The minimalist interior of this London store for the British fragrance company Illuminum is coated in volcanic ash, with subtle textures complemented by an array of gorgeous suspended glass domes containing different fragrances. The design, conceived by Italian architect Antonino Cardillo, eliminates all sensory stimuli, focusing the attention of potential buyers on the olfactory qualities of the brand's 37 different scents.
The project, named “Colour as a Narrative,” occupies a 13.5-square-meter room nestled inside a Georgian building on Dover Street in London. The rugged walls are coated in mineral dust from the Vesuvius volcano and putty lime. To complement the neutral quality of the walls, the architect lined the floor with a soft grey carpet, creating an achromatic narrative that places colors on a whole different sensorial plane.
Colors can’t be seen, but instead are smelled. This synesthetic approach entices the imagination and forces people to recalibrate their senses once they enter the store. Gorgeous pendant lights illuminate the discretely textured surfaces and invite curious looks from passers-by. The room’s restrained design and delicate detailing make it easy for visitors to mistake it for an elegant art gallery.
Photos by Antonino Cardillo