Code of Conduct
Results 1 to 32 of 32
  1. #1
    Hillaire
    Guest

    Default Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    I chose to post this topic here, as I hope for women as well as men to reply.


    The topic came up in another thread about color names of perfumes (I shall cut and paste), most of which, I think, are savvy marketing gurus using color associations to evoke (and to capitalise on) contemporaneous success stories in other fashion venues, and emergent trends in other genres, e.g. interior design.
    Beyond that, Blue is code for aquatic.
    And green is code for unisex,citrus or planty "freshness".
    More marketing tools, to assist us in our quick recognition of the trends we personally associate with, and always Zeitgeists.

    However, I would propose, that in the experience of fragrance, there is a common synesthetic experience of certain scents. And "experiencing" colors while smelling perfumes is very, very common.

    Luca Turin refers to dark and light aspects of fragrances .. even "brightness". (Ferre by Ferre is 'bright', Coco is 'dark' , and Jean Patou's Sublime is an unusual instance of the successful emergence of both light and dark associations in one fragrance.) Certainly we understand universally, it seems, which fragrances are "wet" and which are "dry". (Allure is 'wet', Chanel 19 is 'dry'.)

    That said, I believe that the commonality of more complex color associations is a very interesting topic. And I would be very very curious to see what basenoters associate color-wise with some famous scents, presented with the project of putting colors to scents.

    I wonder if, with the presence of mind not to make "obvious" associations such as orange to orange notes, many impressions of fragrance effects as a whole would be similar.

    What are some color/ visual impressions you have of widely known fragrances?

    Bvlgari "Black" is one of my favorites, and the name, although a clear reference to the tire effect (just like its bottle) smells pewter to me, with a fine dust of sparkling opalescence, industrial interiors at night.

    To me, Cabochard smells like the color of grey, dry bark, and in an autumnal fog.

    Bandit smells pink to me, always has.

  2. #2
    irish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    MI, USA.
    Posts
    2,540
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    Color associations and metaphors using visual/musical/physical references are different from synesthesia. All these crossover words result from our really poor olfactive vocabulary compared to other senses. We do not say "A banana looks like a school bus" we say "it's slender/elongated and yellow".
    Are color associations good marketing tools? of course they are. Would a scent like aqua di gio sell as much if it were pink? no.
    I guess it is good to have a color code: brown for woods, Green for herbals, Blue for aquatics, yellow aromatic fougeres, pink for girly scents, red for spicy scents, Orange for fruity scents? Gold bottles for mature audiences and silver for youngins? Black for... anything metrosexual? I do not know.
    Two things I do know: Arcus looks like cool aid and it smells like Cool Aid. Jade by Durbano looks like something made by Vicks and it does smell like cough syrup.
    Last edited by irish; 5th January 2009 at 04:09 PM.
    Shameless Plug: Sales thread with Roses Musk, Rose Poivree, and others.
    Looking for lot of samples of female fragrances.

  3. #3
    Hillaire
    Guest

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    I see how my terminology might be confusing.
    I know very well the psychological definition of the condition of synesthesia; it's a "malady" I am blessed with!

    But it's also used, less formally, in its literal, greek definition, to refer to a dance between aesthetic realms -- to a synthesis of aesthetic experience (to indicate more evocative power than dry associations), upon the presentation of a distinct aesthetic impetus. The "hearing" of sad violins upon viewing a Russain painting is one example. While probably informed by historical reference and invoked by "compartments" of knowledge, this is neither an altogether clinical expereince of synesthesia nor simply an "association". I am an art historian, and I come across the term more and more often in aesthetic discourse, in reference to dramatic, experiential perceptions of the aesthetic. And I daresay, as jargon, it is valid.

    As for my post, I also wanted to push past the verbal, and 'descriptions' of the olfactive realm, and see if people were "experiencing" color -- much like a clinical synesthete, in fact.
    I am very interested in this because I have spoken with many people who have this experience when smelling things, though not in other instances.
    Moreover, although we do have dismal olfactive vocabulary, I see it as something of a blessing. Our brains get to speak a whole language unfettered by linguisitic binds. This is perhaps half of the reason for my fascination with scent!

