As part of The Institute for Art and Olfaction’s mission to incorporate scent and perfumery into fine arts practices, in January of 2013 we commissioned artist and designer Micah Hahn to create a series of prints on topics related to perfumery.
Fascinated by the structures of scent molecules, Micah decided to focus his work on important perfume ingredients. The first three prints produced from this series thus relate to three crucial aromachemicals in 20th century perfume: Galaxolide (IFF), Aldehyde C12 (Givaudan), and Iso E Super (IFF).
To complete the sensory picture, we have lightly scented the prints with the corresponding aromachemicals.
Molecules, Series 1
Limited edition print
Gold Foil on Neenah 70-pound linen text
11″ x 17″
Aldehyde C12 (C12 H24O): Aldehyde C12 is the aromachemical at the heart of the success of one of the 20th century’s most iconic perfumes: Chanel No. 5. The molecule was synthesized by Georges Darzens in 1903, and is described as having ‘fatty’, ‘waxy’ and ‘fizzy’ properties. At the time of its appearance, the sparkliness of the molecule was the epitome of new, and provided an olfactory counterpoint to Coco Chanel’s vision of the modern woman.
Iso E Super (C16 H26 O): Iso E Super is the trademark name of a molecule that has a smooth, woody, amber scent with a hint of pepper. On skin, Iso E Super smells almost nonexistent, and has been described more as an ‘aura’ of scent. The molecule has been at the core of the success of Escentric Molecules’ Molecule 01, which is actually nothing more than a dilution of Iso E Super in perfumer’s alcohol, in the right ratio.
Galaxolide (C18 H26 O): Galaxolide is one of the most important of what is known as the polycyclic musks. First synthesized in 1965, Galaxolide was used in the late 1960s in many fabric softeners & detergents. With a clean sweet musky flowery woody odor, it is a popular component for perfume and cologne, and has been used most famously in scents such as Lancome’s Tresor and Estee Lauder’s White Linen.
Since pictures are worth a thousand words, here are some images that demonstrate the level of detail that AutumnSeventy put into this work. They are truly stunning prints, and were hand foiled and hand stamped.
AutumnSeventy is an emerging design studio in Los Angeles, led by veteran designer Micah Hahn. The studio was started with the express purpose of incorporating a more integrated approach to art and design.
Micah made his name as the VP of design at Al Gore’s Current TV, during which time he (and his team) won more than a dozen Broadcast Design Awards – the highest honor in the motion design industry. Micah’s most recent success in that realm is winning gold at the 2013 Broadcast Design Awards for the Fuse network rebrand package.
Talented as he is with television graphics and network rebrands, Micah’s repertoire of work is expansive. Since leaving Current in 2011, he has rekindled his love of the classic forms of graphic design and typography, and has expanded his creative practice into the realm of fine art – both through AutumnSeventy and with his art collaborative Mr. and Mrs. Hahn. His print and typographic work is collected by the Bibliothèque Nationale in France, and has been exhibited in places as diverse as Los Angeles and Belgrade, Serbia.
When Micah is not running AutumnSeventy, he serves as the consulting Creative Director for The Institute for Art and Olfaction.