Olfaction: at the heart of the beauty experience

A Nobel Prize in Medicine  

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2004 was awarded jointly to Richard Axel and Linda B. Buck for their discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system. Linda Buck says : « Even if molecular mechanisms are well known, many things have to be discovered around the sense of smell. We would like to understand how our physiological system works. This may lead one day to cure some pathologies. By identifying biological reactions and using new technologies, we could extrapolate the newly acquired knowledge in other situations. Thus, we can imagine therapeutical applications. 


 Olfaction in the beauty and well-being sectors 

Since this Nobel Prize enlarged the studies on olfaction, a wide field of investigation enable researchers to imagine various kinds of solutions. For instance, the interaction between scents and neurophysiology leads to the understanding of many biological reactions. As we know how much neurobiology is implied in beauty and well-being, we foresee the great opportunity of research and application for the cosmetic industry.  



Do you know what Logolf means ? It is the contraction of logo and olfaction : a unique scent signature representing the brand, just as the logo represents it visually. It is now common to develop an olfactive identity in various sectors such as hotels (i.e. Accor), car industry, museums, transportation, retail, shops, real estate (i.e. Cogedim group) etc. Finding the right logolf needs months and mutidisciplinary teams such as marketing, sales and communication. LesEchos, a French media published some video and articles recently. 


Fragrance is in the air 

Scentys mission is to offer active perfumes on a user-centered basis. This company helps users and brands to benefit from the physiological activation triggered by perfumes. As a tech and perfume lover, David Suissa, one of the co-founders of Scentys, created his own company 15 years ago. His inspiration came from his personal relationships with friends living in the Silicon Valley, working on ‘hard’ technologies. His mission ? Offer innovative user experience through scents and technologies. As a polytechnique engineer, he wanted to combine science and fragrance. His team gathers 25 talented people now. Today, the main business of Scentys is dedicated to consumers, and offers perfume diffusion on a daily basis. In parallel, Scentys develops tailor-made solutions to brands. 

More than pleasure of the senses : active scents 

Based on the partnership with academic research organizations, Scentys works on the benefits of smelling specific fragrances on health and well-being. For instance, Otis, an elevator designer, helps people to fight claustrophobia-induced stress by diffusing specific scents in lifts. Intellectual stimulation and burn-out prevention in business offices or lobbies are also explored topics. GE Healthcare exposes patients during medical imaging in order to reduce their stress and get better pictures. Consequently, it saves time and money. The INRA in Lyon, France works on the project for Alzheimer’s patients to encourage them to eat. By activating the limbic system, the fragrance makes them remember they are hungry.  Thus, it helps to limit the pathology progression. 


Other sectors at the cutting edge of the technology 

Car industry is a main actor interested in fragrance integration, aiming at better well-being and driver’s attention. Scentys already displays relaxing (during traffic jams) and boosting (when tired) scents in the Peugeot 3008 et 5008 models. Renault, PSA (Peugeot-Citroën), are looking for a way to limit travel sickness. How to maintain or restore driver’s concentration ? Valeo is a multinational automotive supplier based in France, providing a wide range of products to auto manufacturers and after-markets. In 2016, Valeo bought a Emotient, a startup specialized in facial recognition. In the last CES session in Las Vegas, Valeo presented  great innovations including artificial intelligence and machine learning, but also falling-asleep-signs detection. 


Cosmetic applications 

What would you think about waking up cheerfully, being intellectually stimulated, or rest while your baby sleeps tight all night long ? The cosmetic industry may understand that active scents are more then a ‘nice-to-have’ product, but a ‘killer-app’. 


More investigation on neurosciences have to be developed, with academic and applied research. The interaction between smell and biological activity in terms of neurophysiology and biochemistry should open new opportunities to have positive impact on the body. Therefore, beauty and well-being, intimately intricate, should be improved. 


Scentis, the perfumed media 

Located in the region of Grasse, in the heart of the perfume industry, Scentis is dedicated to perfume all sorts of media. With 25 year's experience in the sector, Jean-Paul Malerba works in synergy with an entire network of skills: perfumers, specialists in aromas, designers and designers. 

Their specific technical expertise meet the market’s requirements in terms of olfactive marketing objects: strips of blotting paper, blotters, perfumed cards, lava stones, bookmarks, calendars or notepads ! The brand addresses the needs of the most demanding clients of worldwide Perfume, Cosmetic and Luxury companies in their olfactive and aromatic communication. You may have seen their demo during the previous edition of Cosmetic 360 in 2017. 



Please find more and see some demonstration various stands, during your visit at Cosmetic 360 17-18 October 2018 in Paris.