20 May 2021 --- Using data, artisan perfumers, and individual shoppers’ emotions, it is possible to create unique fragrances that center on personalization. That is exactly what O My Note, the perfume app that puts emotions at the heart of fragrance selection, is all about.
BPC Insights talked to Dr Sameh Megrhi, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of O My Note, otherwise known as OMИ, to find out how it is using artificial intelligence and emotion to revolutionize the customer experience and build personalization data products that give fragrance the customer-centric and engagement experiences consumers are looking for.
What was your inspiration behind O My Note?
Click to EnlargeDr Sameh Megrhi, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of O My Note.In 2016, I had the opportunity to talk with a fragrance designer who created a perfume sample for me. After smelling the fragrance, I don't know how and why, but I was reminded of my childhood. I remembered so many details and how beautiful my mom was and all my friends when I was nine years old.
It was spectacular for me as I discovered the power of smelling the right scents at the right moment. It can make us travel really far away and bring up very positive emotions. In 2018, I decided to dig into the questions, “How can we find scents that we want and need in any given moment?”, “How can I have the autonomy to choose the right scent?”.
What was missing from the mainstream fragrance market that you sought to fill with O My Note?
During my research, I discovered that perfume is about emotions and affections. Perfumes are created to convey a vast array of positive emotions. In fact, 75% of our emotions that are generated every day come from what we smell. Also, there is a 40% improvement in our mood after we have been exposed to pleasant scents, scent research from Mood Media reveals.
Unfortunately, Millennials and Generation Z are turning away from fragrance. A total of 2.5 million consumers left the fragrance market in France between 2011 and 2016, reporting the industry’s expensive prices and lack of personalization. Further, 82% of consumers say they are lost and overwhelmed by too much fragrance choice as there are too many products in retail, and this is the case in-store and online. Also, 66% of consumers asked for new digital experiences in perfume like the ones already existing in skin care and beauty, known as beautyTech. Key fragrance players are struggling to engage with these consumers who are seeking technology, transparency, pertinence, knowledge of what they consume, and personalization. O My note is the answer to all these problems.
What makes O My Note stand out in the marketplace?
Click to EnlargeO My note’s mission is to revolutionize the fragrance experience.Our goal is to revolutionize the fragrance experience and come up with unique retail technology, both in-store and for e-commerce.
To offer a different perfume experience that meets ill-informed consumers’ needs, O My Note decided to focus on the origins of perfumery: emotions and affections. It is not about gender, age or professional status; it is beyond classical segmentations.
The customer experience is simple: Tell me who you are and how you feel. I will tell you what scents will make you feel good. It is the Alexa of fragrance!
You only have to share your video story, like the ones you share on platforms like Instagram or TikTok and we will predict your scents. You can add scents, remove some and scope your needs. After you validate your selected scents, we orient you with the product that matches your needs in-store or via e-commerce. You have 100% autonomy. You can choose from mass, niche, or vegan perfume. O My Note can be deployed in retail, airports, in-store and can also be plugged into e-commerce platforms.
What were the drivers behind O My Note opting to enter the fragrance market?
In beauty technology, there are amazing solutions. For instance, you can scan a consumer’s skin and recommend beauty or cosmetics products based on the relevant analysis. However, nothing was available that could analyze consumers’ olfactory profiles and help them discover scents to reflect their emotions. Now, the fragrance market needs to move forward and use next-generation retail technology, known as RetailTech.
How does O My Note implement artificial intelligence (AI) in fragrances?
Click to EnlargeCOVID-19 has been a 'catalyzer' for the exploration of RetailTech.O My Note is an AI deep-technology solution dedicated to personalizing scents for familiar and unfamiliar consumers via analyzing human emotions and predicting the corresponding scents. It is able to decode human emotions, personality and memories, and map these with scents.
We use the latest AI technology to scale the solution and make it as smart as possible to predict scents and surprise the consumers in real-time and dynamically.
What are the greatest opportunities for premium fragrances?
The greatest opportunity is the possibility of reaching global consumers and fast.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted these?
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the fragrance sector as consumers’ ability to shop is limited. But the good news is that COVID-19 acted as a catalyzer to help us question RetailTech and find new ideas to meet consumers' needs.
What are the challenges for brands in the premium fragrance space?
The challenge for brands is to strike a balance between personalization and technology at scale and fast.
How do you envisage AI will be used in fragrances moving forward?
Although it was created by humans, AI enhances creativity on unexpected levels. AI will scale up the fragrance market and reach consumers globally.
How does O My Note hope to impact the fragrances market in both the short and long term?
O My note hopes to engage Millennials and Generation Z consumers in fragrance by giving knowledge, transparency, and pertinent information to make consumers closer to their emotions, which is the definition of personalization for us. In the long term, we hope to cover other products in addition to fragrances.
By Natasha Spencer-Jolliffe, BPC Insights Senior Journalist