Interactive Fragrance Technology

We’re entering a new age of electronic perfumery that will have a radical impact on health, wellbeing and the way users experience things in everyday life. Smell has the power to evoke emotion because olfactory substances impact directly with the limbic system in our brain. Nowadays, technology only reaches out to sight, sound and touch senses to enhance users’ experiences; however, due to technological constraints, there has been limited use of scents to enhance a user’s olfactory experience.

Scentsory Design® is a ‘science fashion’ project that unites emerging technologies, wellbeing and fashion with the ancient art of perfumery and the therapeutic power of essential oils. It stems from the realms of science fiction and explores interactive fragrance technology currently being developed at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. Inspired by the military police in ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ who sniffed aromas in their uniforms to enhance mood, Scentsory Design® invents a new vehicle to deliver scent from ‘smart clothing’. By creating an electronic scent symphony that emulates musical notes on a piano, it is possible to create a new concept in perfumery – like an olfactory keyboard that has the ability to choose from an entire palette of scents changing over time.

The clothes offer a personalised, controllable ‘scent bubble’ that is activated by the wearer alone from high-tech fashion or jewellery. This can be programmed to deliver a ‘wardrobe of fragrances’, depending on mood or time of day, whilst complementing the audio/visual senses. If combined with biometric sensors that measure how you are feeling, clothes could dispense soothing scents to cheer you up or reduce stress or boost energy levels. Similarly, relaxing scents could fight tiredness, or analgesic scents could relieve pain for cancer-care. Scents could even be used to improve memory at school, or as a way for people to communicate their feelings towards one another. Adding scent as a 4th dimension could be used for entertainment within interactive game consoles, tablets, MP3 players and mobile phones.


In the future it will be possible to administer medication in this way – but for the time being we will experience interactive clothes that make scents!


Have a look at the scent palette in the video clip at the bottom of this page, and if this is an area you would like to consider for your future career, you could be: