Givaudan partners with ‘world-changing’ olfactory innovation

Givaudan supported a talented French entrepreneur by developing scents for an award-winning ‘olfactory alarm clock’ that is changing the way we wake up in the morning

19-year old French inventor Guillaume Rolland is behind Sensorwake, an exciting innovation which successfully uses scent instead of sound to wake people up. Givaudan’s Paris-based innovation team helped this young entrepreneur develop a delicious palette of morning aromas for his revolutionary ‘olfactory alarm clock’.

When Givaudan met Guillaume, the young French entrepreneur had impressive credentials, having scooped the Google Science Fair Award and had his device listed among Google’s top 15 ‘Innovations to change the world’. Sensorwake uses scent to stimulate the senses in an effective and original way, which made it an ideal partner for Givaudan’s recently established Innovation team. This internal team has a mandate to develop new creative concepts for the fragrance world and to promote and propagate innovation within the organisation.

Scents to get out of bed for

With their finger on the pulse, the innovation team has a nose for trends. After hearing Guillaume talk about his desire to design more fragrances for his device, the team reached out to the start-up and both partners recognised a complementary fit. A dynamic partnership was born: Guillaume brought his ideas and entrepreneurial way of working to the collaboration; Givaudan offered fragrance creativity and applied expertise.

Three leading perfumers from Givaudan’s Fine Fragrance and Consumer Products business units immediately began creating scents that people would get out of bed for.

The result was seven quintessential morning fragrances: hot croissant, buttered toast, fresh coffee as well as seaside, chocolate, cut grass, and mint.

Keeping pace with a start-up

Guillaume’s fast-paced start-up mentality echoed the creative energy and methodologies that the Innovation Team strives to live by. As Aurélie, our perfumer commented: “Sensorwake comes straight from the start-up world and Guillaume’s team moves at lightening speed! Our in-house ideas lab, which is small and lean, is also designed in a start-up style. We were able to keep pace with Sensorwake and we proved ourselves to be agile and resourceful: we managed to develop, produce and market fragrances for Guillaume far quicker than usual. This demonstrates the whole purpose of the Innovation Lab – to stimulate ideas, whilst being highly responsive, too.”

Our in-house ideas lab, which is small and lean, is also designed in a start-up style

“The innovative partnerships we have established with start-ups are critical to our advancement in the digital space. Our ultimate objective is to provide an exciting pipeline of ideas to Givaudan customers that could potentially be taken to market,” said Chris, Head of Global Science and Technology.

Guillaume remarked: “Givaudan was really flexible, despite being a really large company: they were able to understand the start-up ecology, which is essential for supporting innovation.”

A new insight for the fragrance world

The project also surfaced a powerful new industry insight that, according to Aurélie, could mark a brand -new territory within the fragrance world.

She explains: “The Sensorwake project shone a light on an original ‘fragrance moment’ that is not yet catered for, commercially. The concept of enjoying a lovely aroma when we first wake up hasn’t been marketed or explored before. Fragrances are usually used later in the morning when we’re getting dressed, or in the evening. The possibilities around this ‘morning moment’ are really exciting; we will definitely be exploring how we could use this for other customers in the future.

An ongoing partnership

Guillaume and the Givaudan Innovation team continue to research and execute ideas; they have just created a special-edition Sensorwake fragrance for the French natural lifestyle stores, Nature et Découvertes. The 100% natural scent, L’Orée des bois, will be available this Christmas and expands the Sensorwake palette with a mossy, foresty aroma.

Enriched by Guillaume’s entrepreneurialism, Givaudan was able to adopt an equally agile way of working whilst supporting this passionate young innovator who was the recipient of the 2016 CES Innovation Award. This ongoing partnership will continue to champion innovation and start-up culture, so watch this space when new developments will be revealed early next year!

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