The France-based technology company Aryballe has brought a device to market which turns fragrances into data. The table-top device essentially smells a scent with a silicone photonic instrument and turns what would require a fragrance panel into quantifiable points of data.
Executive Vice President of Business Development and President of Aryballe Terri Jordan told CosmeticsDesign that the device can replace a human panel, but only in certain parts of the development process.
“It doesn’t replace the creative sides of human panels,” Jordan said. “But it does take anything that a human panel needs to do over and over again. It really improves the consistency and reliability.”
Jordan and Aryballe CEO Sam Guilaumé said the device could have many uses in fragrance and around the personal care market. Here are five of them.
1. Quality control
One of the device’s primary uses in fragrance at this time is quality control. Instead of relying on a human panel to confirm that smell is consistent between samples, the device can take in the scent data of the desired fragrance and compare it to data from the samples.
Outside of fragrance, Jordan said the device can do quality control for other categories, like taking data on smokey notes in coffee or cocoa beans.
With supply chain issues around sourcing raw materials for fragrance, she also said the device can quantify quality and differences in feedstocks.
2. Determining packaging impact
Guilaumé said one of the downsides to recycled packaging can sometimes be the aromatic particles it can carry from its last use, but the Aryballe device could catch that information before it taints a product.
For example, he said Aryballe worked with a chocolate company that used recycled paper packaging. They found the paper was so contaminated with smells from the previous use that it was contaminating the chocolate.
The same can be true of recycled plastic packaging, Jordan said. While the Aryballe device doesn’t offer the solution, it gives “actionable data” brands can use to solve the issue, she said.
3. Meeting desired parameters
While the device isn’t currently meant to replace creative teams, Guilaumé said the device can take over some of the repetitive tasks of product development.
For example, if a fragrance developer wants a product to last 10 hours or meet certain parameters, the device can collect the pertinent data instead of requiring repetitive tests by a human panel.
Jordan said this same concept can be carried into other sectors than personal care, like fragrances designed to cover up malodors in cars or in food production.
4. Mapping the world of scent
Guilaumé’s passion project with the Aryballe device is to map out scent in aromatic data.
“We like to describe ourselves as a cartographer,” Guilaumé said. “If you think of the olfactory space as unknown space, we wanted to essentially define boundaries of what will eventually become continents, countries, cities and so on. The device will act as a GPS to tell you where you are.”
The map would in theory be a tool for the creative side of fragrance to use to navigate creating new scents, Jordan said. Mapping is currently a pilot program for Aryballe.
5. “Shazam for odors”
Conceptually, the Aryballe device could become part of the customized fragrance landscape.
“Shazam for odors is what we generically say,” Jordan said. “We want to have something where you walked down the lane, say ‘I love that smell,’ capture that odor, bring it back, recreate it and defuse it. We're not that whole story, but we’re a piece of that story.”
Outside of fragrance customization, Guilaumé said the technology could also have applications in monitoring certain health metrics in real-time.