• Creative Class

The Creative Class:
An Interview with Andrew Cinnamon of Cinnamon Projects

Photography by: Cinnamon Projects

There’s no doubt that various scents – much like music – can take you to a place of nostalgia. Fragrances of which create a multisensory dialogue binding the present, past and future. That’s where Cinnamon Projects Incense and Accords fit in.

In 2008, Cinnamon Projects, a creative collective created by Andrew Cinnamon and Charlie Stackhouse, emerged into the artistic world. The agency services creative entrepreneurs in launching new businesses.

Andrew states, “For our clients, we create images from ideas and products. For ourselves, we chose to work in reverse to distill our archive of images into an ephemeral, sensorial and sharable idea.” Thus the launch of the duo’s Series 01 project.

“With our experience in branding, product and packaging design, photography and marketing, in 2013, we decided to focus a share of our efforts on our own ideas. Series 01 began as a conceptual project with the goal of exploring the nature of our shared creative inspiration and developing a new process and medium for our personal projects,” Andrew adds.

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Over a year’s time, both Andrew and Charlie catalogued their life-compelling inspirations such as “art, photography, architecture, design and textiles, typography and graphics, poetry, writings about creativity, science, technology and space.” They noted every entry with the time and date of collection, subject category, visual details and additional subjective undertones.

In the following year, Cinnamon Projects debuted its Series 01 Incense and Accords (along with chic burners). “As one’s sense of smell is most powerful to provoke memory and inspire emotion, we turned to fragrance as a medium,” says Andrew before adding that there were “no strict parameters” and there wasn’t a review of the Series 01 archive during the collection process.

The result?

A collection of inspiration and raw emotion evolved into an encyclopedia of scents. Andrew states, “When the collecting stopped and the decoding began, we filtered the files in what we felt would be the most neutral…the hour of day. Immediately, we discovered that each hour had a unique character. For example 7AM is sharp, pale and architectural; 11PM is grainy, saturated and sensual.”

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Andrew and Charlie’s draw for creative observation and archiving began at an early age. “During our childhoods on opposite sides of the globe, Charlie and I were each obsessed with the balance of beauty, science and experience. I would sketch and catalog my world. He would experiment in the lab. We both ended up in art school and found our own ways to create experience,” Andrew says. Their years of passion permeates through the veins of the project despite owning a line that’s merely in its third year.

“As absolute beginners in fragrance creation, we relied on the images and annotations to suggest the actual fragrance notes and format. Our role was to blend, refine and strike a provocatively beautiful balance,” says Andrew.slatejournal_interview_cinnamonproject_incense_accords_packing

The collection is based on the connection between hours, experience and memory.

“The Incense formulas reflect the hours filled with the abstract and atmospheric. The Accords formulas reflect the hours filled with the human and sensual, specifically portraiture. For this reason that we think of the Incense as a stage and the Accords as the players. Thinking of each scent in a kind of narrative has also allowed us the opportunity to reminisce and appreciate the scents from our past and how greatly they influence our associations and overall approach,” Andrew interjects.

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Aforementioned, scents trigger memories – hence the birth of perfume oils and incense of the Cinnamon Projects. Recalling his and Charlie’s favorite scents, Andrew says, “Charlie, the former child ‘mad scientist,’ is always drawn to notes like benzoin and clay that have a hint of burn. I love the notes that conjure up memories of my teenage nights, clove and night-blooming jasmine are my current favorites.”


The creation of fragrance based on hours is no easy feat as expressed by Andrew. “The process has required a great deal of focused education, experimentation and patience which can be humbling to say the least.” Such perseverance and contagious fervor partnered with quality product will result in the brand’s longevity within the fragrance market.

Andrew reflectively states, “We have both had that ‘freshman in art school’ feeling more than once and, at one point, we pressed ‘pause’ to keep our sanity. Now, with a few years of experience, collaborations with and encouragement from people we admire, the ideas keep coming.”


For additional information on Cinnamon Projects, please visit their site here.