PSYCHOPHYSICS, SENSORY AND COGNITION

Exploring the Mind and Body

Why do certain smells vividly evoke happy moments? What brings a smile to our face when we sniff a flower? Why are many perfumes heightened as soon as they contain traces of certain other ingredients, such as pepper with strawberries? To answer these questions and unravel the secrets that will enable us to create fragrances with a smile, we set up a world-class research program in emotion and cognitive sciences. 


We are collaborating with academic experts at the new frontiers of science, expanding our understanding of the complex connections between the human senses – primarily taste and smell – and the mind. Using a multidisciplinary approach involving psychophysics, experimental psychology and neuroscience , we are discovering how tastes and smells affect thoughts and emotions.

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Decoding Sensory Perception

Techniques such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the brain and electroencephalography enable us to unravel the fine workings of smell and taste, and understand how aromas, tastes and fragrances are interpreted into distinctive signals. Furthermore, we can determine how these signals are merged with other sensory inputs and influenced by context.  By decoding sensory perception, we aim to better understand preference drivers, expectations and consumer choices.

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Tracking Human Responses

We want to know the interconnections between body and mind that influence the qualities we assign to specific flavors and fragrances: does ylang-ylang sooth or invigorate our bodies? We use our fundamental knowledge to design and implement our own testing methods, which measure both conscious and unconscious responses.

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Analysing Desire and Reward

Our proprietary Odor Emotion Scale or ScentMove® and implicit test procedures allow us to discover the links an individual has created between smells, tastes and associated thoughts or affective states. They help us understand how memories are awakened and why different cultures may experience flavors and fragrances differently. Implicit tests may also reveal the complex relationship between ‘desire’ for a flavor and its associated ‘reward’.

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Using What We Learn

These insights help us to design differentiating and rewarding creations, beyond smelling or tasting great. Our mind-body research can truly influence our ability to deliver wellbeing based on innovative and trustworthy science.

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Receptor Biology

Innovative research on olfactory and taste receptors allows us to understand the way our nose and tongue detect smell or flavor.

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