Discovering Luxury at the Intersection of Scent & Sanctuary with Lincoln and Serena Williams

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What better way to kick off Miami Art Week than talking about luxury with a legend–and also, with Serena?

Every December, legions of fabulous and interesting people descend on Miami to explore creativity, art and innovation at Art Basel Miami and Miami Art Week. Events, which span open-to-the-public to ultra exclusive, take the idea of art beyond colorful palettes splashed on canvas, extending them to brining deeper meaning to our daily lives. To kick off Art Week this year, Lincoln brought together tennis legend and Lincoln Brand Ambassador, Serena Williams, Lincoln design director Ryan Niemiec, and design and hospitality creative director Gabriele Chive. Hospitality marketer Michele Caniato moderated the discussion on how scent is so important to our concept of sanctuary.


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A high note in the evening was Serena signing hand-blown glass scent bottles containing one of Lincoln’s “sanctuary scents” called Coastal Morning. Scent-infused interiors are part of what the company envisions will be the experience in its future cars. The autographed bottles will be auctioned off to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of West Palm Beach on December 9th–a place that holds a special place in Serena’s heart.

Related: Lincoln Star Concept: An Inside Look

Coastal Morning, A Signature Sanctuary Scent

This is special: Serena signed this bottle of Coastal Morning, a signature sanctuary scent, to be auctioned off to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of West Palm Beach. Photo: Lincoln

A Most Enthusiastic Lincoln Ambassador

Serena Williams was a bit of a star of this discussion; not only did she share her own personal insights about the power of scent, but also self-deprecating and laughingly informed that audience that after years of representing Lincoln, she purchased her own Lincoln Navigator. So now, she not only works with the company, but is also a Lincoln owner.

From there, the conversation revolved around the design, luxury, comfort, safety and family. Serena spoke in great detail about the connection she has with scent, familiarity and how scent can evoke memories, that for her, take her back to her childhood. One particularly strong memory is her “mom’s cooking, which brings back so much nostalgia,” she said. She also talked about the amount of travel that she does and her appreciation for walking into a hotel and instantly recognizing the scents in the hotel. It makes her feel at ease and welcomed.

Related: How Lincoln Created a Sanctuary of Luxury and Elegance in its New SUVs

The Lincoln Star Concept Under The Lights A The Sls Hotel In Miami Beach. Photo: Denise Courter

The Lincoln Star Concept under the lights a the SLS Hotel in Miami Beach. Photo: Lincoln

Reinventing The Drive in the Lincoln Star Concept

In her day-to-day life, Serena practices mindfulness and discussed how her connection with Lincoln makes sense for herself and her family. That mindfulness promises to grow with the introduction of Lincoln’s Star Concept SUV electric vehicle, which includes a sensory-inducing experience, helps to create a mood and a vibe based on the driver’s preference. 

Guests learned how the Lincoln design team sought to create a unique driving and passenger experience, which will include three options of scents and sounds: “Coastal Morning” will offer sounds of the water and relaxing vibes, “Mindful Vitality,” is a more upbeat vibe and “Evening Chill” gives the driver and passengers a chance to unwind and end the day with a feeling of calm and relaxation. 

“As we move to differentiate a brand, and to understand how Lincoln can create unique experiences, we (designers) are moving past the standard surfaces and touch points and instead creating a more experiential thought process,” said Lincoln Interior Design Chief Ryan Niemiec. “We are taking someone on a journey, we are not just designing for physical, now we are designing for emotional experiences, too.”

Related: Car Fragrance: Aromatherapy in the Car without the Luxury Price Tag

The Three Signed Bottles Of Signature Lincoln Scents

The three signed bottles of signature Lincoln scents on display at the SLS hotel. Photo: Lincoln

Reinventing Sanctuary, and How It Looks and Feels, Is Part of the Electric Car Revolution

The Lincoln Star concept SUV, the brand’s DNA for its future electric vehicles, is a showstopper. It has many unique features, such as a “frunk” which is a trunk for storage that sits in the front of the vehicle and allows for more storage capabilities. The luxury SUV also does not boast a typical front grill, which really lends itself to a sleeker design than you might expect for an SUV.

But, concept vehicles are art before they become actual working vehicles, so the features highlighted in the Lincoln Star Concept may or may not make it to the final production line. Even so, it is really fun to see the creativity of luxury car designers come to life. Overall the Start Concept is sleek and sophisticated and will certainly turns heads if the concept becomes the production SUV. 

For a peek into the experience that Neimiec and Lincoln’s designers envision, watch for special appearances of the concept at auto shows and other events. And, consumers can vie for a winning bid of one of the hand blown glass bottles of Coastal Morning that will be auctioned off to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of West Palm Beach.

An Intimate Panel Discussion With Lincoln

An intimate panel discussion shared personal insights on how scent helps to create sanctuary, with (l-r) Gabriele Chive, Serena Williams, Ryan Niemiec and Michele Caniato. Photo: Lincoln

Denise is a South Florida based writer and a recent New York transplant. She spends her time exploring her... More about Denise Courter