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IFF x RISD Scent Collaboration

I was one of 12 students selected from my graduating class to collaborate with International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. (IFF) to develop a scent based on my Family Portrait collection. When asked what my perfume should smell like, I wrote out a list of 50 scents that reminded me of home. I envisioned a scent that smelled familiar but that you couldn’t quite describe. Perfumer Natasha Côté took my inspiration and made it come alive with ingredients like smoky tuberose which created subtle dusty effects.

When I first smelled the sample, I couldn’t put my finger on what it reminded me of. All the notes kept evoking different memories, but ultimately, I realized the scent really took me back to the synagogue my family used to attend. I thought about how distanced I’d become from my conservative Jewish upbringing. I had just spent the last year creating a thesis based on my family, and in considering all the details and inspiration in the collection, I had totally neglected this huge part of my identity.

I chose to name the fragrance L’dor V’dor, which in Hebrew translates to “from generation to generation.” This title felt like a fitting way to celebrate and tie in my Jewish heritage with my practice. When my grandmother passed away in April, I became consumed by the idea of a legacy. What do we pass on from generation to generation? I realized that my collection is more than just articles of clothing I made—those pieces and this scent are now an indivisible part of my family history.