Meet KAORIUM, the AI expressing scent as language

Published: 18-Jun-2024

SCENTMATIC’s KAORIUM is simplifying fragrance purchasing decisions, here’s how

This article is sponsored by SCENTMATIC

SCENTMATIC is a start-up that was established in Tokyo, Japan in 2019. 

The company’s core asset is an AI system called KAORIUM, which expresses scents as language. 

Currently, its primary business involves providing marketing tools for fragrance, sake and wine retailers and restaurants.

In this article, SCENTMATIC’s CEO, Toshiharu Kurisu, tells Cosmetics Business about KAORIUM’s role in boosting fragrance consumers’ purchase intention. 

What is KAORIUM?

Preferences and perceptions of scents and flavor vary widely among individuals. 

KAORIUM is a system that collects diverse perceptions of scents from people and expresses them in clear and diverse language through an AI trained on a large-scale language model. 

Generally, fragrances are invisible and vague, making it difficult to choose and discover new products. As they often come with high prices, this makes purchasing decisions challenging for consumers. 

KAORIUM helps consumers clarify their unique perceptions of scents, simplifying their purchasing decisions and proposing new products based on their perceptions and preferences. 

In fact, in a proof-of-concept conducted at a fragrance shop in Tokyo in 2021, it demonstrated a threefold increase in purchase rates, and at the London Design Festival in September 2023, it received high praise for experiential value from over 1,200 consumers. 

As a result, it was recognised as one of the top ten innovative products of 2023 by the UK’s Stir World.

Furthermore, KAORIUM is also applicable to flavours, and we have launched a tablet application as a Japanese Sake sommelier AI for liquor stores and restaurants. There are cases where sake sales have increased by over 50% in adopted stores, and currently, there are over 400 adoptions in Japan.

SCENTMATIC CEO Toshiharu Kurisu

SCENTMATIC CEO Toshiharu Kurisu

How much have fragrance purchases increased in shops where KAORIUM has been introduced?

In Japanese fragrance stores, the purchase rate has increased by about three times, and usage in department stores has led to a 120% increase in sales. 

At a pop-up event in the UK, sales increased by 1.7 times.

Meet KAORIUM, the AI expressing scent as language

Why were consumers so impressed with the experience at the London Design Festival?

Traditionally, people have made vague judgments about whether they liked or disliked a fragrance. 

However, this experience allows users to smell scents while engaging with descriptive words, leading to an immersive experience where they confront their own perceptions and feelings. 

This heightened self-awareness increases their purchase intention and makes it easier for them to make purchasing decisions. 

Additionally, joint research with the Tokyo University has revealed that brain activation when experiencing scents shows unique responses compared with normal conditions.

Meet KAORIUM, the AI expressing scent as language

What are the benefits of KAORIUM in the beauty industry and its impact on the market?

The fragrance market is currently experiencing global growth and is said to exceed US$90bn. Against this backdrop of market expansion, the number of new fragrance products has also become enormous, with over 5,000 new products released annually in 2020 alone. 

In such a market environment, purchasing fragrances has become more challenging than ever for consumers. And for businesses, maintaining sales opportunities and engagement with consumers has become difficult.

The benefits of KAORIUM include simplifying product selection and introducing consumers to new products, as well as providing businesses with improved sales opportunities and engagement with their products.

How is KAORIUM being used internationally?

In September 2023, KAORIUM made its debut for the first time to the general public in the UK at the London Design Festival. Following this exposure to consumers, adoption by fragrance retailers and brands in the UK has begun.

What is the use of fragrance in education?

We offer an educational programme for children where they can enjoy the scents of local specialties such as fruits while writing their own original stories. Through this programme, each child writes stories based on their own sensibilities, freely creating narratives from scents. 

This allows children to not only enjoy fragrances but also enhance their sensitivity to olfaction while learning about differences in perception from others. 

Currently, we provide this programme at approximately five schools per year, including elementary schools in Japan.

Meet KAORIUM, the AI expressing scent as language

What are the future prospects for SCENTMATIC?

With the increasing adoption of KAORIUM in the market, the platform is accumulating significant amounts of data. 

This data primarily consists of information about consumer scent preferences and the words they associate with their preferred fragrances. 

Some clients have already begun utilising this data for marketing initiatives, with reports of up to an 8.4-fold increase in sales for certain alcoholic beverages. 

While currently deployed as a marketing tool for fragrances and alcoholic beverages, we see the long-term potential for KAORIUM as a data marketing tool.

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