New Scents in Action: Socio-materiality and Sense-making in Perfumery

Processes of developing new fragrances: How are new fragrances developed? How are meanings in the process of fragrance development negotiated among the actors involved? And what role does the special materiality of fragrances play in this?

Factsheet

  • Lead department Business
  • Institute Institute for Innovation and Strategic Entrepreneurship
  • Research unit Decision Making
  • Funding organisation SNSF
  • Duration 01.01.2014 - 30.06.2019
  • Project management Claus Noppeney
  • Head of project Claus Noppeney
  • Keywords Sensemaking, Sociomateriality, Scent, Design process

Situation

The research project links the two discussions and examines the interrelation between socio-materiality and sense-making using the development of new fragrances as an example.

Course of action

It examines how meaning is attributed to fragrances, how the meaning of fragrances is negotiated among the actors involved, how fragrances convey meaning, and even how a fragrance with its special properties may also contribute to its development.

Result

The analysis of the data yielded many indications of sensory references and their relevance for creativity practice. A closer analysis reveals that the actors' work on meaning is rather selective. The analysis thus also revealed the limits of communication to olfactory experiences. This insight motivated further search movements and insights. Thus it became clear that especially in cultural contexts, meanings are increasingly negotiated on the basis of scents.

Looking ahead

The results will be communicated to a broad public within the framework of the SNF project New Scents in Action.