Sculpting Scent

Zuza Mengham collaborates with Laboratory Perfumes for London Design Festival 2016

As we are (to our great excitement!) almost wrapping up (and therewith will be able to finally share) the complete perfume project we have been working on in the last months —which without a doubt turned out to be one of our favorite assignments in the last few years— we would like to share another project that deeply inspired us. Scheduled for presentation during the London Design Festival 2016 from the 15th until the 25th of September at The Conran Shop, in the project created for the festival British artist Zuza Mengham collaborated with fragrance house Laboratory Perfumes, which we wrote about last year, on a highly inspirational artistic exploration of the relationship between scent and the other human senses.

Taking the brand’s four scents: ‘Amber’, ‘Gorse’, ‘Samphire’ and ‘Tonka’, along with a soon-to-be-launched fifth called ‘Atlas’ — Mengham translates intangible fragrances into solid forms with a series of signature resin sculptures. Literally it means that Mengham took the individual notes of the scents and translated them into the sculptural, creating unique blends of colors, angles and effects in incredible crystal-like resin sculptures. ‘Samphire’ becomes an interplay of light through layers of translucent resin; the fresh scent of ‘Gorse’ inspired a clear yellow hue and eponymous beans of ‘Tonka’ are represented in slabs of slate. ‘Sculpting Scent’ additionally celebrates another big moment for the in 2012 launched Laboratory Perfumes with the launch of their fifth scent:‘Atlas’. The fragrance is built around the aroma of pipe tobacco, with layers of rum, vanilla, hay, and fresh ozone top notes inspired by the scents of Morocco’s Atlas mountains, translated into a deep blue intertwined with purple piece by Mengham, reminiscing of that moment right before nights fall in the warm desert of the North African country.

We are in awe of this deeply romantic artistic exploration by Mengham and Laboratory Perfumes, bringing fragrance into highly remarkable physical forms.

Mengham on the project:

I made a conscious decision not to read the descriptions, but to smell them all and see what I could decipher from them first directly, taking notes and ideas. After I matched them up with their descriptions I made a series of drawings with watercolour overlays, building up the colours and patterns until I was happy they translated in a way that felt appropriate.

London-based artist and designer Zuza Mengham makes large-scale sculptures and installations. Her work explores the join between the recovery of traditional crafts and the creation of her own new methods of making. From large steel and neon chandeliers housing hanging plants to small geometric glassy sculptures, her work is seated within an atheistic of modernist abstraction. She recently put a new emphasis on resin sculptures, which explore ways of capturing elemental states using color and manipulating the point of catalysis, which offers infinite possibilities for creating her gem-like structures, of which her collaboration with Laboratory Perfumes are excellent examples. She is also working on a jewelry series exploring synthesizing particular materials such as powdered copper and slate, allowing the natural density of each component or pigment to drop and rise creating spontaneously marbled colors. Zuza’s resins are available to buy at The The Store on Hackney Road.

‘Sculpting Scent’ will be on display as part of the London Design Festival 2016 from the 15th until the 25th of September at The Conran Shop on 55 Marylebone High Street in
London. Opened Monday until Saturday from 10:00 — 19:00 and Sunday from 11:00 — 18:00.

For more work by Zuza Mengham see here

Read our feature on Laboratory Perfume here
For more info on Laboratory Perfume see here

For the London Design Festival 2016 see here