Digital Olfaction & Fragrance: What You Need to Know

By Fanny Turlure

Fragrance has the ability to evoke powerful memories, emotions, and responses in humans. As such, it has become a key driver of purchase for consumers as it can meet both their emotional and functional needs. This applies to everything from perfume to odors used in consumer products such as cosmetics, household cleaning products, and personal care items. 

As a result, more of today’s top consumer brands are relying on fragrance innovation to differentiate their products. In fact, the perfume and fragrance market is expected to reach $75M by 2025, up from $54M in 2019. But fragrances are historically unique, complex and difficult to standardize, hindering manufacturing and innovation for brands. Luckily, digital olfaction solutions exist to help leverage fragrance and odor data to provide actionable insights for the fragrance industry. Let’s take a look at how digital olfaction technology can be used to help fragrance manufacturers advance their products and keep pace in the increasingly competitive market.


Digital olfaction use cases for fragrance

Digital olfaction uses machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to mimic the human sense of smell, ultimately helping companies assess odors and ensure product consistency. This has a variety of applications within the fragrance industry, including:

Benchmarking the fragrance of existing products: Having fragrance benchmarks is essential for manufacturers working on new products as a means of comparison. Benchmarks can be positioned based on the fragrance’s intensity and olfactive pattern, and can also be applied to competitor products for comparative testing.

Fragrance concentration optimization: Fragrance elements can be expensive for brands, so optimizing the final fragrance dose that is added to products is critical. Digital olfaction can be used to routinely screen formulations in different conditions, such as locations and climates, to determine the required optimal fragrance concentration.

Ensuring fragrance consistency: The intensity and character of a fragrance can evolve over time and vary based on its source. Manufacturers can leverage digital olfaction technology to quantify and monitor fragrance evolution and loss to help inform future batches, and ensure bach-to-bach consistency from different suppliers.

Sustainability initiatives: To meet increasing consumer demand for clean and sustainable products coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, brands are experimenting with new natural and synthetic formulas. Digital olfaction can help support manufacturers as they evolve their products by monitoring and screening new formulations and fragrances to better predict which products will resonate most with consumers.

Perfume counterfeit monitoring: Fragrance in counterfeit products evolves much faster than the odor of the original product. Digital olfaction can be used to detect counterfeit versions of products based on their fragrance progression.


A growing need for analytics

All of the above use cases require advanced data analytics, and it has never been more clear that when it comes to optimizing the use of fragrance for brands, data analytics is power. But digital olfaction and e-noses have suffered from a reputation of being complex data tools.

At Aryballe we strive to make the process as simple and error-proof as possible through advanced analytics tools which enable more expert users to go deeper in their analysis, while using just one software.

Looking ahead, we see major avenues for innovation within the fragrance industry with our data offerings. Machine learning will also take an increasingly important role in our product for predicting odor evolution and assisting with flavor and fragrance creation. 

To learn more about some of our new data offerings, make sure to visit our booth (#430) this week at the World Perfumery Conference.