  4. #4
    Moderator

    Redneck Perfumisto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Spiritually, Kansas
    Posts
    13,080
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    37

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    I don't believe that I experience true synesthesia except in dreams. I do, however, rely on color association as an assist in fragrance perception. I pretty much follow the colors that are suggested by the marketers, through names, bottles, or ad copy. Violet = violet, pink = rose, white = white flowers or powder or creamy, blue = aquatic, dark green = pine, light green = herbal, red = spice, black = black pepper, rubber, fig, licorice, etc., yellow = light citrus, orange = heavy citrus, brown = wood, clear or silver = fresh.

    Unfortunately, I rarely deviate from the colors suggested for a fragrance by the maker. Polo green is green. Silver Mountain Water is silver. Virgin Island Water is clear. Black Orchid is black. I think I take these as hints, and don't deviate too far. Now I do think Black Orchid is actually black and a kind of pinkish violet at the same time. And Un Jardin sur le Nil is green. No big surprises here!

    Very interesting question.
    * * * *

  5. #5

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    I think scents and colours are too intrinsically linked by experience to truly merit the (clinical) synaesthesia tag: thus, lemon "smells yellow", orange "smells orange", lavender "smells purple". The names given to a fragrance by the marketing department can be suggestive, too. That's not to say those descriptors do not smack of synaesthesia; they certainly do. I just find it hard to imagine that using them is an actual indicator of synaesthesia in an individual. As mentioned, they are "code" or "misused" vocabulary caused by the voids in language.

    It'd be interesting to find out if synaesthesia can be a learned response. If it would be possible for a non-synaesthete to experience something akin to synaesthesia simply by having trained themselves (through language/acculturation) to link certain colours and smells.
    I have a mild grapheme/colour synaesthesia and it certainly "feels" similar to the smell/colour association - but there's the obvious difference that my graphemes are diffently coloured from any other synaesthete, while my smells' colours coincide. I can't say my colour experience with scent is synaesthetic in itself, but the similarity in experience makes me wonder if one could be "trained" to be synaesthetic to a degree.
    It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely products of a deranged imagination.

    Douglas Adams

  6. #6

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    I have synesthete envy. i know two people who experience (clinical) synesthesia. They have done so s long as they can remember and were surprised to find out that no everyone did. Both are highly successful musicians (one an internationally known concert pianist) , and both have always experienced and understood music in color patterns. Each has her own idiosyncratic color/music language.

    I think for us normal scent-lovers, as veuve amiot says, our color associations have been influenced by individual experiences and common cultural codes.

    Hilaire, it will be interesting to see if any of us have similar color associations with scent. I think what little color/scent palate I have is totally influenced by trends (aquatics being blue and in blue bottles) and marketing. However I do object to certain color/scent pairings. Like you, I smell Jasmin Noir as something other than black. And I find that Arden's Mediterranean is not at all blue, despite the color and name.

  7. #7
    irish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    MI, USA.
    Posts
    2,540
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillaire View Post
    I am an art historian, and I come across the term more and more often in aesthetic discourse, in reference to dramatic, experiential perceptions of the aesthetic. And I daresay, as jargon, it is valid.

    As for my post, I also wanted to push past the verbal, and 'descriptions' of the olfactive realm, and see if people were "experiencing" color -- much like a clinical synesthete, in fact.
    Fair enough. It is just that I wanted to read more about Physiology /psychology /neurology than aesthetics.

    Now, even though it may seem poethic and all, I really do not envy (clinical) Synesthesia (I know my avatar sugests the contrary).
    Shameless Plug: Sales thread with Roses Musk, Rose Poivree, and others.
    Looking for lot of samples of female fragrances.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    Quote Originally Posted by irish View Post
    Now, even though it may seem poethic and all, I really do not envy (clinical) Synesthesia.
    Any reason why? Just curious.
    It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely products of a deranged imagination.

    Douglas Adams

  9. #9
    irish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    MI, USA.
    Posts
    2,540
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    Quote Originally Posted by veuve amiot View Post
    Any reason why? Just curious.
    Mainly because I can only speculate of which kind of synesthesia I would get, and how will I expirience it. Specuation raises curiosity, not envy. I enjoy reading people's description of how it feels to live with this condition. However, from what I have read, synesthesia is not as mystical as it is made out to be. For many, it is a nice characteristic that mades them special, but most of them get used to it after some time. I do not think it would enhance my artistic or cognitive skills, at least not those which ineterest me (e.g I am not interested on becoming a Jazz Musician).

