​The sense of smell is a powerful catalyst to trigger memories and feelings of calm and comfort. I have developed a system of incorporating fragrance through natural scent coated and dyed yarn in hand-weaving and embroidery. Reinterpreting the fragrance industry, I use textiles as aroma therapy to condense time and distance and create an immersive experience to reconnect with nature and nostalgia.    


Role: designer, artist, material researcher


Timeline: January 2020 - May 2020

#sustainability #fragrance #sensorialtextiles

#nature #nostalgia #wellbeing



Many of us in urban environments crave the sensorial experience of being amidst nature. We are currently living in a time when we are going to see a rise in the number of people staying indoors. 

A time when emotional and mental well-being is becoming increasingly necessary and important.  Reminiscent allows one to be able to reconnect with nature through scent.

The ubiquitous nature of textiles and its applications is constantly progressing and evolving. We are inspired by the old, be it techniques, patterns, materials etc. and we allow that to impact or influence the future. Textiles seep deep into world history, culture and customs. Our landscapes are constantly evolving and with it the materials available; our craft is transitioning with technology, yet there is a growing necessity of retaining the handmade. Can textiles today also help with well-being? Can it interact with all our senses? 

​Through a collection of wall hangings, tapestries and room dividers that stimulates the senses beyond sight with a feeling of familiarity, I play with six different fragrances each bearing a strong connection with my South Indian heritage.

By creating a coating for cotton yarn with wax and tree resin, colored with natural pigments and fragranced with oils, I have integrated scent into handwoven and embroidered textiles. I explore patterns and geometry, incorporating recycled sari silk in jeweled tones, fragrant vetiver root and organza silk naturally dyed in earth hues. 

12” x 32” 

dyed cotton and chenille double weave with 

pockets of dried lavender and peppermint

 | Flower market, Malleshwaram, Bangalore 2019 |  

| Spices in the kitchen, Bangalore, 2020 |

| My grandmother’s dressing table, Bangalore, 2019 |

| My grandmother's dresser,  Bangalore, 2020 |

I use only natural and biodegradable materials in my work and no harmful chemicals. I coat cotton yarn with filtered beeswax, a tree-based resin, natural pigments to provide colour and pure essential oils for fragrance. The yarn is cured for 24-48 hours before it is embroidered onto the naturally dyed silk fabrics.

I use only natural and biodegradable materials in my work and no harmful chemicals. I coat cotton yarn with filtered beeswax, a tree-based resin, natural pigments to provide colour and pure essential oils for fragrance. The yarn is cured for 24-48 hours before it is embroidered onto the naturally dyed silk fabrics.


The sweet familiar fragrance of home, memories and celebration. The jasmine flower, 

reminiscent of South India, brings to mind thoughts of visits to flower markets, of weddings and 

celebrations, of garlands worn in women’s hair, and of the buds blooming in our gardens. 

It is one of my favorite scents. I play with transparency, light, distortion and pattern to elevate 

the delicate, feminine, airy aesthetics of its scent and its memories.

Jasmine I

36” x  54”


Embroidery on silk organza with jasmine scented yarn dyed with hibiscus, 

beetroot, indigo and turmeric

Textiles for Aroma Therapy


Scented room dividers and curtains that create a soothing and calming ambiance and can be used in spaces for healing and wellness.

Jasmine II
41” x  44”


Un dyed silk organza, jasmine buds

|Accessible pockets to replace buds|

The overwhelming smell of roses at the flower market that evokes feelings of love, 

happiness and passion. Rose garlands that adorn our deities at temples, the exchange 

of garlands between the bride and groom at weddings and the sweet smelling 

rose bush in my parents terrace garden.


Roses in bloom : A series of natural dye experiments

Organza silk dyed with combinations of  Rojo Quebracho, safflower, red sandalwood and iron and  hand

embroidered with rose scented yarn 


Handwoven pre-dyed handspun recycled sari silk and rose 

scented wax beads dyed with beetroot, hibiscus, chili 

and cutch

Rose II

30” x 22” 


11” x 13.5


Handwoven pre-dyed handspun recycled sari silk and rose-scented wax beads dyed with beetroot, hibiscus, chilli and cutch


Pungent, lemony and slightly sweet. I associate this fragrance with my school days, the citronella candles we lit on our terrace on humid summer evenings and the carefree times at summer camp, where we doused ourselves with odomos bug repellant to keep the mosquitoes away. 

Citronella I

16” x 40” 

Handwoven pre-dyed cotton and  citronella scented yarn dyed with turmeric, indigo, and chili

Citronella II

16” x 36” 


Handwoven pre-dyed cotton,

recycled sari silk and  citronella scented yarn dyed with turmeric, indigo and chili


The layered, grounding, woody scent of the first rains hitting the parched summer earth. The roots of vetiver, a perennial bunch grass native to India, releases a complex aroma and a natural cooling effect when activated with water. Bringing Vetiver into urban spaces by taming its wildness through embroidery and weaves and introducing a sense of delicateness, fragility 

and dimension.

Vetiver I, Vetiver II

20”; x 44";  20" x 32"  


Pre dyed cotton, vetiver root, vetiver scented wax beads dyed with cutch, turmeric, chilli

Vetiver II

32” x  20”


Hand woven cotton, vetiver root, vetiver scented wax beads dyed with cutch, tumeric, chili

Vetiver III

14” x 20” 

Handwoven handspun recycled sari silk with vetiver scented wax beads dyed with cutch, turmeric, and chili, 

Vetiver I

18” x  24”


Vetiver root embroidered with pre dyed mercerized cotton with motifs of earth, life  fertility and harvest brought by rain

Vetiver V

50" X 36"


Sandalwood smells like a musky, powdery and creamy wood. It brings to mind my grandmother’s dressing table and the smell of Mysore sandal soap and talcum powder that fills the air in her room when she steps out of the shower.



13.5” x 15” 

Handset and machine embroidered sandalwood scented yarn dyed with cutch and beetroot over layered organza silk dyed with cutch, rojo quebracho, walnut, madder and iron

Scented Textile Wall Coverings

Fragrant and naturally dyed wallpaper/coverings
that envelop you in your favorite scent

The sweet and spicy scent of cloves reminds me of the spice rack in our kitchen at home, the tempering of our curries, the chewing of clove during a toothache. This fragrance is reminiscent of home and the holidays. 


Handwoven clove scented  yarn dyed with beetroot, hibiscus, cutch and chilli


Handwoven clove scented yarn dyed with beetroot, hibiscus, cutch and chilli

Natural fibers especially protein-based fibers like silk and wool are often prone 

to moth infestations that can cause 

damage to precious and expensive 

fabrics. Scents such as clove, rosemary

and lavender are natural pest repellants. Inspired by the ritual of keeping cloves 

in cupboards to preserve silk saris, 

scented woven casings/wrappings to store fabrics can be used to help preserve such textiles and keep moths at bay.

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©2020 Pallavi Padukone.

All rights reserved.