L’Oréal & YSL headset finds your perfect fragrance

The art of perfumery has long recognized the science of psychology. Last year, prompted by the pandemic’s multiple lockdowns, fragrance zoning became the newest wellness trend, with the idea that separating your routine or home into different fragrance ‘zones’ could help shape and define your day (go zesty in the morning for a boost of energy or try wise in the evening to feel stress-free, for example).

But now, everyone’s talking about the digital future of fragrance to make perfume more personal – a concept that we’re seeing take precedence throughout the beauty and wellness industry. Beauty giant L’Oréal is leading this charge, with the launch of a high-tech headset to help you find your most desired scent.

The new device, a multi-sensor headset that can measure brain activity, was invented by the neurotech leader Emotiv in partnership with L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator and the luxury brand Yves Saint Laurent, whose beauty sector is owned by L’Oréal Group.

During each unique consultation, the headset will grant its wearer cognitive reign to find their ideal fragrance, based on a series of responses to different proprietary scents. Technically speaking, it operates though machine learning algorithms that interpret the brain’s signals to accurately monitor behavior and preferences in response to different fragrances. Essentially, it helps consumers determine the perfect scent suited to their emotions.

l'oreal fragrance testing headset


“The intersection of neurotech, AI, and science is an exciting next step”, says Guive Balooch, head of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator. “This partnership promises innovation for the entire beauty industry as this is truly the first time that consumers will have access to a state-of-the-art, in-store experience that uses neuroscience to provide personalized, precise fragrance advice.”

After conducting a blind test, L’Oréal discovered that more than 77 per cent of consumers want their perfume to bring them emotional benefits, while more than half of those aged 12 to 34 select a fragrance based on their mood.

Pleasing to many, this headset will also solve those issues of indecisiveness, by “simplifying the decision-making process,” according to Tan Le, CEO of Emotiv.

“There are thousands of fragrance options,” explains Stephan Bezy, International General Manager at Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, noting how difficult it is for “consumers to navigate the vast number of scents and make a choice that’s right for them”. Now, thanks to this headset, L’Oreal claims to be able to offer “95 per cent of people the right fragrance personalized to their needs and desires, which is enormously higher than without this technology”, he concludes.

You can experience a bespoke fragrance consultation later this year, and throughout 2023, in Yves Saint Laurent flagship stores worldwide.

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