    I do envy other mental characteristics, like better memory, the capacity of a kid to learn a new language and perfect pitch (OK, may be not perfect, but at least some pitch recognition. A turkey sings better than me). So, 4 year old Mozart = me
    Last edited by irish; 6th January 2009 at 05:13 PM.
    Shameless Plug: Sales thread with Roses Musk, Rose Poivree, and others.
    Looking for lot of samples of female fragrances.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    For the 2 people I know it has enhanced (exponentially) their ability to learn to play music and to learn to read in general, and to rad and speak new languages. They also both have incredibly sharp and precise memories (and one is in her late 70s). In the two cases I know, learning, memory, and synesthesia are linked.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    Synaesthesia is technically an affliction within the autism spectrum, so it's not altogether surprising that they might be single-minded creatures - which in its turn can bring about great proficiency when applied to music or other areas. Synaesthesia in itself is not a guarantee for genius, sadly.
    Mystical it is not, indeed. It's very selbstverständlich for those who experience it; it's as self-evident as you expecting taste to be a part of the experience of eating. How would you describe the experience of tasting to someone without a sense of taste? I suppose it would seem mystical to that individual too.
    I seem to know a disproportionate number of synaesthetes given that only 1-2% of the population is one; myself, my sister, mother and aunt, my best friend and her sister and three other friends. With the exception of my aunt, all are highly educated, but I'm not sure in how far synaesthetic experiences are a direct memory aide for them. Not consciously so for me, anyway.

    Sorry for rambling, irish. I was just asking because it sounded as if you'd rather not be synaesthetic - so I was wondering if you saw any disadvantages to it. But I misunderstood: you only meant to say that you're fine as you are.
    It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely products of a deranged imagination.

    Douglas Adams

  12. #12
    Hillaire
    Guest

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    I think recent statistics put the occurrence of synesthesia at something like ten percent -- taking into account the frequency of this condition being neither diagnosed nor considered unusual by the subject.
    I think its interesting that the estimate of artists, musicians, and writers who have synesthesia, is closer to to forty percent, and it is also mused that most very well-known musicians and artist throughout history were most certainly "afflicted". I am an artist, and my world is very small. Most of the people I know are synesthetes in some form. In my case, I have inner landscapes that coincide with many temporal, and linear ideas, e.g. the months of the year, the letters of the alphabet, numbers, times of day, etc. etc. Moreover, each element of these landscapes corresponds to something like a personality, a mood, or a level of comfort. I can attest to the fact that the extreme nature of my synsthesia has been sometimes oppressive. Instances of the number fourteen, or all combinations of ones and fours give me an almost mystical reassurance of a larger, protective whole, while instances of the number two juxtaposed with seven, cause me grave distress. As an adult, I can put these reactions at bay, act normally, and reason past the emotional wave. But as a child, it was a real problem, combined with echolalia(repetition of words) and eurythmia (a compulsive need to tap or touch onesself or objects in space symetrically) , I was little mess. Fortunately my parents were a poet and a linguist, and I was never dismissed.
    I have come to be very grateful for my synesthesia; its a bottomless well of emotionally-charged inspiration for my creative efforts. it enhances my realtionship to aesthetic achievements of other in ways I could go on for days about, and I am more sensitive because of it, in general.

    I balk at the designation of malady, as we should to all expressions of the autistic spectrum.
    But.. I can certainly understand the reluctance to pull this experience into one's life!

  13. #13
    irish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    MI, USA.
    Posts
    2,540
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgie View Post
    For the 2 people I know it has enhanced (exponentially) their ability to learn to play music and to learn to read in general, and to rad and speak new languages. They also both have incredibly sharp and precise memories (and one is in her late 70s). In the two cases I know, learning, memory, and synesthesia are linked.
    Now those are interesting experiences. Still, they are atypical from what I have read. Moreover, I am not interested on viewing this condition just as a mean to achieve an end (good cognitive skills).
    Quote Originally Posted by veuve amiot View Post
    Sorry for rambling, irish. I was just asking because it sounded as if you'd rather not be synaesthetic - so I was wondering if you saw any disadvantages to it. But I misunderstood: you only meant to say that you're fine as you are.
    I know! You were getting ready to say "Bad irish" for the third time. I am starting to feel you are out to get me woman! No seriously, it was an enjoyable post veuve amiot.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hillaire View Post
    I think recent statistics put the occurrence of synesthesia at something like ten percent -- taking into account the frequency of this condition being neither diagnosed nor considered unusual by the subject.
    That is an interesting number. Keep in mind I haven't really read about the subject in the last 6 years or so, but I remember the percentage of occurances to be less than 0.01%, after subjects were tested.

