Swedish brand Unifrom wants you to create its next perfume. The user-generated fragrance will be designed according to the survey responses of 1,000 people in an attempt to answer the question, ‘What does winter smell like?’

It’s no surprise that Unifrom should take such a novel approach to fragrance making, since the brand has always subverted traditional approaches to the craft. Young creative Haisam Mohammed launched the brand (initially under the name Uniform) in 2020 with three fragrance oils inspired by the Swedish high rises he grew up in.

Unifrom winter perfume container in snow

‘Throughout my life, I have always sought for new formats to express and communicate different cultural messages, but the one format that always stuck in the back of my head was scents,’ Mohammed told us back in 2020. ‘My interest in scents started in the stairwells of the high-rises in Sweden. Both the one I grew up in, and the ones that I visited throughout my upbringing. The smell of food cooking, incense being lit and spices being blended used to slip through the cracks of the doors of these families and accumulate in a special scent that I have had with me throughout my life.’

Like its predecessors, the forthcoming Unifrom fragrance is born from Mohammed’s enduring obsession with the connection between scent and memories of home. ‘Growing up in the northern parts of Sweden means that winter and snow have always played a big part in my life. But I had to learn to love it.’

Snow
Photography by Albin Holmqvist. 

‘This past winter I spent a lot more time outdoors than I had before and it made me really appreciate the season. During that time, I became obsessed with figuring out what winter smells like and have since been on a quest to create the perfect winter fragrance.’

While the Swedish winter feels a long way off, Mohammed is immersing himself in memories of the season now so that he can create a product in time for November 2022. To do that, Unifrom is asking people around the world to contribute to its online survey, with questions like ‘What does winter sound like to you?’ and ‘What are your essential needs during winter?’

The answers will be collated and used to compose the final scent, titled Winter Saga. ‘For example,’ explains Mohammed about the process, ‘we have a question that asks “How does winter make you feel?” With that question we want people to describe their emotions towards the cold months. Based on the mood of the answers, we will know if we will make an uplifting and fresh fragrance or a comforting and sweet scent.’

Snowy landscape, representing Unifrom winter perfume
Photography by Albin Holmqvist. 

For Mohammed, creating Winter Saga is a natural continuation of the brand’s mission to promote diversity in the fragrance and luxury industries. ‘As a brand, you always try to think of ways to involve the people who inspire you. In our case, it’s been our customers,’ he says. ‘Therefore it feels great to co-create one of the first user-generated perfumes and get input from our community on something as abstract as the smell of winter. This is also very personal for me, as getting a foot into the fragrance industry was very hard.

‘With this initiative, we are catering to the big group of underrepresented people who may be interested in perfumery but are yet to get the chance. Here we invite them to be a part of the process and define what winter smells like while being credited as co-creators alongside the team. Unifrom will always be about creating a collaborative, inclusive and positive experience that engages people from all over the world.’ §