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L’Oréal, Neurotech Company Launching Headset for Precise Fragrance Selection

The technology will first be rolled out for Yves Saint Laurent perfumes.

PARIS — L’Oréal and neurotechnology company Emotiv are partnering on a project to help people make precise and personalized fragrance choices based on their emotions.

L’Oréal’s technology incubator, the Yves Saint Laurent brand, fragrance experts and Emotiv worked together on an in-store fragrance consultation experience that links neuro responses to fragrance preferences through a multisensor EEG-based headset.

In real time, as people experience proprietary scent families, the headset employs machine-learning algorithms that interpret brains’ electrical energy to be able to precisely sense and monitor behavior, preferences, stress and attention.

Fragrance consumers today are homing in on personalized experiences as the line between beauty and well-being blur.

“We are constantly developing innovative, personalized experiences for our consumers,” said Guive Balooch, head of L’Oréal’s technology incubator, in a statement published Monday. “The intersection of neurotech, AI and sciences is an exciting next step. The science of choosing a fragrance is very complex. This partnership promises innovation for the entire beauty industry, as this is truly the first time that consumers will have access to a state-of-the-art in-store experience that uses neuroscience to provide personalized, precise fragrance advice.”

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It will be available in some Yves Saint Laurent flagship stores starting this year and throughout 2023.

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“Together with L’Oréal, we hope this partnership provides unique insights into how consumers feel about fragrances and about how scents make them feel through an unbiased lens,” said Tan Le, Emotiv chief executive officer. “We’re simplifying the decision-making process by connecting emotion and scent through technology, in a way no one has done before. Rooted in science and powerful insights, this technological breakthrough will help consumers decode what fragrances are best suited to their needs.”

L’Oréal said 77 percent of consumers want emotional benefits from their fragrances. During a blind test, the group found that people link emotions such as happiness and relaxation to their perfume preferences. More than 50 percent of people aged 12 to 34 said they base their fragrance choice on mood.

“There are thousands of fragrance options, and we know it can be challenging for consumers to navigate the vast number of scents and make a choice that’s right for them,” said Stephan Bezy, international general manager at Yves Saint Laurent Beauté.

“Through this immersive system, we were able to get 95 percent of people the right fragrance personalized to their needs and desires, which is enormously higher than without this technology,” he continued. “It’s a huge first step in this category. Once we know which scents make people feel happy, energized or with other emotions, we can customize fragrances even more — the potential is boundless.”

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