Interview by R. Caligaris
With smell being one of the strongest of our five senses, it’s no wonder identical twins, Dawn and Samantha Goldworm created 12.29 and have managed to turn olfactory branding into an extremely lucrative business.
Having created scents for celebrities, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, and a host of other establishments the Goldworms are taking the fragrance branding world by storm. Their work with perfume, branding and, most recently, candles has been called “intoxicating” and their craftsman like care and passion towards their work has been given lots of attention from the likes of celebrities, fashion designers, business moguls and wedding planners alike. The sisters sat down with SVM to talk about their business, their vision, and what it all means to them.
Scent is one of the most powerful of our senses, how did the idea to center a company around “olfactory branding” come about?
After working in the beauty industry for many years, I felt very strongly that scent or fragrance could live beyond the traditional application to skin and become something more. Because scent is such a fundamental part of life and how we understand ourselves, each other and the world around us, I was convinced that we could use it to harness an emotional reaction outside of traditional beauty products. I started writing a master’s thesis at NYU to this point and after quite a bit of research and experimenting, 12.29 was born.
You’ve made scents for the likes of Lady Gaga, Heidi Klum, David and Victoria Beckham and many more. How do you ensure that each fragrance is unique and specific to the needs of your client?
I designed these perfumes in collaboration with my previous team at Coty Beauty Paris. Coty’s marketing teams are very skilled at segmenting and curating specific concepts to each celebrity personality.
I, in turn, worked with them to translate these concepts into perfumes. For 12.29, the process is slightly different. We work with a brand to translate their existing brand identity into an olfactive vision, or smell. The two processes complement one another. In the case of Lady Gaga, I was given the opportunity to design the perfume with Coty beauty and then translate the perfume into a scent with 12.29 for the launch at the Guggenheim Museum.
At the end of 2013, 12.29 came out with a line of luxury candles that include scents like fresh tobacco, leather, amber, jasmine and saffron honey. How did you ultimately come up with the combinations for these scents?
The 12.29 Collection scents are each individual stories… precious, forgotten poetry from my past. Each one is a memory reinterpreted through scent.
What do fragrances represent to you?
For some it is a memory, a place, a loved one, a moment in life, an indulgence. What is it for you? Scent is a dream made tangible throughout smell. In a moment, it can envelope you, transport you and then let you go. It unites your past and future in one breath.
Is perfume synonymous with femininity?
Perfume is synonymous with sensuality in that is seduces all who smell it.
Is scent the next sense for hipsters to master? Will
everyone be looking at perfume as art in the future?
Perfumery is an artisanal craft. It is a balance between science and art. It takes innate talent, skill and years of learning and practice. It is not a trend or a fad. svm