Testing fragrances in-store is about to become a bit more futuristic. Beauty group L’Oréal is partnering with tech company Emotiv to equip Yves Saint Laurent flagship stores with a device that will record consumers’ neural response to fragrances in a bid to make it easier to choose the right scent.
L’Oréal is looking to science, and more precisely neuroscience, to help its consumers make “accurate and personalized fragrance choices” in the retail setting. The starting point for this new initiative could be in the numbers: L’Oréal has identified that some 77% of consumers look for emotional benefits from their fragrance, and more than half of consumers between 12 and 34 say they select their fragrance based on their mood at the time of purchase.
This new initiative – a collaboration spearheaded by the French beauty group’s Technology Incubator with EEG (electroencephalogram) technology provider Emotiv and Yves Saint Laurent Beauté (L’Oréal Luxe) – fits the consumer with a “multi-sensor EEG headset”, which records their neural reactions as she/he samples a fragrance. “We’re simplifying the decision-making process by connecting emotion and scent through technology. […] This technological breakthrough will help consumers decode what fragrances are best suited to their needs,” notes Emotiv CEO Tan Le, in a statement.
The experience combines proprietary scents, initially those from Yves Saint Laurent’s portfolio, with machine learning algorithms to facilitate the fragrance selection process, which can be “challenging for consumers to navigate, given the thousands of fragrance options,” explains Yves Saint Laurent Beauté International General Manager Stéphane Bezy. “Once we know which scents make people feel happy, energized or [generate] other emotions, we can customize fragrances even more. The potential is boundless,” he adds.
The experience is to launch later this year in Yves Saint Laurent flagship stores worldwide and will continue its roll out throughout 2023.