Firmenich launches fragrance-making 'rules' to improve focus and boost attention

By Julia Wray | Published: 30-Nov-2022

EmotiCODE is the latest addition to Firmenich’s EmotiON programme, which uses neuroscience in fragrance creation

Swiss perfume and taste company Firmenich has launched EmotiCODE, described as the first ever fragrance innovation to improve focus and boost attention.

The patent-pending set of fragrance design rules has been demonstrated to give consumers the benefit of improved focus and help them get into a state of ‘flow’.

It is the latest neuroscientific advancement and addition to Firmenich’s EmotiON programme, which brings together proprietary consumer insights from across the world, as well as neuroscientific research and perfumer expertise to deliver positive emotions to consumers.

“At Firmenich, we have an industry-leading set of data, coming from extensive global research on consumer insights,” said Sarah Reisinger, Firmenich’s Chief Research Officer.

“We’ve done comprehensive analysis to be able study the emotional responses of humans to scents.

“For over 25 years, our scientists at Firmenich have been leading neuroscientific research on olfaction and emotion.

“Our research on scent perception and bio-response is very extensive and paved the way for us to understand the transformation of molecular signals into odour, flavour and emotions.

“This is the foundation of our EmotiON programme, which uses a range of R&D and market research tools to create a model or framework to identify, create and certify the emotional benefits of fragrance.”

Through an AI model developed by Firmenich D-lab and leveraging on the company's IRIS database – an Interactive Research Intelligent System that stores data from more than 34,000 fragrances and over 1.9 million consumer interviews across 51 countries – these emotion-centred fragrance design rules allow perfumers to create fragrances shown to be associated with increased mental performance in cognitive tasks.

EmotiCODE Focus fragrances were tested for their impact on mental performance using two different cognitive tasks: the Stroop task, a paradigm to measure interference and attention, and a mental arithmetic task that measures quantitative reasoning.

The tests confirmed EmotiCODE Focus fragrances increased mental processing speed in both tasks, versus fragrances that did not use EmotiCODE creation rules and the control condition with no odour.

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