Hear from Christian...

For more than 30 years, Firmenich has collaborated with world experts and academic institutions to deepen our understanding of the human sense of smell, and the science behind the emotions that taste and fragrances evoke. Our work in this field gives us a deeper understanding of these emotions, leading to cutting-edge tools for our customers.

Christian Margot
"Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand."

Christian Margot

Distinguished Scientist, Director of Research and Development, Geneva, Firmenich

One individual smells a citrus fragrance and feels refreshed, another lights a cinnamon scented candle that reminds her of home. Why? Answering this question is the essence of our involvement in the science of emotions and cognition. Working with an ever-growing network of academics worldwide, especially with the Brain and Behavior Laboratory of the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences at Geneva University, we have been exploring the biology of smell and human responses to fragrances over three decades.


Through a multi-disciplinary approach, involving neuroscience, physiology, psychology and sensory analysis, we have contributed to some truly game-changing discoveries. We have confirmed that fragrances affect us by triggering memories and their associated emotions. We have also demonstrated that these emotional responses are culture-specific, with the same fragrances affecting consumers differently in different parts of the world. This has massive implications for the way we shape our creations.


For me, a key milestone of our academic collaboration is our ScentMove® tool, which enables us to understand, classify and predict peoples’ emotional responses to fragrances. Our creative teams can use these scent codes to craft fragrances with specific emotional attributes, from scents that energize and boost confidence to fragrances that relax or reduce stress.


Looking ahead, we will keep on advancing our research into the emotions of fragrances and taste, as well as receptor-based biology (the biological process of smelling). With our purpose in mind, I believe in creating positive emotions through taste and smell.


Christian Margot, distinguished Scientist, Director of Research
& Development (R&D), Geneva, Firmenich

Christian Margot

Christian Margot

Discover other stories