Creating Fragrance with Artificial Intelligence

Excerpts from fragrance editorials "Eau Ex Machina" in Elle Magazine May 2020.

Jennifer Goldstein explores the recent developments in the use of Artificial Intelligence for creating new fragrances in the May issue of Elle magazine.

Eau Ex Machina

Your favorite scent may have been created by a computer. Is the fragrance industry ready for artificial intelligence?

"Perfumers often use analogies to describe their craft. Calice Becker, the nose behind Dior's famous J'adore, likens her work to that of an architect. Stephen Nilsen, who created Vera Wang Lovestruck, thinks of it as writing music... Francis Kurkdjian believes perfumery, at its heart, is storytelling. And that may be one reason he's wary of a recent development in fragrance: the use of artificial intelligence.

...In 2017, the Brazilian cosmetics company O Boticário...approached IBM Research to help design two perfumes using only artificial intelligence. ...At the time, IBM Research lacked data about fragrance, so it tapped a German fragrance house, Symrise - which has a database of over 1.8 million aroma formulas... to help build a program that could teach itself how to compose fragrances. "We called it Philyra, after the Greek goddess of perfume," says David Apel, a Symrise senior perfumer who worked on the venture. ...O Boticario tested the AI [created formula] and ended up bottling it. The scent, called Egeo on You, launched in 2019, along with a machine-made feminine counterpart called Egeo on Me. ...the scents were a hit.

O Boticario Egeo on You and Egeo On Me fragrances
O Boticário Egeo On You
Ambery Fougere
Fragrance Notes
Top - Melon, peach, pineapple, bergamot, mint, cardamom, eucalyptus
Heart - Sage, galbanum, lavender, green leaves, fenugreek, woody notes
Base - Sandalwood, vetiver, musk, benzoin, amber, condensed milk

O Boticário Egeo On Me
Fruity Floriental
Fragrance Notes
Top - Melon, peach, pineapple, anise, orange blossom, bergamot, lemon, apple, cucumer, pepper, almond blossom
Heart - Jasmine, freesia, muguet, passion flower accord, grean leaves, white rose, raspberry, acacia, tuberose, prunella
Base - Vanilla, sandalwood, patchouli, musk, amber, toffee base

Perfumer - Symrise's Artificial Intelligence Philyra
Launched - May 2019 innovation is hot in fragrance right now. Last year, the Swiss fragrance and flavor developer Givaudan launched a system called Carto, which Becker...compares to the CAD programs architects use to render designs. When...a...perfumer, selects aromas from Givaudan's database, they appear on a large touch screen as colorful circles... Then the software works out the math, adjusting the amounts of each note so the potency is balanced...The touch screen is linked to a robotic compounding machine that can whip up samples in seconds. ...Like many other consumer companies, the fragrance industry is coming to terms with its environmental impact. ... One example of progress can be found at Firmenich, another Swiss fragrance house. Its AI program, Muse, can reengineer a formula to make it more eco-friendly.

...The Dutch brand Algorithmic Perfumery takes things a step further, letting customers create bespoke perfumes with an AI-driven computer program and a special "fragrance printer"... Algorithmic Perfumery's cofounder and head of scent creation, Anahita Mekanik, says the goal isn't to simplify perfume shopping or mechanize the creation process... It's to help people learn. ...the process seems to bring people together, encouraging them to share their samples and find things they have in common. Oddly humanizing, considering the means."

Read the full article online: Robots Are Coming For Your Beauty Collection

High-Tech Scents

Cutting-edge technologies can take an aroma "snapshot" of living plants and endangered natural elements to replicate their scents (without destroying them in the process), giving the fragrance world a substainable boost.

Prada Les Infusions de Rose

Infusions de Rose

$160 @

This floral blend features a bouquet of botanicals - neroli, galbanum, and roses from both Turkey and Bulgaria - that smells freshly bloomed.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Dew

Viktor & Rolf
Flowerbomb Dew

Floriental Musk
$115 @

The tech-created notes of a delicate, dewy rose lies at the heart of this sparkling floral, anchored with a creamy musk base.

Ellis Brooklyn Salt

Ellis Brooklyn

Floral Oriental
$105 @

Reminiscent of sea salt-covered skin in summer, this fragrance gets its musky quality from a lab-born (and vegan) version of ambergris, a dried whale by-product prized for its subtle, earthy scent.

Read more @

(Goldstein, Jennifer. "Beauty: Future of Fragrance - Eau Ex Machina." Elle May 2020: 88-92)

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