Synesthesia: the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body. Scentesthesia: the reinterpretation of scent through other sensory input. In particular, music.
Hogan McLaughlin

Hogan McLaughlin

“Amor Fati [evokes]… a meditative feeling where you can check out of your surroundings and just exist within yourself.” — Hogan McLaughlin

Patrick Kelly: Hi, Hogan. It’s so good to chat with you, friend. Thank you again for sharing your time and perspective with us. So, tell us about your interpretation of the concept “scentesthesia” and how it inspired your playlist.

Hogan McLaughlin: I knew immediately that I’d be curating a playlist around Amor Fati. The smoky notes mingled with bright pine take me to memories of sitting by a fire, or walking under the stars, and a strange feeling of loneliness—but at the same time, utter peace.

Hogan McLaughlin Perfume Amor Fati Designer Interview Playlist

PK: I can feel that for Amor Fati, for sure. It’s not a sad loneliness though, is it?

HM: No, I don’t mean loneliness in a deeply sad way, or in an existentially scary way, but more a melancholy feeling of solitude, even when among a group of people, if that makes sense. A meditative feeling where you can check out of your surroundings and just exist within yourself.

PK: That’s beautiful. Thank you. I’d love to hear more about how that translated into the music you’ve curated for your playlist.

HM: I wanted to evoke the perfume’s chill, dreamy feeling though the folk, ambient, jazz, and other tracks I’ve picked.

PK: I listened to your selections on repeat for a week. They definitely achieved that. Tell us about some of the tracks and why you chose them—how they connect back to your creative process, and your experience with Amor Fati.

HM: Much of my inspiration for my own work exists in a folky, pseudo-medieval 1960s/70s state, so I included the greats John Renbourn, and Fairport Convention, who effortlessly transport you to a different time. Ultimate relaxation for me is listening to Chet Baker or Billie Holiday, so I wanted to have a few jazz tracks in the mix as well. Bohren & Der Club of Gore have this very David Lynchian-jazz vibe to their music, which I thought would nicely bridge the gap to some of the more ambient songs.

PK: I noticed some Scandinavian greats in there, too. Moody favorites of mine, as well.

HM: Yes. Ultimately, if I could only pick two songs to fully capture that peaceful solitude I’m describing of Amor Fati, they would be “Keep the Streets Empty for Me” by Fever Ray, and “The Ballad of the Broken Birdie Records” by mùm. Both make me feel as if I’m floating along through a deep forest somewhere.

PK: Thank you again, Hogan, for taking the time to chat with us and sharing your thoughts on the connections between scent and music. Your work is otherworldly, so of course we’re linking to your website and social below. I’m honored to call you a friend. Bisous.

HM: Thanks, Patrick. See you soon.


Hogan McLaughlin is an American fashion designer, artist, and dancer. He began his professional career as a ballet dancer, performing with the internationally acclaimed Hubbard Street 2 and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 2011, he met and collaborated with artist Daphne Guinness on his first garments, which ended up on display in the windows of Barneys New York Madison Avenue, and at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Later that year, McLaughlin launched his first collection for New York Fashion Week under his name, and was subsequently profiled by The New York Times, WWD,, among other publications, and had the opportunity to create custom looks for a number of high profile clients including Lady Gaga and Billy Porter. As an illustrator, he has had the pleasure of creating promotional images for HBO's Game of Thrones, Showtime's Penny Dreadful, and History Channel's Vikings.

Photos by Bill Crisafi and Hogan McLaughlin for Sigil.



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