Artificial Intelligence Is Used In The Perfume World. Product customization is a trend that has been going strong for some time. Now it has reached the world of fragrances.
There is a common need to fit into a group with which we identify, to feel integrated. Paradoxically, we also want to stand out from the crowd and be unique and different. From this increasingly widespread thinking comes the trend of personalization, ranging from sweatshirts with the initials of our name embroidered on them to a face cream that meets the specific needs of our skin. How is this possible? Thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Case in point: earlier this year, L’Oréal introduced Perso, an artificial intelligence system that represents the ultimate in beauty personalization. It is a device that analyzes the user’s skin, performs an environmental assessment, allows them to enter preferences regarding the texture of the cream or the problems they are most interested in treating (blemishes, wrinkles…), and from this data creates a fully customized product.
Although it may sound like science fiction, AI is already part of our lives and has also reached the perfume industry with tools such as Carto, from Swiss designer Givaudan Fragrances, which helps perfumers to create fragrances by proposing possible combinations through machine learning. This streamlines the perfume-making process, saving the nose an invaluable amount of time.
The universe of perfume, already fascinating in itself, allows its creators and users to experiment with scents almost unlimited way until they find one that fits their idea, personality, or mood. And if we take into account that smell is the sense through which we remember most moments, what better way to make them unforgettable than by creating your scent?
Others who have understood the advantages are Symrise, a German fragrance house that has gone a step further by partnering with IBM Research to create its own AI tool: Philyra. These machines cannot smell, so the scents are coded, along with requirements that they must meet as a beauty product, taking shampoos or skin creams as an example and adding the right proportions of each ingredient. The advantage is that the machine learns as a perfumer does, but forgets nothing, creating a virtually unlimited database.
In Spain, this amazing technology has come from the Catalan start-up Noustique and its project The Alchemist Atelier, which brings to our homes the possibility of creating our personalized perfume. This project is the result of the collaboration between Álvaro Suárez and Hugo Lasala and the multinational household appliances company BSH, with the support and experience of world-class perfumers such as Fanny Bal, Juliette Karagueuzoglou, and Nicolas Beaulieu. In their case, the design of a customized perfume is done with an app.
As they tell Vanity Fair, their app allows the user to combine scents with extreme precision, but is always focused on the creative side of the perfume creation process, which is, after all, the most fun. The good thing about this type of project (is there anything wrong with it?) is that it allows the customer’s imagination to expand without limits, with the possibility of trying again and again until the fragrance they want is found.
In addition, as The Alchemist Atelier explains, fragrances can be made in very small formats, such as 5 ml or 20 ml. Until now, we were forced to consume perfumes in a pre-established way, in bottles that were too big or too small for our taste, which did not allow us to change fragrances as often as we would like. In this way, we can find the perfect perfume for every occasion: for a certain season of the year, for a certain type of date or to create a scent that lifts our spirits when we feel sad.
But this technology is not only designed for the end-user and their enjoyment. It has also been conceived to support the work of perfumers and make their job easier. The Alchemist Atelier says that they intend to recover the concept of “made-to-measure” with which the perfumery was born, in which it was the customer who ordered a particular perfume that a perfumer made.
But there is no doubt that one of the great attractions of this advance has to do with the end customer, who can become a kind of Jean Baptiste Grenouille, the protagonist of the novel and its eponymous film Perfume (without his serial killer facet) who made fragrances of whatever he wanted due to a super-developed sense of smell. Thus, those phrases that have ever been said to us (“This shirt smells like you” or “Your house smells like you”) will make much more sense with these tools.
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