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L’Oreal develops headset that helps you pick your next perfume using neuroscience


L’Oreal develops headset that helps you pick your next perfume using neuroscience

YSL’s new SCENT-SATION headset turns scent into emotion using neuroscience. The headset then provides personalised, precise fragrance advice. 

L’Oreal is becoming known for its continual investment in leading beauty tech innovation. 

Just three months on from debuting its latest tech for hair colour at the CES trade show, the beauty giant has announced an intriguing further development from its luxury skin, cosmetics and fragrance brand YSL. 

This time it has its sights set on expanding the way we consider perfumery and better enabling us to choose new fragrances that suit our own personal emotions, lifestyles and preferences.

It’s long been known that our olfactory system, or sense of smell, is directly connected to the limbic system, a part of the brain that governs emotional processing, motivation, fear, and pleasure.

Now YSL’s Beauty Tech Innovation Lab has teamed up with neurotechnology company Emotiv, experts in brain activity monitoring headsets, to use this emotional processing to help narrow down the scents we like and dislike and how they affect us. 

The result is a headset known as YSL SCENT-SATION, that helps select the best perfume for you based on brainwave information about your current emotions and what you want from your perfume. 

How the process works

According to a statement on L’Oreal’s website announcing the development, customers will be able to access the technology through a consultation held at select YSL counters.

The system “captures five different feel-good emotions triggered by 14 different accords, representing 27 YSL fragrances and then translates them into a unique, personalized selection of three YSL scents,” says the statement. 

To begin, a customer answers a series of eight questions before an algorithm determines which six accords are most likely to stimulate them, from the likes of musk, aquatic, creamy woods, solar florals and so on. 

Wearing the SCENT-SATION headset, they then smell the six accords ‘blind’, or without knowing what they are. 


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When breathing in an accord, the system considers whether the person is relaxed, focused, less stressed, stimulated or energised. The captors on the headset use electroencephalography, or EEG, to register how each olfactory note stimulates a person’s neural activity by measuring the electrical impulses they trigger in specific areas of the brain.

A personal recommendation is formulated based on these responses by an algorithm programmed for machine learning, with a constantly growing, global database. 

Finally, the customer is recommended three YSL fragrances based on your results, one being a unisex or for another gender, with results emailed for future reference. 

The technology is expected to lead the way for deeper consideration and connection with the impacts a perfume can have. 

Given the just-unveiled technology has not yet been rolled out, there is no indication of when YSL’s SCENT-SATION technology will be available in New Zealand or Australia. 



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