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Matt Checkowski

CEO & CCO
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Randi Feinberg

Executive Producer

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Open Positions

Designer

Motion Graphics Animator

Copywriter

Brand Strategist

VR Compositor

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Sephora Sensorium Pop-Up Perfume Museum

Our Role

Strategy, Design, Content, Technology, Experiential

Sephora‘s pop-up fragrance museum in New York City reimagined the possibilities of perfume marketing to engage with consumers, bolster sales, and inspire the industry.

ACCOLADES

One Show – Gold Pencil, Experiential
Fragrance Foundation Awards – Tech Breakthrough of the Year
Core77 Design Awards – Notable, Interactive
AICP Next Awards – Shortlist, Experiential
D&AD Awards – In Book, Interactive

BUZZ

New York Times • Refinery29WWD • Cool Hunting • PSFK • Creativity • ArchDaily
At the first sniff...

Smell can trigger a memory, attract, repulse, satiate, and compel action. Firmenich, one of the world’s most respected fragrance and flavor houses, approached us to help bring their decades of experience and consumer research to life to inspire a new generation with the magic of perfume.

 

We immersed ourselves in the research, got a master class in perfume from the perfumers and marketers at Firmenich, and hosted focus groups at our office in Los Angeles. Our team discovered that few young American women were seeking out perfume, but not because they weren’t intrigued. They’d become over-saturated with options, targeted by seduction-heavy ads aimed at an older demographic, and repelled by the outdated perfume-counter experience at department stores. Very few strategies spoke their language or were geared towards their engagement, but we learned that Millennials were hungry for new ways to explore and engage with scents on their own terms.

and then,

We identified a new narrative for Millennials’ relationship with perfume, and focused on storytelling as a means to engagement. Young, American women were interested in perfume’s sensorial and alchemic origins, its craft and connection to the natural world, as well as learning how to wear and personalize it to their own style. Our primary focus: how can we present the product in a way that encourages interaction and discovery, and inspire a new attitude towards perfume?

“The D4D helped us achieve an interactive exhibition beyond our wildest dreams. It was a true partnership born out of respect, fun and visionary thinking. We’ve inspired the entire perfume industry.”

DEBRA BUTLER

VP OF CREATIVE MARKETING, FIRMENICH

The goal became a pop-up activation that would provide a new point of entry for the audience and an opportunity to experience the world as a perfumer does. Our design process began with scent, working closely with the perfume team at Firmenich to explore how fragrance, media, interactivity and physical space could combine to create a truly multi-sensory exhibit. Over twenty original fragrances were created: evoking early memories (Bacon and Biscuits, Summer Vacation) or bringing dreams to life (floating amidst the clouds, witnessing the big bang.)

 

img_1665

Works-in-progress: variations on perfume intensity and profile.

 

We amplified each fragrance with its own original content experience, including ultra-widescreen videos, soundscapes and interactive experiences driven by our custom technology that measures and visualizes a live sniff, realized on laser-cut projection screens and 3D printed sculptures. It was all framed by an architectural narrative that moved participants through immersive group experiences, like First Scent, to individual encounters, like Lucid Dreams, ending as a complete multi-sensory re-imagining of how the sense of smell inspires our lives.

 

Lucid Dreams Diagram

Video: A sketch of the First Scent content experience.

 

Ultimately, the Sensorium was not simply a competitor to the traditional methods of perfume marketing that repelled our audience, but rather a completely new starting point from which they could sense, learn about, and engage with fragrance in a whole new light.

“Overall, Sensorium provides a great example of how a brand’s presence can be empowered by walking the fine line between education and entertainment.”

PLUS AZIZ, PSFK.COM

alas,

The Sensorium inhabited 3700 square feet of storefront space in New York’s Meat Packing District as a two month limited engagement during the holiday shopping season.

“I haven’t seen anything so exciting in the industry in years; This should be the fragrance museum.”

PETE BORN

EDITOR IN CHIEF, WWD

Over 7200 industry professionals and consumers enjoyed the exhibitions, and the event was covered by trades, local, national, and international media outlets including the New York Times, New York Post, New York Magazine, Time Out, and Beauty Biz. Earned media coverage landed the Sensorium as a feature in 379 publications including Huffington Post, Cool Hunting, Refinery29, Inspiration Room, PSFK and WWD, that collectively accumulated 195 million impressions.

“The Sensorium showed the need to give the consumers authenticity, to listen to a broader consumer base, to speak in multiple voices and most importantly to share the knowledge and passion of the perfumer.”

JERRY VITTORIA

FIRMENICH PRESIDENT OF FINE FRAGRANCE, NA

Beyond the media hype, visitors to the Sensorium were given a voucher for a $15 dollar discount to the newly opened Sephora flagship around the corner. Our pop-up resulted in a push to the desired retail location where Sephora sold 1938 gift cards across 36 fragrance SKUs.

 

Our First Scent and Lucid Dreams interactive experiences were recognized with a Gold Pencil by the One Show, the Technological Breakthrough of the Year by the Fragrance Foundation, the AICP Next Awards, D&AD and the Core77 Design Awards.

the end.