Olfactory Expert (with Dawn Goldworm)

what is it like to be a scent designer interview with dawn goldworm
It’s an interesting exercise [to really focus on smell]. I’ll talk to someone and they’ll come back to me a few weeks later and be like, “I’m so turned on now, I’m so turned onto my sense of smell. I fell like I’m living in a whole new world”.

Let’s play a game.  I want you to imagine that you are confronted by a nefarious magical being and said NMB says to you, “I am going to take one of your five major senses, but you may keep the other four”.  So first you try to remember what your five senses are, and you remember that you have sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell.  Next you go down the line and think of how each one has been a part of your life in recent and distant memory, trying to asses which would be the most live-withoutable.  Which do you land on?  Which is the sense that you are okay with leaving behind?  I have a pretty good feeling that today's guest just might change your answer to that question.  Dawn is an olfactive expert and helps develop scents for companies all over the world.  And not just scents to make you think, “oh that smells nice”, but scents to make you have a particular experience.  She’ll explain just how impactful scent is in your life, and the hidden ways it’s probably impacting you right now.

There’s a few big perfume schools…well, not big, they take three new students a year, but we think of them as big.
The part of our brain that smells in not connected to the part of our brain that speaks. That’s why often when you smell something you can tell me it’s fresh, too strong, or a memory you have, but it’s rare that you can actually tell me in great detail what you’re smelling.

Interview Contents

2:15 - How Dawn for into the fragrance world.
6:00 - Getting your nose tested.
12:00 - Continued mastery.
17:00 - Resetting your smell.
21:20 - Synesthesia.
30:15 - Designing scents.
37:00 - Scent and emotion.
42:00 - Getting raw materials to make scents.
50:00 - The most fun part of the job.
52:00 - Scenting tangible products.
1:01:30 - Blake’s smell/sex/baby theory.
1:04:30 - Scent in relationships.
1:10:00 - Advice.


Dawn's company


Marcus Batson


Michelle & Jim Wortner

Janelle Swanson

Jimmy Seymour


Blake Fletcher

Livin it up!