Wake up and smell the colours

A device that transcends two of our primary senses.

Bouquet is a unique synaesthetic olfactory device that is meant to disrupt the human body’s silos of communication – in this case, the boundary between sight and smell. It translates colour into fragrance, allowing visual art to be perceived through the nose. It is a collaborative project of ECAL’s Bachelor Media & Interaction Design students led by product designer Niklas Roy.

Bouquet was created when Roy challenged his students to conceptualise a novel communications design. Within several days, the class theorised a colour/smell translator. Now brought to fruition, Bouquet is a handheld, white, cone-shaped contraption. Its tip has an optical sensor that can perceive any colour that passes under it.

The inside of the device has different rotating chambers that hold concentrated aromatic essences of different flavours. Pass the Bouquet over a particular colour and it will calculate the corresponding fragrance (even mixing several flavours together to match complex hues) and emit the synthesised aroma instantly through a funnel at the back side of the device.

If the user were to point Bouquet at a patch of red, a certain cotton pad inside the flavour chambers is selected that has been drenched in the fragrance of strawberry. The design takes its name from the phrase “a bouquet of flowers”, which is both colourful and fragrant.