Zuza Mengham translates scent into new sensory forms

Posted By Gudy Herder / January 6, 2017 / 0 Comments

London based artist and designer Zuza Mengham explores the fine boundaries of crafts and research of new materials and technologies. Her long term project of resin sculptures is among my favorite projects I have seen lately on the net when it comes to building up new and stunning brand communications. In a nutshell, Zuza Mengham translates scent into new sensory forms.

A series of sculptures were born when receiving the brief of translating several genderless scents into a new campaign for Laboratory Perfumes.

Zuza Mengham translates scent into new sensory forms

Atlas | Image: Ilka and Franz


The challenge was to translate all five fragrances of the British lab such as Amber, Gorse, Samphire, Tonka and Atlas into shape, color and texture.

Laboratory Perfumes took their own creativity to the level, in an attempt to explore how something as intangible as fragrance could possibly be translated into a new sensory medium.

Atlas is inspired by Morocco’s Atlas mountains. This fragrance is built around layers of rum, vanilla and hay that intensified its North African character. Spiced with cinnamon, ginger and black pepper, and complemented with the warming, woody aromas of fine Cognac, the result is a complex and confident fragrance that unveils intriguing new layers and facets as the day goes on.

Gif: Ilka and Franz

Zuza Mengham translates scent into new sensory forms

Amber  | Image: Ilka and Franz

The Amber resin culture had the following brief: Amber follows the wearer through their day, evolving as the hours pass and bringing out different component notes as the tempo changes. Its dynamic burst of grassiness and greenery matches the energy of morning, subtly maturing into rich spice as the day continues. Closing notes of warm, earthy wood and balmy ambergris bring a more subdued, reflective tone to the fragrance as evening draws in.

Zuza Mengham translates scent into new sensory forms

Gorse  | Image: Ilka and Franz

This scent owes its existence to a gorse-lined driveway in Provence. Captivated by the coconut-infused air surrounding the yellow flowers of the gorse bushes, we set about creating a scent that captured the essence of summer in the countryside.

The result is a fresh, crisp fragrance that transports the wearer to sun-kissed heathlands along the coast. Opening with invigorating top note of citrus, and of course, the delightful coconut hit of the gorse flower, the scent is given a spicy depth by the suggestion of cardamom beneath.

Zuza Mengham translates scent into new sensory forms

Samphire | Image: Ilka and Franz

In Samphire’s case, the initial inspiration came from a young leaf of verbena plucked from a friend’s garden on a spring afternoon. The scent was so arrestingly fresh, they decided to find a way to capture its zesty rush. Verbena with a pinch of juniper berries from the spice rack was added – and Samphire began to take shape. Moving from the kitchen to the lab, finally citrus oil, flourishes of lavender, basil and rosemary were blended in, and base notes of white amber and oak moss to create a bright, cool, aromatic scent with a lightness of touch that belies its complexity and longevity on the skin. 

Zuza Mengham translates scent into new sensory forms

Tonka | Image: Ilka and Franz

Tonka’s story begins in a jar of pink peppercorns. In the laboratory, that peppercorn scent was paired with the zing of mandarin, and added a layer of depth and richness with warm woodland aromatics. The finishing touch is provided by the vanilla-tobacco notes of the tonka bean – its captivating earthiness holds the scent together.

I love this idea because this is basically what we do with our mood boards all the time. We translate an idea or concepto into a board that helps us defining next steps. They are a new sensory forms including different tactile elements, color and text. The main difference is that a mood board is not considered the final task or object but considered an activator for future projects.

Zuza Mengham considers her resin sculptures as an ongoing research like this series that is comprised of six materials: Copper, Bronze, Iron, Slate, Marble and Salt.


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