The 2017 CEW Achievers: Meet Our Scent Innovator Award Winner

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Innovators reimagine our world through lenses of wonder.

We are honored to launch the Scent Innovator Award with CEW, a reinvention of the previous Great Idea Award for Fragrance Innovation, which recognizes pioneers who passionately push the boundaries in scent research.

This year we recognize pioneer, Judith Amores, and her creation Essence, the first olfactory computational necklace. To say Judith is a ‘futurist’ is an understatement.
2017 Scent Innovator Award Recipient:
 Judith Amores,
PhD Student and Research Assistant,
MIT Media Lab
The doctoral student and research assistant to Founder/Director Pattie Maes at Fluid Interfaces Group, MIT Media Lab, and co-president of VRatMIT is already a maverick in the exciting intersection between our human experience and the multi-sensorial reality that can evolve from computer technology. Essence may look like a decorative vertical necklace, but it has the power to influence - or react to - the wearers’ mood by seamlessly emitting a scent. Able to be controlled remotely from a smartphone, the olfactory distribution can be varied in intensity and frequency based on data derived from the conscious mind of the wearer or from contextual input.

With her work in human computer interaction (HCI), Judith is driven to exploring ways to create multi-sensory technologies that react to - and evoke - different states of mind and consciousness. Combined with the power of fragrance, her research can have a significant impact on a consumer’s sensorial experience by modulating mood, cognition or behavior. Even though Essence is currently a concept creation, the potential for this kind of technology and HCI is untold.

As Judith believes, scent has a hidden power in our behavior and consciousness. Basic and pervasive with its ability to evoke memories or emotions, our sense of smell is perhaps one of the most interesting phenomena in the human existence. Unlike other stimuli based on our senses, smells are channeled through portions of the brain that do not easily interrupt sleep. Ranging from holistic and well-being uses to fun and fantastical applications, Essence is the first wearable technology that is not based on site or touch, yet has the magnificent potential to create a bubble of influence for the wearer – whether asleep or awake.

For our industry, this is virtually an untapped market. As a result of the evolving state of connectivity, wearable technology - such as Essence - can provide influential fragrance brands a direct access point to the mobile consumer.

At IFF, we’re also exploring digitally enabled scent technologies as a true innovation driver. Always on the lookout for new partners and emerging talent, especially those committed to scent-based health and well-being experiences, we are thrilled to recognize Judith’s pioneering spirit with this 2017 Scent Innovation Award.

Editor's Note:

The CEW 2017 Achiever Awards Luncheon: Excerpt by permission from the author, Dionisio Ferenc Vice-President, Global Fine Fragrance at International Flavors & Fragrances, published in the CEW Award Journal on the occasion of the Scent Innovator award to Judith Amores on Friday, September 15, 2017.

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