    It would be interesting to read more acounts of taste/smell related to these .
    Last edited by irish; 7th January 2009 at 03:52 AM.
    Shameless Plug: Sales thread with Roses Musk, Rose Poivree, and others.
    Looking for lot of samples of female fragrances.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    I have had only 2 experiences of synesthesia. I have always had a rather strong sense of smell. When I was very young, my family used to vacation in San Diego, and we stayed at these tiny houses called casitas that had a creme colored stucco exterior and terra cotta shingles, with these amber lamps on the outside of the house, that lit a faded brick path. It was VERY relaxing. You could hear the waves of the ocean, smell the salt in the air, smell the ozone, and the chlorine from the outdoor pool that was part of the community.

    There is an apartment complex near me (in Queens, NYC, of all places) that has the same exterior, and when I walk by it on some nights, I swear, I smell the ocean and the salt, and all that I just mentioned. The light is reflected off the building in the same way.

    The second experience Ive had comes from a sculpture called "Spot's Suitcase" by Marylin Levine.



    I can almost smell the musky leather, as if its been up in the attic for decades, urine, wood. Theres a passage of time we can see here. With the straps that wont close, it gives a nauseating, cold feeing of loneliness, nostalgia, and feeling trapped. So when I look at this, I literally smell the emotion. Because if loneliness, nostalgia, and futility have a look, a raggedy, unusable suitcase would be it.

    FURTHERMORE, the tile "Spot's Suitcase" sounds like it belonged to a dog that died a long ago. As one may be cleaning out their attic, they run across this, and cry in remembrance. All I know, is this simple sculpture, which is actually made of ceramic!, is very impactful for me. Its certainly not my favorite piece of art, but it strikes me on a strange nerve.

  15. #15
    Hillaire
    Guest

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    That's actually a GREAT sculpture. Thanks for sharing!
    Your know its beauty lies in the surprising medium -- ceramic.
    In contemplating the careful, deliberate and honorific homage to the original medium (of leather),
    we are caused to think about leather! Moreover, the motivation to create a replica of something in a medium that is far more difficult than its model (in this case, with no precedent of ceramic suitcases lol), really drives in the homage factor. And I think the cold and hard nature of ceramic reminds us of the deeply sensory(and smelly) experience of an old leather suitcase!
    I'd say, you experienced the intended effect with this experience.
    I love things like this.Jeff Koons likes to play with media in a similar way, and sort of achieves a campy, and sarcastic effect. Like his giant, ceramic balloon animals. Or his dog made of rotting flowers.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillaire View Post
    I balk at the designation of malady, as we should to all expressions of the autistic spectrum.
    Oh, I don't consider synaesthesia a malady in any way! I'm mildly amused by efforts to categorize it, though. And if there's evidence that synaesthesia and autistic disorders are on the same continuum, then I'm interested rather than offended. After all, in all such cases it's only a burden if it impairs your functioning.
    I'm don't oppose categorization on principle, is what I'm trying to say. If someone wants to call something I experience as normal an affliction, well... let them. It won't change my experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by irish
    I know! You were getting ready to say "Bad irish" for the third time. I am starting to feel you are out to get me woman!
    Ha, completely unintended I'm sure. Persecution complex?
    It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely products of a deranged imagination.

    Douglas Adams

  17. #17
    Kotori's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Chicagoland
    Posts
    466
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    I know we've discussed this before... about two years ago, as I recall. But I can't seem to find the thread.

    Clinical synesthesia seems to affect many musicians. Some famous ones include Tori Amos, Duke Ellington, Franz Liszt, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Leonard Bernstein.

    I, too, have synesthete-envy.

    But as far as my perfume, I do get a bit synesthetic. I always want my fragrances to "match" what I'm wearing. Sometimes my associations are related to the packaging and color of the juice. Other times, I just have my own perceptions.

    I wanted to put this into a chart, but it isn't working.

    Sui Dreams: is cerulean blue; I see cotton candy pink
    Dune: is amber; I see brick red
    Be Delicious: is apple green; I see seafoam green
    Mitsouko: is gold; I also see gold
    Etra: is gold; I see dark purple velvet curtains
    With Love: is clearish ; I see rose pink
    Rush: has a red bottle; I see dark brown
    Valentino V: is clearish; I see lavender cashmere
    Bvl Green Tea: is green; I also see green
    Pamplelune: is gold with orange; I see red-orange
    Last edited by Kotori; 18th January 2009 at 05:17 PM.
    And he whose soul is flat -- the sky
    Will cave in on him by and by.

