The future of fragrance: How AI is redefining the perfume industry

The Fans of Scents project introduces a sophisticated artificial intelligence framework designed to skillfully assist customers in choosing the ideal fragrance


Anam Khan

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Published: Mon 26 Feb 2024, 2:54 PM

Last updated: Mon 26 Feb 2024, 3:01 PM

Launched in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman, the brand, Fans of Scents, is expanding every month in new MENA region countries.

The concept of the Fans of Scents project is a sophisticated artificial intelligence framework that expertly guides customers in selecting the perfect fragrance. This service elegantly offers the opportunity to experience a variety of scents in handy, travel-sized 5 ml mini bottles. Designed for effortless portability, they are the perfect accessory for both the daily sojourn to work and the globetrotter's escapades, ensuring that one's signature scent is always at hand.

The founder and CEO, Elena Petrova, shares how artificial intelligence aids the service's operation. Fans of Scents features renowned luxury and brand-name fragrances in convenient 5 ml mini bottles, perfect for travel, for instance.

Tell us about the project, why specifically small bottles.

I'm a perfume aficionado myself and love various scents, yet sometimes there's just not enough time to visit stores. With so many fragrances and only a couple of scent strips, it seems I can no longer discern anything, making it difficult to choose from the multitude of what suits me. Store sellers often promote certain brands, which makes it challenging to make a conscious choice.

Honestly speaking, until recently, I found myself sticking to the same perfumes for a long time, simply because there was no opportunity to try something new.

So, for myself and millions of other women and men, our team developed a service that allows trying different perfumes, both luxury and niche, in small 5 ml bottles. You visit the website, go to the Catalog, select the perfumes you want to try and receive a beautiful box of fragrances. You can then try the scents in a calm setting. After all, a fragrance doesn't reveal itself immediately but unfolds gradually, note by note. Then you can decide what you like more.

And if you're new to the world of perfumery or just want to try something new – fill out a questionnaire and our artificial intelligence-based algorithm will begin to form your perfume profile and suggest fragrances that suit you. We create beautiful boxes and customers can receive new perfumes every month, try them in a peaceful environment, and make an informed choice. We have conducted and continue to conduct consultations with perfume specialists and work with data analysts to create a service that truly benefits people.

What perfumes will come, and where do you source them from?

We work with official distributors and major suppliers in the region. Our perfumery is genuine and we value our reputation.

What does a client do if a fragrance doesn't suit them?

Our primary task is to provide clients with the opportunity to evaluate a variety of scents. We ask buyers to provide initial information to understand their individual preferences, then we compile a list of fragrances the client will receive. Yes, it happens that perfumes don't suit, usually when the client either hasn't answered the questionnaire, provided incorrect information, or has an initial aversion to a certain perfume or note. Of course, perfumery is somewhat associative. Advertising creates a specific image that may or may not appeal to certain individuals.

How does artificial intelligence (AI) analyse them?

A vast amount of data on fragrances is compared, breaking them down into families and notes, and analysing preferences for individual notes and combinations. For instance, a perfume with lemon notes might not be liked in one combination but might be in another. Information about the person is analysed to create a general profile, taking into account factors like residence, age, and gender. This is cross-referenced with open-source data concerning the population in a specific locality.

Fragrances are challenging to analyse; we cannot influence the images created by our client's imagination. For example, in family situations: if a father always prefers a certain scent, depending on the child's relationship with the father, they may form an impression of that perfume. Advertising also creates images of rugged men preferring a certain scent or women who invariably wear a specific perfume. It's futile to contest this. We encourage our clients to make decisions based on unbiased data and their sensations. That's why we only reveal part of the perfumes that will come. Unfortunately, advertising both elevates and diminishes the images of inexpensive, yet high-quality perfumes, which some might feel embarrassed to wear due to their low cost.

We're still on our journey, yet we're already able to share outcomes with our clients. And it's fantastic that our service offers the opportunity to touch on beauty and try out scents that some, unfortunately, might not have had the chance to try due to various circumstances.

Additionally, our service supports the ESG agenda – we advocate for making informed choices and trying out perfume before purchasing a large bottle, which the buyer might discard if the scent turns out to be unsuitable.

Could you please share a little about yourself?

I come from an IT background. For about a decade, I've been involved in the development of various IT projects in the realms of retail and e-commerce. I've worked with large European companies and have created my projects. I have a knack for bringing together wonderful people—true professionals. Our current project is staffed by data analysts, developers, designers, and consultants specializing in perfumery. We actively engage with our audience and strive to create in-demand products tailored for both B to B and B to C segments.

Amalesh Das is a freelancer content writer.

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