The international fragrance market is worth £15 billion and set to grow to £27 billion by the year 2011. It is market-driven and not product-driven and is looking for new innovation at all times. It is expected that the already high demands placed on the fragrance industry for increasing pressures to innovate will result in new systems of precisely metered fragrance delivery and release, which could replace the unmetered technology of the Twentieth Century.
The purpose of this business plan is to exploit the intellectual property developed during a jewellery project called eScent™ at the Innovation Centre at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design University of The Arts London, funded by an Innovation Award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and which resulted in Sensory Design & Technology Ltd, a unique Fashion Technology spinout company being established in Cambridge UK. The company aims to change the experience of fragrance using emerging technologies, such as microfluidic MEMS technology, with the ancient art of perfumery and fusing this with fashion design. Sensory Design & Technology Ltd has developed novel technology for wearable devices capable of delivering fragrances on demand, in response to user-driven stimuli. The first product is eScent™, a button-size, user-worn scent dispenser where the frequency and type of delivery is flexible and determined by the user. What makes this technology novel from existing fragrance delivery methods (such as the traditional perfume bottle) is that is offers the user a totally new experience that not only switches tone and intensity rapidly, by targeting fragrance to exactly the right place and at the right time, but also insures a localised, non-invasive delivery method which can be less irritable to the skin and friendlier to the environment (since less fragrance is atomised in the atmosphere). It could revitalise the fragrance industry by opening up new design possibilities for packaging, whilst reducing the amount of materials required to produce glass bottles. It offers an exciting new innovation for a generation of young women who have grown up with the iPod and expect the latest technology they carry around to deliver real value, with functionality, style, elegance and simplicity.
The company was founded by Dr Jenny Tillotson, a senior research fellow in fashion and textile design at Central Saint Martins and nominee of the 2006 Fragrance Foundation ‘FiFi’ Awards (the ‘Oscars’ of the fragrance industry), who is acknowledged as a pioneer of computerised scent-output systems worn on the body for wellbeing; in partnership with Professor Andreas Manz, a pioneer of lab-on-a-chip for analytical applications; John Ayres, who is the Chairman of the Fragrance Foundation; and Jonathan Lloyd-Platt, an executive in marketing, international licensing and retailing from the fashion and design industries.