Symrise uses Artificial Intelligence to find the perfect scent

At the IBM Think Summit in Frankfurt am Main, Symrise will demonstrate how good a perfume can smell with the help of artificial intelligence. IBM Research and Symrise are collaborating closely on this innovative project. A digital perfumer created the Berlin 3.0 scent based on numerous evaluations from passersby in the well-known shopping centre Bikini Berlin.


The smart assistant, called Philyra, supports the work of professional perfumers at Symrise. Artificial intelligence (AI) is capable of creating scents based on complex algorithms, which perfumers finally perfect using their knowledge and expertise. The IBM technology group invited the Holzminden company to present this project at Germany’s most important Think Summit, in Frankfurt am Main. Symrise executive board member Achim Daub and senior perfumer Marc vom Ende will demonstrate how artificial intelligence can contribute to more creative scent design. Symrise recently created Berlin 3.0, the first scent developed dynamically with AI. It was created collaboratively, since the components were blended using feedback from visitors to the Bikini Berlin shopping centre. From 20 May to 29 June 2019, 4 300 people took part, of whom 1 100 shared their impressions of the scents.

Symrise uses AI to find the perfect scent
Achim Daub (Vorstand Scent & Care Symrise), Matthias Hartmann (general manager IBM DACH Vorsitzender der Geschäftsführung), Johanna Wende (Kundenbetreuerin IBM), Dr Heinz-Jürgen Bertram (Vorstandsvorsitzender Symrise), Claire Viola (vice president Digital Strategy Fragrance Symrise), Christian Schepers (Global Business Support, M&A/Strategy Fragrance Division Symrise) and Marc vom Ende (senior parfümeur Symrise)

‘You could literally smell the innovative spirit in Berlin. In a unique way, human experiences and creativity blended with the possibilities presented by machine learning and collaboratively generated consumer preferences,’ says Achim Daub, president Scent & Care at Symrise. ‘IBM would also like to demonstrate this experience with new technologies and pioneer spirit at its Think Summit in Frankfurt. We’re proud to be able to show our AI at this important event.’ On 22 October 2019, Daub presented participants at the Think Summit with the scent BERLIN 3.0, which was generated during the summer in the Bikini Berlin centre using innovative creative approaches.

From Frankfurt to the future

Around 2 000 visitors are expected at the “Kap Europa” conference centre in Frankfurt am Main. Attending will be primarily IBM customers who want to exchange information and discuss new technical possibilities. Similar events will take place this fall in Lucerne and Vienna.

‘With AI, our customers can benefit from a greater differentiation in the fragrance creation process: Philyra makes more creativity possible by developing new raw material combinations. These can be perfectly matched to individual user preferences and then refined by our perfumers,’ says Daub. ‘At the same time, we offer our customers more efficient and effective scent creation processes.’

Phylira is a development tool for perfumers based on an AI algorithm, which Symrise is using initially for fine perfumes. The Symrise researchers see great future potential for other fragrance applications in beauty care as well as household cleaners.

Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: