Whenever I walk by a department store in the mall, my nose burns just a bit. It’s a Pavlovian response, as my body is anticipating the (carcinogenic? mutagenic? embryogenic?) olfactory blitz of the perfume counter. It’s about the closest I come to synesthesia, experiencing one sense with another sense, but a new lamp may change that.
Scent of Light, by Diego Vencato and Marco Merendi is, quite simply, crafted to look like smell. Adopting the teardrop shape of a perfume bottle, and using a particularly clear formulation of glass, the LED lamp is coated with metal oxides to give it a soapy or oil-like ethereal sheen.
“The inspiration comes from thinking of light as a fragrance, an intangible but ever-so evocative matter,” Vencato tells Co.Design. “Smell is the most archaic and basic of our senses, it is so archetypical that it is difficult to explain it. The lamp tells the story of something which has no weight, a remembrance or an instant of our life, frozen in a portion of air.”
Even though I don’t smell anything, I do know what he means. The lamp certainly evokes something physical as I look at it, making me recall blowing bubbles in the summertime, along with that sweet, sticky film that a bubble-blowing marathon will leave on everything. It makes me nostalgic in the same way food so often will, like a warm bowl of tomato soup might remind me of building snowmen in the winter (or, at minimum, a Campbell’s commercial where that happened).
And what’s so interesting is that the team is evoking these emotions in glass–a substance that most of us have come to equate with cold electronics rather than warm memories.
If you’d like a Scent of Light to call your own, Vencato and Merendi are working on putting the lamp into production, but there’s no price or availability information just yet.