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As many of you may know, George has synesthesia. Despite growing up with George, as his sister, it wasn’t until we founded THE 5TH together that I actually became aware of it. It fascinated me and I had so many questions for him. Recently we have been asked the same kind of questions from many of you and so I asked him to share his answers with you all in the form of a short interview. Here is what life is like for George as a synesthete:


SO YOU’RE A SYNESTHETE. WHAT EXACTLY DOES THAT MEAN?


Synesthesia is basically when one sensory experience triggers another. I guess people without synesthesia would consider these automatic associations to be quite unrelated and random, however for me, they are innate. There are many types of synesthesia but mine is called Grapheme-colour synesthesia which means words, letters and numbers all have an automatic colour associated with them.

HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU STARTED SEEING THINGS THIS WAY?


I couldn’t really say. I don’t know if it’s something that people are born with or if it can be learnt, but I can’t ever remember a time that I haven’t seen words, letters and numbers in colour.

WHEN DID YOU REALISE THAT IT WAS A CONDITION CALLED SYNESTHESIA?


I can’t remember the year but I’d say maybe late teens / early 20s. I love the artist Lorde and so I was reading an interview online that she did with NME and she mentions synesthesia. It was a real penny-drop moment and that was the first time I realised that not everyone has these word/colour associations. As this had always been my reality, it was never something I ever thought to ask anyone about - I just thought we all automatically had colours in mind for our friends' names or dates in the calendar.


DOES IT EVER GET CONFUSING OR OVERWHELMING TO HAVE THIS KIND OF SYNESTHESIA?


Not particularly because it’s always been the case.



COULD YOU GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF HOW YOU SEE PARTICULAR WORDS AND NUMBERS? DO YOU HAVE FAVOURITES BECAUSE OF THESE ASSOCIATIONS?


I definitely prefer certain words over others because of the colours I associate with them. For example the digit 5 is quite a clean and a bright green colour which has always been a favourite, whereas the word ‘five’ is a dull purple/red - ‘f’ has always been very purple, but then so is ‘Thursday’ and ‘October’.


HAS A PARTICULAR WORD, LETTER OR NUMBER EVER CHANGED COLOUR OR HAVE THEY ALWAYS BEEN CONSTANT?


I don’t have any examples in mind where colours have changed so I guess they have always been quite constant.



DO YOU FEEL LIKE IT HEIGHTENS ANY OF YOUR OTHER SENSES WHEN YOU SEE THINGS THIS WAY?


Possibly. I feel I’ve always been very in-tune with my senses and their associations. I don’t know if it has anything to do with my synasthesia but I’ve always been particularly good at identifying certain periods of my life or people through scent or sounds/music.



FINALLY, WHAT ARE THE BEST AND THE WORST THINGS ABOUT HAVING GRAPHEME-COLOUR SYNESTHESIA FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE?


I’d really struggle to give any negatives that come from having grapheme colour synesthesia. It only ever makes things more interesting and colourful in my mind and in life. I’m very visually led so if I stop to think about it I guess it’s nice that I have this additional colourful lens. It does also make things easier for me to remember and recall information. For example, when revising for exams at school or uni, I often remembered sources by the colours (or sequence of colours) that I’d associate with their names and year of publication.


 

It wasn’t until George read an interview like this that he himself realised he had synesthesia, have you just had a similar realisation? We would love to hear.


If you’re left still wanting to know more and have other questions for George, contact us via our website or social media, or email us at info@the5thfragrances.com.

See you on THE 5TH,


H & G


Are you looking for an elevated shopping experience; free from being pestered by the sales assistants, or guilted into buying something? One that doesn't leave you with a shopping bag full of mass produced items that everyone else has too?


Would you prefer to wander through a magnificent house located in one of the most exlcusive areas in London; styled with the work of designers, artists and makers; perhaps with a drink in hand? A shopping experience that feels like a day or evening out, that leaves you free to browse the products on offer in a relaxed and social setting?


We have you covered. We are honoured to be showcasing our fragrance with Doa in under 2 weeks time at their curated retail exhibition in Chelsea, London.


Bringing together the work of an incredible group of designers, artists and makers, the Doa show is paving the way for the future of luxury retail.


If you're in London between the 15th - 22nd October between 12:00 - 20:00, and you'd like to experience the future of luxury retail, shopping small-batch, unique pieces; you can find the Doa show at 72 Glebe Place, SW3.


We are particularly excited to be a part of this event as we have been spending more time thinking about what the future of retail could look like.


With the acceleration of online shopping driven by the Covid pandemic, we as a fragrance brand have been encouraged to see more and more customers willing to purchase their fragrance online; particularly enjoying the ability to sample their fragrance at home in their own time.


Yet despite the online trend, this has been met with the desire to get back out into the post-lockdown world. To touch, smell and see things in real life.


Does that mean the traditional retail experience is back in demand? We’re not so sure. Research suggests that as consumers we are becoming more considerate of not only how we spend our money, but how we spend our time when it comes to shopping.


We think this creates a space to revitalise and reinvent luxury retail, and that the Doa show is a great example of how to do this. Want to experience it for yourself?


See you at the Doa show.


See you on THE 5TH,


H & G

Last week we attended our first market. It was another milestone in THE 5TH’s launch and we thought we would share with you a little more about it.


We have been following A South London Makers Market for a while, founded by twins Liv and Daisy, and instantly loved what they were doing to re-imagine the face of retail. With a focus on supporting small makers and promoting more sustainable shopping, we knew they would be a great fit for our first market. After the UK lockdown was lifted they held a Selfridges pop up, proving small sustainable businesses can have place on the main stage too.


Once we had our space confirmed at the market, we got busy making sure we had everything ready to deliver the best experience to our customers. The checklist seemed to get longer and longer and I think in true Hannah and George style we probably over prepared. We set up a mock stall in our studio and tried our best to become pro visual merchandisers. By the time market day came around we had done so much prep we were just eager to get there and meet everyone.

One downside of being an e-com brand is that we often don’t get to meet our customers in person, and beyond that, we miss out on watching our customers experience our fragrance.


The greatest thing about the market was being able to do both of those. We spoke to so many amazing people who wanted to learn more about us and our fragrance and took the time to hear our story, and we were able to share in their experience of DŪMBO from their first spray.


It was so interesting to witness first hand how subjective scent can be to each individual, with some commenting on the fresh or citrus opening of DŪMBO, whilst others would get more spice or warmth from the top notes. Many would also share with us the people or places that DŪMBO would transport them to.


We would encourage people to spray DŪMBO on their skin and then to continue shopping around the market, allowing them to explore how the scent develops over time. It was humbling to see so many people come back to us to report on their scent journey and want to purchase a bottle for themselves.


Our most poignant encounter however came from meeting a lovely lady named Rebecca. Not long after spraying DŪMBO we could see Rebecca’s eyes filling up. As she began to shed a tear, she explained that the scent was taking her back to a memory, a moment, a person, and that she was “lost in the fragrance”. Watching such a visceral experience of DŪMBO is a moment we won’t forget.


We are looking forward to spending more time at events like A South London Makers Market, and being able to meet our customers and share more in their experience with THE 5TH and our fragrances. It was an experience we won’t forget and we are grateful to people like Liv and Daisy who make events that bring like minded businesses and customers together, possible.


See you on THE 5TH,


H & G

perfume blog behind the scenes blogging small business

BEHIND THE SCENT