A Scientific Approach to Perfume Making

Nadine Natour By Nadine Natour

pinrose perfumesnew fragrance company launched by two women aims to bring the science back to scent-making.

Pinrose, created by Erika Shumate and Christine Luby,  recently opened its online doors for business, selling 10 scents with the help of an algorithmic scent-matcher quiz, according to Bloomberg Business Week. The two founders, who met at Stanford Graduate Business School, created the company with a personalized experience in mind, basing their Scent Profiler quiz on the theory of synesthesia, or the unification of the five senses in humans.

The San Francisco company hopes to tap into the blossoming perfume market, which Statistic Brain estimates is a $5.2 billion industry in the U.S. alone. Pinrose’s entry has expanded the geographic landscape of an industry mostly centered in New Jersey and France, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. 

To stand out, Schumate and Luby have designs to change the fragrance-sampling experience. Rather than undergo the painful experience of being sprayed at the mall, they say on their website, customers can request that Pinrose’s scented towelettes (in packets of three) be sent via the mail.

Founders Erika Shumate and Christine Luby on first day at Pinrose.

Founders Erika Shumate and Christine Luby on first day at Pinrose.

The scents have jaunty names — Campfire Rebel, Treehouse Royal and Moonlight Gypsy —  and interesting descriptions, many of which seem to involve foraging expeditions in the woods.  For example, “What do you wear to a party in a forest? Create some mystery with the enchanting notes of cardamom, orange blossom and patchouli” is the blurb for Moonlight Gypsy.

We know a few other women who have taken inspiration from refashioning beauty products, like Nadya Saib of Wangsa Jelita who has created all-natural soaps with a sustainable mission in Indonesia. Or the founder of Dermalogica, Jane Wurwand, who sought to refocus the skincare industry on health more than looks.

Shumate and Luby claim their algorithm works about 75 percent of the time, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. They plan to eventually use a customer’s Instagram or Pinterest feed to made scent recommendations.

 

Posted: February 10, 2014

Nadine NatourA Scientific Approach to Perfume Making