Dawn and Samantha Goldworm on translating today’s biggest brands into scents.
The concept of brands exploiting the power of scent to enhance the consumer experience isn’t a new one by any stretch. Consider the experience of doing laundry. Sure, we want our clothes to be clean, but more important, we want them to smell good. Or think about walking into any JW Marriott and being greeted by the same wafting scent, whether you’re in New York or Dubai. This is scent marketing, but what Dawn, an internationally recognized olfactive expert, and Samantha, a global leader in branding and consumer insights, are doing is very different. They are the sister duo behind olfactive branding firm 12.29, where they engage the visceral language of scent to define, shape, and communicate brand identity. They are taking scent marketing to new heights and using their olfactive superpowers to do it.
“I can smell fear.” —Dawn Goldworm
Offering a fascinating glimpse into their creative process is their work with renowned auction house Christie’s. A project they consider a great honor, 12.29 was tasked with creating a signature scent for 2019 Classic Week. The creative process began by studying a curated collection of pieces, with particular attention given to the colors, textures, and light in the pieces. In absorbing the paintings, Dawn considered what it must have smelled like and felt like to be there, the scent of the woman’s skin on a warm day, a bowl of fruit on the verge of decay, the richness of fabric contrasted with the coldness of metal. Dawn identified a common thread across the six works, that being the contrast of beauty and death at the center of them all. So what does beauty and death smell like? Think smoked woods, autumnal spices, and ripe jasmine with an animalistic musk.
Using Their Superpowers for Good
Their latest venture, an extension of 12.29, has Dawn and Samantha using their superpowers for good. Scent for Good is founded on their shared belief in community, compassion, and care, with the goal of changing the culture around health from everyday luxuries to care experiences. There’s no telling what else this powerhouse duo has up their sleeves, but we’re keeping it locked to find out.
Now the burning question we’re all wanting to know: What scents do sophisticated noses like Dawn and Samantha’s enjoy? What are some of their favorite products?
Described as walking through a field of fresh cannabis post-afternoon rain shower, this eau de parfum from the New York City–bred beauty house is among Samantha’s favorite scents. “The chocolate and patchouli combination is simultaneously deep and delectable,” she says.
Officially created to introduce children to fragrances. Unofficially created to amuse their parents. “My children are obsessed with Francis’ scented bubbles,” says Samantha. “Especially the pear.”
Composed of four precious oils: argan oil, sweet almond oil, refined sunflower oil, and castor oil, this water care oil provides a moisturizing in-shower experience. Dawn loves the orange blossom scent, describing it as what it would smell like if “the South of France and Marrakech made love.”
Created by renowned “nose” Alberto Morillas, Dawn is a big fan of the scented experience this candle provides, describing it as “a perfect balance of the petal-y, wet, fruity, and animal textural sensuality.”
We’d be remiss if we didn’t turn the spotlight on Dawn and Samantha’s own collection of 12.29 scented candles. Made in France and available in eight beautifully complex scents, these candles provide the ultimate sensory experience. We’re partial to “This Feels Dangerous,” with its notes of delectable dark chocolate, sumptuous vanilla beans, addictive animal notes, and whipped musk. 12.29 is contributing a touch of joy and comfort through scent by giving back and supporting frontline workers with the purchase of every candle.
Want more stories like this?
Perfume as Self-Care? Aromacology Is the Holistic Wellness Trend You Need to Try
9 Celebrity-Led Beauty Brands Taking the Crown This Year
The 50 Best Beauty Products That Launched in September