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The Future of Algorithmic Perfumery

Contact Author Eddie Bulliqi
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ScenTronix debuted its artificial intelligence perfumery system to great acclaim and momentum.

Frederik Duerinck’s and Anahita Mekanik’s ScenTronix project, an initiative to build both the software and hardware for the most powerful and user-friendly artificially intelligent bespoke perfumery system to date, debuted at New York City’s Ace Hotel in February 2020 to great acclaim and momentum. While COVID-19 may have slowed the roll-out, the team is working hard to fine-tune the capabilities and user interface of the system with continually updated programming.

The team is feeding the machine with new evaluations every day so it can learn and respond to data on likes, dislikes, beauty, ugliness and experimentation. The end goal is to collect such sophisticated data inputs from consumers of all demographics and geographies that the ScenTronix machine would be able to generate instantly, for anyone in the word, the one scent that would make them feel more joyous or confident, calm or energized, than any blend out there—effectively, made-to-measure, prescription perfumery.

This interview with Duerinck covers where he wants to take the project next, and what he thinks the future of artificial intelligence will offer the perfumery industry.

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Eddie Bulliqi [EB]: What initially sparked your interest in the confluence between scent and artificial intelligence (AI), and why did you decide to pursue the ScenTronix project?

Frederik Duerinck [FD]: I had the idea while I was working on a show called Avant-Garden—an exhibition centered on the future of multisensory design in collaboration with IFF. The concept of Algorithmic Perfumery was born out of one of the pieces in the exhibit, which I decided to further develop by creating ScenTronix Inc. I had a very bright and clear vision of a system through which people could create their own perfume and watch the miracle of creation happening in front of their eyes. Just like YouTube liberated film and content distribution, my excitement over the ScenTronix project was rooted in its potential to do the same for the perfumery industry. 

For the full article, please check out Perfumer & Flavorist's September 2020 issue.