Interview: How Scent Can Help Foster A Good Night's Rest
In this interview, founder of Sensorwake Guillaume Roland speaks about how his company is using the power and benefits of scent to help people sleep better, pairing technology with natural remedies to respond to consumer demand for wellness products that are gentle yet effective
As more consumers turn to natural and DIY remedies for everything from the common cold to more serious conditions, homeopathic and alternative healing methods are gaining in popularity. And thanks to the ever-lasting wellness trend, the realm of aromatherapy is expanding to integrate with the latest technology, bringing consumers optimally useful yet natural and organic remedies.
Sensorwake is a company that is doing just that with its fragrance-diffusing alarm clocks that aim to help people achieve better quality sleep as well as gently wake them in the morning. In an interview for a podcast, PSFK founder Piers Fawkes spoke to Sensorwake CEO Guillaume Roland about his products, located at the intersection of technology, wellness and scent, and how they are responding to consumer demand for natural health and sleep support.
Piers: Tell me about some of the trends that are driving your business.
Guillaume: It's mainly wellness trends. Using technology, like the fragrance technology and capsule of our device, we try to create some improvements in daily well-being for consumers.
That's what we've done with our first product, Sensorwake, and also with our next product, Oria, for example, which are both for sleep. Also for kids, we are working on improving their wake-up with our new devices with Lexibook and Disney. That's our main focus: to improve well-being with technology and scents.
Is there a specific theme within wellness that you focus on?
Yes, specifically wellness within sleeping. We decided to do an alarm clock. Today a lot of people just use their iPhone, smartphone to wake themselves with sound, but everybody has to wake up. It's a fact.
We designed this new alarm clock with fragrance technology to help people wake up gently with their favorite fragrance of jasmine, chocolate, espresso and also with a light and a sweet melody. We're very focused on the sleeping area, with this alarm clock, and with this new project we call Oria, we are designing a device to improve sleep quality with fragrance diffusion.
Yes, we are focused on wellness, but mainly on sleep, which is a huge trend as far as the next decades.
Could you tell me a little bit about the new product, and how it helps with the sleep training?
After commercializing our two first alarm clocks—the first one called Sensorwake and the second one dedicated for kids with Disney—we decided to be more focused on sleep quality. We design with Givaudan, which is the world leader in the fragrance industry, specific fragrances.
We design fragrances to improve sleep quality and also the time when you fall asleep. They did a lot of testing, with EEG, with Actiwatch, to find a fragrance, and we put this fragrance in capsules in a diffuser during the night.
When you diffuse this specific fragrance, you will have a better sleep overnight and you'll fall asleep faster. It's not like a wearable, which informs you about your sleep quality, because those ones are not active. Our device will be active during the night.
With our device, you'll have a better night thanks to this fragrance diffused between different stages, and it will allow a better sleep quality.
You've created the scents and the strategy based on the science of sleep?
Yes. Givaudan with its Sleep Centre [at Loughborough University in the U.K.] designed the specific scents, and we designed the devices and the capsules and put the scientifically proven fragrance in the capsules, which use the fragrance during the night with smart diffusion.
The diffusion has to be safe, has to be controlled. That's why we designed a device connected to your smartphone, and we diffuse the perfume with a small momentum during the night. The design of the hardware was a great challenge to put the best of scents innovations from Givaudan in a good piece of hardware you can put on your bedside, and be relevant for every user.
It seems to me that scent is becoming more and more important in all aspects of life whether it's at different areas of consumer life, or whether it's in business or in retail. Do you see that trend happening?
Yes, of course. From our side, we are very focused on B2C. We didn't do that business with scents and marketing, and scents with retail. We just focus on B2C, so we design high-tech devices that use scents to improve well-being.
We can also see that there are a lot of companies developing high-tech devices with fragrance, with diffusion, with this kind of technology. It's the very beginning; that's why we try to be one of the pioneers in fragrance for well-being. People are looking for wellness every day, in every moment of the day—especially for sleep and waking up—and we can see that it's very trendy.
As the wellness trend continues to diffuse into various industries and become a mainstay in consumers' lives, brands like Sensorwake are finding new and exciting ways to help people achieve their healthy-living goals. For more from Guillaume, listen to PSFK's podcast.