brand, the scent becomes an own-able intellectual property, which can be registered, identifiable and distinctive in the same way as a brand’s visual logo. an olfactive logo can be expressed in a variety of mediums including consumer products (fragrances, ambient sprays or candles), olfactive packaging, or scenting the company’s retail space, special events, etc.

sight and hearing senses go to the left brain, but smell is hardwired to the right brain’s limbic system, which is your emotional core. it triggers an emotional response, and the customer builds an emotional connection with the brand.the technology has a singular aim: to increase the sensory and emotive connection with visitors/customers and to put people in the mood spend more time in store,to enjoy himself, and to buy something.



dawn goldworm + BE OPEN forum : the final branding frontier is a scent logo

the olfactory journey begins at the entrance of design miamiimage © design miami



‘the interesting thing about being a fragrance designer, or a nose or whatever you want to call it, is that, we don’t necessarily have a stronger sense of smell than anyone else. what we have is a very vast, and cataloged olfactive memory. so it’s like going to an old school library and picking the reference book cards. and so every time I meet a brand and engage with them and take them through my creative process, I’m kind of pulling out those little references from my past to understand how I can put them together to create a new smell for the brand or the project.’ – dawn goldworm, scent director, 12.29



 dawn goldworm + BE OPEN forum : the final branding frontier is a scent logo dawn goldworm’s nose is one of the most sought out in the industry



branding’s final frontierat a time when brands have already fine-tuned everything from their show-room color palettes to employee dress codes to the music, scent isthe sole remaining sense that can directly influence how a customer regards a brand. scent is becoming an increasingly important instrument andthanks to the development of electronic scent diffusers, today’s consumer perceptions are enriched by the sense of smell.(behind-the-scenes diffusers have largely freed abercrombie & fitch employees from spritzing the air with the clothier’s muscular array of colognes; the smells are pumped into the air full-time now). high air pressure or a vibrating electronic membrane atomizes a fragrant (oil) into microscopic particulates, which are then diffused into the output duct of a store’s HVAC system. the mist is so fine you can’t even see it coming out of the atomizer and you don’t have to worry about residue, and you can control the intensity.



dawn goldworm of 12.29 talks about her process as a perfumervideo © designboom



in a competitive business environment, where companies have an increasingly difficult time differentiating themselves and winning consumer spending and loyalty, connecting on an emotional level through scent creates a more memorable brand experience. a branded scent cuts through the clutter of traditional marketing and advertising and creates stronger and more memorable brand loyalty through an ‘olfactive identity’. this is because the olfactive memory, or smell memory, is the largest and most acute part of memory.

as a synesthetes, goldworm has the unique condition where her sense of smell automatically leads to an involuntary experience in a second sensory pathway. as a result, when she takes in an aroma she sees color and texture. so when she begins to design a fragrance for a brand she starts with these touch pointsand is able to pull the corresponding tones into a signature bouquet.



a human is able to recognize approximately 10,000 different odors and more impressively, recall smells with 65% accuracy after a year, in contrast to only 50% of visuals after three months (according to sense of smell institute). that means that a brand with an olfactive logo has a 65% chance of being remembered by a consumer while an unscented brand has a 50% chance of being forgotten within the first three months. 



making fragrances has it’s perks, listen to dawn goldworm of 12.29 describe her collaboration with lady gagavideo © designboom


to scent the guggenheim, 12.29 had to technically reconstruct lady gaga’s fame perfume to work as a scent in a space. 12.29 took the signature of the scent, a caricature of the final vision of the perfume and made it into a smell that feels less like a fragrance and more like an environmental scent.the key notes are of red berry, saffron, leather, honey, orchid and violet, creating a beautifully contrasted elegance of addiction and desire.


 dawn goldworm + BE OPEN forum : the final branding frontier is a scent logo lady gaga’s ‘fame’ is the frist black eau de parfume



‘working with someone that’s a musician, they have a very different language through sound than I got from smell…so with lady gaga, she would kind of speak through music. and I would have to translate that into a perfumery vision. and that’s how we spoke to each other, which was really interesting.’ – dawn goldworm



dawn goldworm + BE OPEN forum : the final branding frontier is a scent logo dawn goldworm of 12.29 at the be open forum during design miami 2012portrait © designboom


BE OPEN is a creative think tank whose initiatives strive to promote the work and ideas of global creative minds particularly in the areas of arts, business, design, education and media. their 2012 / 2013 program is running under the core theme of ‘design of the five senses’ and at design miami/ 2012, they hosted a forum which presented five speakers practicing within diverse fields of design from product, to utilizing food, scent, biochemistry and haptic technology, developing sensorial experiences which are heightened beyond the ones we experience on a daily basis.

addressing the traditional senses – sight, smell, taste, touch and sound – the seminar in miami was the initial research into the next realm, that of the sixth sense or intuition. the other talks included tuur van balen, designer and partner in design practice cohen van balen; marije vogelzang, eating designer; jamie zigelbaum and marcelo coelho, zigelbaum + coelho designer studio founders; carter cleveland, founder of art.sy, with creative consultant jeffrey miller as moderator.

dawn goldworm + BE OPEN forum : the final branding frontier is a scent logo dawn goldworm, scent director and samantha goldworm, business director of 12.29

dawn goldworm, scent directorin her more than 10 years experience in the fragrance industry, dawn goldworm has designed perfumes for celebrity, fashion, lifestyle and mass brands including heidi klum, esprit, elite, jovan, lamborghini, and pierre cardin. she has worked for multi-billion dollar global fragrance manufacturers: avon at their global headquarters in new york city; and coty beauty in new york city and paris. she is an olfactive expert in the western markets as well as the middle east, eastern europe, asia and latam.

samantha goldworm, business directorsamantha goldworm is a discipline leader in market intelligence and consumer insights, driving creation and sustainability for fortune 500 companies’ most profitable brands including lancôme, american express, starwood, ragu, bertolli, knorr-lipton, country crock, kraft foods and m&ms. she has eleven years of experience spear-heading complex research studies to shape marketing programs, product innovation, value proposition efforts and communication media plans, enhancing brand image and return on investment.