Invisible design and the scents of a home

Scents are everywhere even if we can’t see them. We rarely think about the strong role they play in our lives and the memories they evoke. With the OSYNLIG collection IKEA, together with the fragrance company Byredo, explore invisible design and how to add scents in our homes.

When was the last time you could smell a memory? Maybe when you entered a home you have not visited in a long time, or caught a whiff of newly cut grass when you open a window? From IKEA Life at Home research we know that smell is the sense with the most powerful influence on memory, mood and emotion. Because the olfactory bulb is part of the brain's limbic system — an area so closely associated with memory and feeling — it's sometimes also called the "emotional brain". Scent can call up memories and powerful responses almost instantaneously.

Together with the Swedish fragrance company Byredo, IKEA is exploring what invisible design and scents in the home mean to us. During the initial exploration phase, we also engaged with young design students from Royal College of Art in London to learn more what invisible design could be to them.

We believe there is at least one scent for everyone, and to really make it inclusive for the many people we now have a concept of 13 scents divided into three bases – floral, woody and fresh. With such a wide selection we hope there is a scent for everyone all over the world. We know what important role scents play in our homes and therefore we want to democratise scent and make it affordable at a low price. You may fall in love with one of the scents or co-create something new when you let them blend together. Because there is no right or wrong when it comes to scents, it´s personal and unique.

The collection will be launched in 2020. To gather people’s stories and learn more about how people actually use the scents we plan to do some early limited releases in different countries.

Designers: Byredo and Iina Vuorivirta, IKEA.
Creative Leader: James Futcher, IKEA
Planned launch date: August 2020