This article is sponsored by SCENTMATIC
The sense of smell is one of the most unknown of the five senses and is expected to lead to new discoveries and market creation.
To pursue its potential and provide mental enrichment through the sense of smell, we have developed KAORIUM, an AI-type system that connects ‘scent’ and ‘words’ and converts them into each other.
Associating words with fragrances and imagining fragrances with words not only activates the brain, but also makes us aware of our undiscovered sensibilities.
In this interview, Cosmetics Business Stand Side speaks with SCENTMATIC, exhibiting at in-cosmetics Global 2023.
SCENTMATIC, is a Japan-based business design group which aims to digitise the sense of smell, that adds ‘emotional experience value’ to everything using KAORIUM, an AI system that verbalises fragrance.
During the Barcelona-based beauty industry trade event, which ran from 28-30 March, SCENTMATIC demonstrated KAORIUM, its innovative AI system that mutually converts fragrance and words.
Using a database and AI, KAORIUM can visualise, in words, impressions of fragrances that can sometimes be vague and difficult to grasp, and derive fragrances that are linked to the words chosen.
Speaking to Cosmetics Business at in-cosmetics Global, Toshiharu Kurisu, CEO of SCENTMATIC, said: “We are the IT and user-experience design team focusing on scent and perfume customer experiences.
“Now we're developing an AI system to verbalise customers’ sensory pathways; we are developing this AI into the customer’s shopping experience.”
The system is expected to create new business opportunities not only in the world of
fragrances, where it can clarify the olfactory preferences of individuals, which have
conventionally been difficult to verbalise and visualise, but also in various other fields such as sensory education, dining experiences and purchasing experiences.
There are several key benefits to KAORIUM.
Firstly, it clears up any ambiguity in the selection of fragrances and makes the process easier to understand.
It also makes it easier to communicate with others because fragrances can be expressed in words.
How does KAORIUM work?
Explaining KAORIUM, Kurisu said: “Currently the AI system runs how the customer ‘feels’ the scent and the flavour.
“It also learns vast amounts of data on expressions from the internet and literature. So this can express olfactory sense into words.”
The user can begin by tapping ‘Touch to Start’. Four different scents of different strains are randomly selected and the user chooses the scent that most closely matches his or her preferences.
When a user selects a fragrance, the impression of the selected fragrance is converted into appropriate words such as ‘refreshing’, ‘clear’, ‘relaxing’, and so on, shown on the display.
This allows the user to compare and select fragrances with a clear understanding of the fragrance image by verbalising the sensory expression that may have been difficult to grasp by oneself.
KAORIUM, an AI-type system that connects ‘scent’ and ‘words’ and converts them into each other
The user will smell it again and choose the one he/she likes best.
After repeating the same action and finally selecting three fragrances, the analysis results are displayed, indicating the user’s preferred fragrance.
The AI analyses the user’s preferences based on the final selected scents, and can extract words that describe more specific scenes, such as ‘the sound of strings playing on a tropical summer night’.
Furthermore, when the user reads the QR code displayed on the screen, the system will recommend fragrances based on the three selected scents and words.
The future for KAORIUM
So why bring the KAORIUM technology to Barcelona?
“I established this company in 2019, so this is a three-and-a-half year old company. And up to now, we’ve achieved various successes in the Japanese market,” Kurisu said.
“We have contracted with Shiseido and one of Japan’s biggest aroma companies, and we are contracted with various other companies [in Japan]. So, we are trying to step out from Japan – that’s why we are exhibiting at in-cosmetics.”
He continued: “In terms of the perfume industry, the market size in the EU and the US is much bigger than Japan.
“We also have another option to express flavour.
“We have developed SAKE expert AI and it has been installed in over 300 restaurants in Japan, so we are also trying to get this AI system into the EU and the US.”