Storytelling scents: Givaudan to acquire AI sensory specialist Myrissi

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

Through the acquisition, Givaudan takes on Myrissi's E-COs Technology - a sensory translator able to connect fragrance, colour and emotion together using a powerful AI-powered database and deep learning technologies (Getty Images)
Through the acquisition, Givaudan takes on Myrissi's E-COs Technology - a sensory translator able to connect fragrance, colour and emotion together using a powerful AI-powered database and deep learning technologies (Getty Images)

Related tags: Givaudan, AI, Artificial intelligence, scents, Fragrance, Emotion, Marketing, acquisition

Fragrance-flavour major Givaudan will acquire French artificial intelligence (AI) firm Myrissi to take on its cutting-edge sensory translating tech that connects smell, colour and emotions, enabling innovative storytelling and fresh consumer engagement around fragrances.

The move formed part of Givaudan’s long-term strategy to expand its AI capabilities.

The acquisition of Myrissi centred around its E-COs Technology ​– an AI-powered sensory translator that used deep learning technologies to navigate sight, olfaction and emotion and translate all types of smells, perfumes and aromas into colours and emotions and vice versa.

What the technology enabled at a manufacturing and marketing level was the association of visuals with specific fragrances, along with smart predictions of end consumer emotional responses to these – an ability that was particularly timely in today’s beauty market, said Givaudan.

Creating ‘compelling fragrance stories’ that resonate with consumer emotions

“The acquisition of Myrissi is aligned with our long-term fragrance and beauty strategy; their expertise in AI will support us in proposing to our customers new visual and verbal storytelling approaches to consumers,”​ said Maurizio Volpi, president of fragrance and beauty at Givaudan.

“This is particularly important in a time when e-commerce is booming,”​ Volpi said.

The technology, he said, would, for example, enable Givaudan to assist beauty manufacturers in refining how smells were communicated online; helping their consumers choose products best fitted to their preferences.

Muriel Jacquot, founder of Myrissi, said: “We are very proud to join Givaudan and to bring in the platform that we have developed with success for ten years. We strongly believe that this is a great opportunity to expand our digital expertise in telling compelling fragrance stories that resonate emotionally with consumers.”

Understanding around the powerful connection between fragrances and emotions had long been known – the value of fragrance considered intangible​, largely due to scent memory being unprocessed – yet communication of fragrances remained complex. Nathanial Davis, a multi-sensory marketing expert, like many other experts in the field, previously told CosmeticsDesign-Europe there was no well-developed language to truly describe scents in layman terms and that communicating emotion remained the best strategy available to industry​.

A ‘unique consumer-centric approach’ to fragrance storytelling

Myrissi’s technology was modelled on a database of more than 25,000 consumer tests; a “unique consumer-centric approach”​ that supported the development of fragrances that fully echoed beauty marketing briefs, Givaudan said.

The sensory translator could be used to develop new fine fragrances, beauty care products and home care items or create and refine marketing and branding communications around existing products.

Myrissi said its E-COs Technology offered industry “new levers of creativity”​ and the opportunity to shorten lead times and cut costs associated with lengthy product testing.

“Moreover, this innovative technology allows the implementation of a global design approach based on the sensory. In this way, you put the consumer back at the heart of the product, you create a link and thus you build customer loyalty,” ​it said.

Full terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Givaudan said it would fund the transaction from “existing resources”.​ The acquisition also remained subject to regulatory approvals but was expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

Related topics: Business & Financial, Fragrance

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