November 06, 2018


Artificial Intelligence has seen an unprecedented surge in popularity over the last few years, which appears to be have been utilised in a number of important causes, such as in medicine with lifesaving procedures becoming more reliable thanks to AI.

After firmly establishing this technology in these vital areas for diagnosing and treating all manner of problems, AI has now expanded its reach and one of the new industries that AI has started working with is the perfume industry.

But how can perfume, a physical substance, have any type of digital upgrade added to it? Well, the AI tool being used is not somehow added to the perfume itself, but instead comes before the perfume making process.

Deciding on the different ingredients for a perfume can be an intricate process as the scent produced can evoke a variety of different emotions and memories. Therefore this process can take a lot of resources and time to get it just right, so if there is a way to make this process more efficient then utilising a technology that can help with this process, makes a lot of sense.

WHAT DOES AI SMELL LIKE? WE ARE ABOUT TO FIND OUT!The different formulas of scents were provided by Symrise who have provided scents for some of the biggest fragrance companies such as Estee Lauder and Victoria’s Secret’s perfume range. These different formulas produce different smells, and there are some 1.7 million different formulas that can be analysed. The actual AI tool that has been developed by IBM’s research centre, called Philyra, is the algorithm that is efficiently going through these potential fragrances, by analysing the formulas against customer feedback to ensure the most appropriate perfumes are produced for the right demographics. This algorithm may even have the capacity to come up with some new formulas altogether thanks to this machine learning process.

One of the scientists of IBM’s research centre and one of the key people responsible for Philyra, Richard Goodwin has compared his AI tool to a human, stating the Philyra is “a system whose learned to create a fragrance like a human apprentice.”  Which shows how advanced he feels the algorithm is.

Symrise has also stated that they plan to use Philyra in their perfume school, so we can expect this type of advanced data analysis to spread across the perfume industry. Meaning the future of perfume seems to be in safe hands thanks to the wonders of Artificial Intelligence.

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