OSYNLIG collection: 13 scents by IKEA and Ben Gorham

Scent can take you places. The olfactory bulb – the part of the brain that senses smell – is tightly intertwined with our emotional system, meaning it’s able to conjure up memories of where you’ve been and the people you’ve met in an instant.

This idea inspired our collaboration with Ben Gorham, founder of luxury fashion house Byredo. OSYNLIG, Swedish for “invisible”, is a collection of 13 scented candles that are made to provoke the kind of emotion that’s hard to put into words – from nostalgia for the things you’ve done, to dreams of the things you might –and, above all, heighten the experience of being at home.

So, all that’s left to ask is – what does home smell like?

13 scents (and a second life too)

“Something as non-physical as a fragrance needs a tactile context”, says Iina Vuorivirta, Designer at IKEA. Each OSYNLIG candle is housed in a hard-wearing ceramic pot, glazed with two colours that represent the ingredients –from cypress and fig to tobacco and honey –that were used to make it. And when you’re done with the scent, the container is designed to be used again for storing small things or to decorate your home.

“The way your home smells is very emotional and plays a huge part in how you feel being there. It isn’t just about things being functional and practical, it’s the place where you come together with family and friends and make memories.”

Ben Gorham, founder of Byredo

The power of invisible design

While developing the 13 fragrances that make up the OSYNLIG collection, we brought in students from the Royal College of Art to explore the potential of invisible design – the idea that it’s not just what your home looks like that affects how it makes you feel. Together we prototyped products that used light, sound and smell to transform a space, and it’s had a big influence on how we put together the final range.

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