There are thousands of perfumes on the market and consumers need help navigating their way to ones they like.
The industry’s brute force response is to offer scent samples—drams or microencapsulated print pieces.
More imaginative solutions offer scents and a branching decision tree that guides users to a preferred fragrance family or a group of brands. (Sephora once had a such setup in their stores.) But letting a person simply express choices is so old school.
L’Oréal has come up with something much better. They joined forces with “bio-informatics and technology company” Emotiv to offer a “neurotech device” that “will help consumers decode what fragrances are best suited to their needs.” How? With machine-learning algorithms. [Algorithms are so hot right now.—Ed.]
This piece in Harper’s Bazaar has a photo of the Emotiv neurotech device. It resembles an alien sex toy—not clear if you wear it or insert it.
Since it measures brain waves it apparently goes on/in your head.
According to Guive Balooch, leader of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator, this “intersection of neurotech, AI, and science is an exciting next step.” I find that hard to believe.
I mean, is it really possible that his name is
Guy LeDouche Guive Balooch? It sounds like a fictional character in one of my Nick Zollicker stories. [Well, like some of them he has a PhD and he was at UC Berkeley.—Ed.] [You mean he’s actually a figment of my imagination?]
For all the brain waves and machine learning algorithms, the L’Oréal “experience” boils down to consumer moods. It will help you find a scent based on your mood.
But moods change from hour to hour, so how useful will . . . oh, never mind.
P.S. If your are a Pisces, your ideal fragrance will be in the fresh floral category.
P.P.S. If you have an Upward Forked Life Line you really ought to try a chypre.
P.P.P.S. You enjoy top notes of bergamot and neroli; your lucky numbers are 37 44 81 62.