As one of the world’s largest companies in the fragrance and taste business, Firmenich built its 128-year-old brand around large accounts with major corporations. Traditionally, this model of fragrance development is a resource-intensive process that relies on scarce experts with niche skills and talents. Yet Firmenich sought a scalable alternative that would enable small and midsize consumer goods businesses to find winning fragrances across product categories and support them with analytics and expertise.
BCG brought BCG X to Firmenich to help the company perform like a digital native. Together we developed and launched Scentmate, a new kind of perfumery business that makes it easy for entrepreneurs and independent brands to design sophisticated fragrances. Scentmate’s AI-driven business model combines digitization, automation, and machine learning to streamline and simplify the creation and delivery of fragrance solutions.
Building on thousands of formulas developed by Firmenich, Scentmate provides entrepreneurs and other low-volume buyers with the same personalized experience and high-quality results that much larger companies enjoy. It dramatically shortens development cycles from weeks to days while offering market research that guides and inspires users through the entire fragrance-development process. In this way, Scentmate effectively democratizes fragrance creation by making it accessible to a much broader customer base.
Scentmate went from concept to execution in less than a year. It has won numerous innovation awards and is now on track to meet its goals by giving businesses of all sizes a way to create fragrances that match their vision, all while helping them create products that delight customers and stand out from the crowd.
BCG formed a fully integrated startup team with Firmenich to design, build, and launch this revolutionary business model. The multidisciplinary team across BCG and BCG X included experts in AI, product design, digital growth, and consumer products. Together with the client, the team cocreated the concept in close, continuous iteration with target customers. Stood up as a new business unit, Scentmate integrates smoothly into the legacy systems and production network of Firmenich—all while creating a digital-native execution culture that facilitated the ramp-up to 30 full-time employees within just six months.
Data and Analytics
Beth Viner, X. Ventures
Nicolas de Bellefonds and Tristan Hoag, X. AI & Software
year from idea to launch
countries at launch, with many more to follow
full-time employees within six months
BCG X—the tech build and design unit of BCG—disrupts the present and creates the future by building bold new tech products, services, and businesses.