When people sell a home, they might circulate a pleasant vanilla scent throughout the interior. The goal is to give the idea that someone is baking cookies in the kitchen—nostalgic memories could result in a sale. Tiffany Rose Goodyear says that’s a great example to help illustrate the sensory experiences she creates for her clients at public venues, in private homes and for events. But Goodyear’s projects are much more intricate and well thought out, utilizing her skill, sensory knowledge and imagination. When she was selecting a label to represent her professional services she deliberately discarded “scentologist,” and instead created The Sentologist as her brand. “It’s about a whole sensory experience and not just scents per se,” she says.
At a recent pop-up, multi-course dinner event for 32 people, guests were asked to wear white in a white room. The party, called Chroma, featured a menu based on a color and accompanying music to complement each course. Goodyear was asked to scent and color the evening. “I created what I interpreted as a white scent for cocktail hour,” she says. “A tea-time scent with high (light) notes, paired with a refreshing cocktail similar to a gin and tonic.” For dinner, Goodyear says, “If I did seven scents to match each course it would be an overstimulated nightmare.” So she shut down aromas completely as guests savored the taste, textures and smells of the food. However, the room changed from dramatic red to purple lighting on cue. It was back to scents for dessert. A deeper aroma and dark lighting concluded the evening. “It was really cool, a super-immersive experience.”
In Goodyear’s world, art and aromas go hand in hand. She collaborated with artist Price Davis to scent “Denver Lily,” his 30-foot-tall sculpture of a water lily in a flower pot, a temporary display in the middle of Denver International Airport. For that project, she used a combination of aromas that included lilac, hyacinth, jasmine, ylang ylang, musk and oak moss. Goodyear also worked with a Denver Art Museum event to diffuse scents into rooms to complement specific collections. “It creates memories and a different interaction with the art,” she says. Currently she’s working as a sensory consultant at events for a Miami art gallery.
“Scent is as important to think about as the music you’re going to play when you host a dinner party—as opposed to a baby shower or a retirement party,” says Goodyear. “Who’s coming over? What food are you serving? What ambiance are you trying to create?” She steered one couple away from using vanilla candles for their dinner party, and suggested they cook their salmon on a cedar plank instead. “Incorporating that warm smell of cedar creates a rustic ambiance and it pairs with the food. It creates a scented experience that matches the dinner party.”
Corporate and nonprofit organizations call upon Goodyear’s knowledge and creativity to enhance their special events and fundraisers. For one group’s $600,000 upscale “Colorado rustic” theme, hotel pillars were transformed into aspen trees that Goodyear infused with a woodsy, forest scent. “You can imagine the amazing decor,” she says. “There were desserts hanging from trees. It was beautiful.” She’s scheduled to work her multisensory magic on Nov. 2 at the Global Down Syndrome’s fashion-show fundraiser, Be Beautiful Be Yourself.
Goodyear’s custom scents are based on science and creativity. “When you create a fragrance or blend, it’s kind of like writing music,” she says. “Top notes are really small molecules that dissipate quickly, heart notes are in the middle (the basis of the fragrance) and bass notes are really heavy, like tobacco and chocolate.” She advises that when pairing scents with food, it’s best to use fragrances with higher notes because the aromas don’t linger.
What does Goodyear’s home smell like? “Because I have a home office and there are so many oils and scents I use, I don’t scent my house,” she says. “If I’m doing work, I don’t want (aroma) to interfere with that.” When working with homeowners to scent their residences, she might ask about their favorite body fragrance and create a custom aroma based on that. “You want it to speak to you and who you are in your home.” She emphasizes that she doesn’t manufacture scents herself, nor is she a perfumer—her work is done for spaces and places.
Goodyear graduated from Cherry Creek High School and studied philosophy at a college in Maryland. Working in Washington, D.C., she became passionate about the storytelling aspect of advertising—“the pinnacle between business and creativity,” she says—and the fact that messages can motivate behaviors. Returning to Denver, she earned her master’s degree in advertising management at the University of Denver, and unexpectedly found herself creating a catering business, Yours Truly Cupcake. Working with event clients, she had marketing questions to go along with the culinary queries, such as theme and location, music and decor—questions designed to meet their goals. As she incorporated thematic touch, taste and smell into each event with her baked goods, she realized how underutilized aroma was. Soon she began to put more focus on complementary scents for projects that followed, and her sensory business took off.
This self-described trailblazer is dedicated to her work as The Sentologist. Looking ahead, she plans to collaborate with interior designers to incorporate custom sensory aspects into more private homes. No matter what the project, when meeting a potential client in person, Goodyear will create an impact—her business cards are scented.
Non-fragrant flowers to complement a room or party theme:
Fragrant flowers to enhance a mood:
Tiffany Rose Goodyear
3047 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80205
Lisa Perry is celebrating 25 years covering the people, places and things that make Denver and the Rocky Mountain region such a dynamic place for multisensory experiences. After writing this article, she is taking more time to stop and smell the roses—whether they’re real, or part of a Tiffany Rose Goodyear art project.
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