    —from "Renascence" by Edna St. Vincent Millay

  18. #18
    Hillaire
    Guest

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    I think it's really interesting.
    I have always had red brown thing with Dune
    And Mitsouko is amber
    and Rush is tan

  19. #19

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Stockholm
    Posts
    15
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    What an interesting discussion!

    I actually didn't know about the condition synesthesia before, I just knew that it's very common that autists (is that the correct word in english?) usually associate words, people and so on with colours. I've always associated things with colours, so has my sister, but I think that's more an expresseion of wide imagination and cultural learning. I think most people do that with scents and emotions, but this is probably more a sociocultural "thing" (god, my english sucks ). For me, the letter B has always been yellow-beige, I've never thought about it, it's just yellow-beige.

    Scents are strongly associated with colours for me. For instance, white flowers like jasmine and tuberose smells black, or very dark brown-red (like almost black mahogny) to me. J'adore is satine-white, a bit golden, but that might have something to do with the looks of the bottle . Dior Addict is black with notes of neonlights (mostly bright red and yellow), like a big city, and Fracas is a beautiful firework of dark purple, pink and red in different ways, an exotic garden by night with a lots of colourful flowers, which almost aren't able to be seen since it's so dark.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    makes me wonder about food colorings. when they have an orange flavored beverage for example, or a cherry flavored candy (or whatever) do they try to find the precise color that best matches the taste? they do, obviously, but how is really curious.

    how something too red or too pale can conflict with what it tastes like. they should mess with people and make orange things red, punch flavored things green, lime flavored things, yellow....

  21. #21
    exquisitely me's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cleveland Area, Ohio
    Posts
    372
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    What a fascinating discussion!

    helo darqness, I especially loved the experience with the suitcase sculpture. I've seen it before, years ago, but your description was perfect. Now I'll remember what you said every time I see it.

    Hillaire, I completely agree with you about limited olfactory vocabulary freeing us from linguistic bonds. That moment of struggle to describe something makes you see it through all the other lenses; tastes, emotions, textures, images, memories, time periods. Its far more evocative than a precise account of notes, which heightens the experience for me.

    Perfume is about as close to synesthesia as I get.

  22. #22

    lightgreen22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,460
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent


    Perfume is about as close to synesthesia as I get.
    sadly it's the same for me too
    Last edited by lightgreen22; 30th January 2009 at 06:42 PM.
    [COLOR="Purple"]I am not afraid... I was born to do this.

    -Joan of Arc [/COLOR]

  23. #23
    Hillaire
    Guest

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    Quote Originally Posted by lightgreen22 View Post
    sadly it's the same for me too
    No that's great. That's what I was wondering about.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    Synesthesia is amazing, but for all that it can be understood in terms of the neurology, it's the personal experience that is so elusive. I have it to a limited degree in that I see musical keys as colours and shades. Major keys have specific colours associated with them, usually bright colours, and minor keys are a darker shade of the same. I can usually work out roughly the key of a song by how it's colour "feels
    interiors and fashion colours

  25. #25
    Lauren O's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    117
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    I think that the way a fragrance is packaged/the color of the juice goes far toward putting it in a context that affects the color we "see" when we smell it. Every once and awhile, though, I come across one that feels strikingly different from the way it appears on the outside. Like yesterday, when I smelled Loulou for the first time, I was struck by an impression of olive green (mostly for the first few minutes--after that, not so much) that felt so unlike the pale blue bottle. I'll have to smell it again, though. I think my nose was tired at the time!

  26. #26

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    Quote Originally Posted by helo darqness View Post
    ... they should mess with people and make orange things red, punch flavored things green, lime flavored things, yellow....
    There was a limited edition where they did that with something like Skittles. And there's a recurring argument about Smarties in the UK - sugar shelled chocolate drops in various colours - where one faction believe those who think the orange ones are orange flavoured are kidding themselves. (They're wrong, the orange ones do have a little orange oil in the chocolate, the rest are just chocolate). American grape flavoured products confuse me as a Brit - purple is blackcurrent!

