Olfactory Logo

Frank Bloem preparing the olfactory logo in his studio. Photo credit Marieke van Erp.

Scent logos are mostly subtle signature scents of products or brands, distributed in shops and hotels to – usually subconsciously – convey a sense of authenticity for the public. Odeuropa had a visual and scent logo created for the communication of the project at its start in 2021. 

How do you create a scent that captures the identity of a European research project about the history of smell, olfactory heritage and olfactory museology? Olfactory artist Frank Bloem of The Snifferoo was up for the task.

It is first important to explain what a scent logo is. A scent logo is a signature scent that represents a product or brand. You may not know this, but the products by Apple are perfumed. Upon unpacking your new iPhone, you are able to (subconsciously) smell that you have a genuine Apple product in your hands. 

Bloem created the olfactory logo in a way that represented the aim of the Odeuropa project which is to promote olfactory heritage and the history of smell as important. To do this, he connected each ingredient of the logo (there are 8 in total) with individual components of the project. Each letter of ‘Odeuropa’ represents an individual ingredient which were all strategically chosen for their meaning and connection to European history and culture. For example, ‘O’ is for ‘ozone’ and ‘R’ for ‘rosemary.’

Bloem also made the formula opensource in the spirit of Odeuropa’s wish to ‘unveil the secrecy around smell by opening up archives of the past to a broad audience.’ All the research that Odeuropa conducts is open source, making Bloem’s movement quite appropriate. 

The Odeuropa olfactory logo. The visual logo was designed by Dr Kate McLean and the olfactory logo was designed by Frank Bloem (The Snifferoo).

The olfactory logo was created to align the visual logo which was created by Kate McLean. The visual logo has smoke and evaporating motives, making it look ‘smellable’ and to evoke movement. It is as if the visual logo is carrying Bloem’s scent to the noses of the public.

This text was written based on an interview in 2021 between art historian Caro Verbeek and designer of the olfactory logo, Frank Bloem of The Snifferoo. Find the original interview here.