The dream of trying or sending a fragrance through digital means has just come true. Brazilian scent tech startup Noar - a spin-off from Ananse - launches the “digital scent” on the market, a technological innovation that allows to experience fragrances and aromas in a unique, intuitive and sustainable way.
The new fragrance delivery technology makes it possible for consumers to enjoy perfumes from devices such as cell phones and tablets, eliminating the need for testers and other forms of sampling at the point of sale. It is an alternative that reduces the environmental impact of sample production and allows those who buy, through direct sales or e-commerce, to know and choose their products without depending on printed magazines.
According to data from the global research institute Euromonitor, the perfume industry in the world generates more than US $ 25 billion per year. In Brazil the segment is one of the most successful and has already become the first in the world.
However, although the fragrance segment represents the largest share of the national cosmetics market, per capita usage is still low compared to other countries, which indicates that there is room for growth in the coming years and the new technology will help boost this market .
Claudia Galvão - Noar´s CEO
Digital market spurred new technology
The CEO of Noar, Cláudia Galvão, who supplies micro encapsulated fragrances for application in the catalogs of major direct selling brands by the company Ananse, says that the idea for the creation of the technology came up in 2015. The businesswoman says she felt a lack of innovation in methods approach and demonstration of products in that sector.
“As we are seeing in the publishing, advertising and information market, there is a clear tendency to move from physical, printed to digital media. In an industry as multisensory as that of cosmetics, we wanted our customers, especially those in direct sales, to have the necessary tools to adapt to the new scenario ”, he says.
Cláudia points out that Noar was a pioneer in generating demand for change in the cosmetics catalogs. The CEO explains that the company presents different models of digital demonstrators, from tablets to devices that connect with a cell phone via bluetooth.
Activated through an application, the devices release the fragrance using a “dry air” technology, which does not leave perfume residues either in the air, on the sampler or on the user. Besides being more hygienic, the digital smell allows the experimentation of several products in sequence, without confusing the brain, company says .
In order to complete the project and meet the demand of a market of such proportions, an investor with a solid reputation in the industry was lacking. Noar found a partner with more than 60 years of tradition.
Partnership – investor
Wheaton Group, a leading national company and one of the largest manufacturers of glass packaging for the perfumery and cosmetics segment in the world, trusted on the innovative proposal of the scent tech company and will invest 30 million over the next few years.
Renato Massara Júnior, Commercial and Marketing Director at Wheaton, explains that the company was looking for a startup linked to the perfumery and cosmetics market that would bring a significant disruption. He says that the investments were made at Noar precisely because the startup seeks innovation and sustainability.
“The solution, in addition to making the customer feel the fragrance, which in itself brings security to the user and contributes to environmental preservation, since it eliminates the need to print a huge amount of sheets of paper for traditional catalogs”, says.
According to Renato, Wheaton, which has 100% national capital and an annual turnover of around R $ 1 billion, registers growth above 7% per year and has around 3.5 thousand employees, has further internationalized its operations, reaching several countries. Therefore, a factor that contributed to the investment in Noar was the alignment with this objective, since the technology created by the company was also patented internationally.
"To reach the international market, Wheaton takes all its experience in innovation, technology and differentiated service and Noar also comes with this disruptive and internationalization synergy", emphasizes Massara.
The first Noar product to be launched on the market will be the MultiScent 20, a digital fragrance demonstrator controlled through an easy-to-use application because it is intuitive.
The device allows people to try 20 different fragrances countless times, replacing each refill after 100 shots. Access to the catalog is done by scanning the QR Code located on the MultiScent 20.
“Using the MultiScent 20 is a multi-sensory experience. The user can browse through the concept and image of the product, can access videos and music, in addition, of course, to feel the fragrance itself ”, points out Cláudia.
And since the MultiScent 20 works on a connected platform, it is possible to collect navigation, experimentation and purchase data, applying Big Data and Data Science analyzes to the collected information. This will allow companies to better understand the conversion rate of fragrances tried, regional preferences and behaviors, aspects related to seasonality, among others.
In addition to the MultiScent 20, Noar has in its innovation pipeline a series of products that use the “digital smell” technology. Some were developed to transform the experimentation of fragrances and aromas at the selling point, others, to add the sense of smell to objects and utensils and create a multisensory experience, others, still, to support promotional and marketing actions and make them more effective.
About 52% of the more than two billion items sold by direct sales in Brazil last year were represented by perfumery, cosmetics and personal care products, according to the Brazilian Association of Direct Selling Companies (ABEVD).
Natura is the first customer
Because of the strength of this sector - which has more than 4 million entrepreneurs and has received even more resellers because of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic - “MultiScent 20” has already caught the attention of the market. The startup's first customer to acquire the new scent technology is Natura, which has 1.2 million beauty consultants in Brazil.
Due to its performance in direct sales and in perfumery and cosmetics, Natura recognized early on the need to establish itself in the digital universe. Roseli Mello, Natura's Global Head of R&D, says that MultiScent 20 will represent the opportunity to contribute to the acceleration of the digital transformation process in the company's channels.
“The new device is a sales tool that is different from all the types of sampling available. The fact that it is an experiment through a dry smell that does not spread residues in the air, allows customers to try more perfumes ”, argues Roseli. Connected with the MultiScent 20 experience, Natura will offer a questionnaire that will analyze customer preferences and that will allow personalized perfume recommendation.
The executive explains that the MultiScent 20 should reach retail and beauty consultants by the end of the year, in Brazil and Latin America. In the context of social isolation, another relevant factor is the security that the device will offer to consumers. "The device is a safe opportunity to experiment with fragrances, as it can be done with the use of protective masks".
Roseli also highlights the importance of the technology having emerged from an innovation of a Brazilian startup that has female leadership. And for Noar's CEO, Cláudia Galvão, the partnership brings a lot of credibility to the new technology.
“Presenting digital scent technology to the market with Natura, which is the leader in the segment, means a very important seal and validates the importance that this innovation has when presenting solutions for the sector”, concludes, Cláudia Galvão.