    I find it hard to put a single colour to fragrances. I don't experience them synesthetically, but I do sometimes find an image that is 'just right'. Other times an image can evoke an aspect of a fragrance, without capturing the whole. Nearly all of my SOTD pics describe the scent in some way, and colour has a lot to do with that. I can get quite angsty when I find an image that is nearly right but just off in colour but the license won't allow derivation, so I can't tweak it to make it fit!
    Out here we are running for the wide open spaces, the road-smell after the rain.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    Quote Originally Posted by Petra Ichor View Post
    ...I find it hard to put a single colour to fragrances. I don't experience them synesthetically, but I do sometimes find an image that is 'just right'. Other times an image can evoke an aspect of a fragrance, without capturing the whole. Nearly all of my SOTD pics describe the scent in some way, and colour has a lot to do with that. I can get quite angsty when I find an image that is nearly right but just off in colour but the license won't allow derivation, so I can't tweak it to make it fit!
    Petra Ichor, the pictures you choose are always compelling. I look forward to your SotD posts! I do tend to associate fragrances with very specific colors, and I often try to choose clothing that coordinates in some way with them.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    Quote Originally Posted by Haunani View Post
    Petra Ichor, the pictures you choose are always compelling. I look forward to your SotD posts! I do tend to associate fragrances with very specific colors, and I often try to choose clothing that coordinates in some way with them.
    Thank you :) I think a lot of the time it has to do with not having the right words to describe things. Images fill that shortcoming!

    As for clothing, luckily I always wear black. I'm not sure I could cope with throwing choosing the right colour clothing into the equation - and I know I'd have to!
    Out here we are running for the wide open spaces, the road-smell after the rain.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    Quote Originally Posted by Petra Ichor View Post
    ...As for clothing, luckily I always wear black. I'm not sure I could cope with throwing choosing the right colour clothing into the equation - and I know I'd have to!
    That works! Then you have absolute license with fragrance and jewelry.
    Last edited by Haunani; 15th May 2010 at 06:42 PM.

  30. #30
    A Site For Sore Eyes

    kbe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    The Big Blue Marble
    Posts
    17,473
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    This is an interesting fairly recent article on this subject:

    http://chemse.oxfordjournals.org/cgi.../full/33/2/211

    Abstract



    Four experiments found that the colors people choose as corresponding to the odors of fine fragrances are influenced by the perceived masculinity/femininity of those fragrances. Experiment 1 examined the colors chosen for 3 male and 3 female fragrances. The pattern of colors chosen for female fragrances differed from that for male fragrances. Experiments 2 and 3 found that colors assigned to 2 unisex fragrances depend on whether subjects thought that the fragrances were male or female fragrances. Experiment 4, by labeling unisex fragrances as male or female, showed that this difference in color selection was the result of subjects' thinking that a fragrance is a male or female fragrance. Thinking of the masculinity/femininity of a fragrance influences the selection of colors that corresponds to these odors.
    Last edited by kbe; 15th May 2010 at 08:28 PM.
    Deep in the dark your kiss will thrill me
    Like days of old. Lighting the spark of love that fills me
    with dreams untold..--Twilight Time

  31. #31
    Hillaire
    Guest

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    Quote Originally Posted by kbe View Post
    This is an interesting fairly recent article on this subject:

    http://chemse.oxfordjournals.org/cgi.../full/33/2/211

    Abstract



    Four experiments found that the colors people choose as corresponding to the odors of fine fragrances are influenced by the perceived masculinity/femininity of those fragrances. Experiment 1 examined the colors chosen for 3 male and 3 female fragrances. The pattern of colors chosen for female fragrances differed from that for male fragrances. Experiments 2 and 3 found that colors assigned to 2 unisex fragrances depend on whether subjects thought that the fragrances were male or female fragrances. Experiment 4, by labeling unisex fragrances as male or female, showed that this difference in color selection was the result of subjects' thinking that a fragrance is a male or female fragrance. Thinking of the masculinity/femininity of a fragrance influences the selection of colors that corresponds to these odors.
    This is a great link!!!

  32. #32
    gido's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Amsterdam
    Posts
    1,715
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Synesthesia and Color Associations with Scent

    I think that the way a fragrance is packaged/the color of the juice goes far toward putting it in a context that affects the color we "see" when we smell it.
    i've read this idea from more people. but i think that it just might be the other way around.
    i mean, if something evokes a certain color, it is common sense to let the juice and/or packaging have that color. and of course, sometimes they just don't get it right.
    Last edited by gido; 18th May 2010 at 11:19 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •