The furniture superstore is taking on “invisible design.”
“At IKEA we are curious about the senses and the importance they play for people at home,” said Marcus Engman, design manager at IKEA Range and Supply, in a press release. “We know that scents can help us create a feeling of safety and intimacy, but what does home smell like? And how can smell be communicated beyond scented candles? Collaborating with one of the best in the world, Ben Gorham at Byredo gives us the opportunity to explore this further.”
The company hopes to transport people to a different time or specific memory through scent, which Gorham refers to as “invisible design.”
“I know most people have associations of visiting their grandmother’s house—whether it’s her perfume or the flowers or her cooking—smell is a very relevant part of the home,” Gorham said, according to an IKEA blog post. “It creates a sense of comfort and security. We seldom speak of it and I think this project enforces that as well: getting people to think about smell.”
Gorham founded the Swedish perfume brand Byredo in 2006. Since then, he has made a name for himself with his wide range of scented candles and perfumes derived from quality raw materials.
IKEA has had several collection collaborations with popular designers and artists. Last year, they partnered with British designer Ilse Crawford, photographer Jill Greenberg, and fashion designer Kit Neale, to name a few. Just last week, the company announced a millennial-focused furniture project with fashion designer Virgil Abloh, too.