If you’ve ever embraced a fragrance just because it reminded you of someone, or dabbed on a perfume reminiscent of a particular vacation, French designer Charline Ronzon-Jaricot knows just how you feel. She is all about making products that explore the uncanny connection between the nose and the heart.
A graduate of Paris’ prestigious L’École Boulle with a degree in design objects, Ronzon-Jaricot became interested in scent at a young age. “We talk a lot about it but, we’re not at all aware of the strength and the particularities of sense of smell,” she says. “It’s a very complex and deep sense—very different from the others. Especially because it’s very linked with memory.”
Her first olfactory project, Evanescence, explores scent memories that can connect a smell to an experience. To do this, she created a gorgeous glass and stone device designed to release a drop of a bespoke fragrance onto a single pebble at the moment a user chooses, initiating a scent memory that you can recreate again and again.
She followed that project with Ascentium, which delves into the nature of how we experience perfume. “We don’t imagine how much work it is to create a perfume; we don’t pay attention to all the complexities of a scent.” But, “if we train it, we can multiply our olfactory receptors,” Ronzon-Jaricot says. Ascentium trains the nose through a bifurcated glass apparatus that heats a drop of perfume from the bottom up, allowing the head, heart, and base notes to separate out (the different densities mean the notes will come out at different speeds), so the user can sense each one individually.
Of course, scent isn’t the only sense the young designer is aiming to appeal. Her creations are as beautiful as they are romantic–minimal glass, metal, and stone inventions that do double duty as stunning objets d’art. Citing influences as diverse as product designers Benjamin Graindorge and Matteo Zorzenoni, fashion designer Hussein Chalayan, French comic books, and Blade Runner, Ronzon-Jaricot’s work hits a sweet spot between the senses that delights the eyes as much as the nose.
Currently interning at David Derksen Design in Rotterdam, the designer is planning more (top secret for now!) scent projects and dreams of opening her own studio one day.