"With ScenTronix we are reinventing the future of the perfume industry"
Frederik Duerinck is the founder of Scentronix, a company that has developed a platform that enables people to develop their own personal fragrance. The idea was formed in New York but is developed and marketed from Breda. In the middle of the city, Frederik and his enthusiastic team are working on a revolutionary design in a market dominated by a few perfume giants. A bold step that requires courage, vision, and decisiveness. Qualities that Frederik has like no other.
How did this idea originate?
"I had the idea while developing an exhibition about multi-sensory experience in New York in 2017. The request came from International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF), the largest fragrance and flavouring company in the world, they supply all major brands. We were in New York brainstorming and suddenly I saw it in front of me: a machine where you can watch as a small bottle moves over a conveyor belt and your unique scent is made on the spot. This is it, I thought! I became more and more enthusiastic about the idea and at the beginning of 2018 I went on a tour through America to pitch the idea to investors. Eventually I found a partner in Cherubic Ventures, and we were able to get started. I had already put together a team and we were building in my attic in Breda, so the investor came at the right time."
How does that work, a personal perfume?
"Smell is a very powerful sense that you can play with. That has to do with how our brains work. Smell is processed in the oldest part of our brain and that directly appeals to your emotion, so you can feel powerful, sensual, or calm. Our objective is to have people play with their identity with their own perfume. At the moment we develop the fragrance based on a questionnaire about who you are and your state of mind, but soon it can be developed from your Spotify playlist. Through artificial intelligence we are able to create your unique scent, while you stand there.
You are very internationally oriented, talk to the great perfume giants o the world, and yet you are in Breda. What makes Breda so beneficial for you?
"I always say; The child was born in New York, but it grew up in Breda. North Brabant has a lot of technological knowledge, and at the same time it is such a nice place to live. I step outside and I'm standing in the Mastbos woods. Moreover, I have a fantastic team of people here. I worked at Avans University of Applied Sciences and had many former students there that I enjoyed working with. I approached a number of them and now we have 15 people who work on this concept with enormous passion and commitment. People from Brabant are direct, down-to-earth, and hard workers. That combination of sobriety and the 'just do it' mentality is exactly the mindset needed to do a start-up like this."
Breda as a hotspot in the perfume industry
"That's powerful! The combination of technical possibilities in the middle of a quiet environment allows me to do very exciting things very well. We are at the intersection of art, innovation, and science. Totally new applied technology, which can bring about a huge change in the perfume industry. The big brands all follow us, want to know what we are doing here in Breda."
You developed a house of scent for the city off Breda. What is that?
"Breda's house scent is a good example of the complexity we deal with. How do you define who someone is? Or in this case, a city. We succeeded. We have developed the house scent for Breda, for, by, and with enterprising Breda and international relations. A warm scent with a twist. Green, Limitless and Welcoming, with a touch of applied technology and creativity, exactly what Breda stands for. We put our system to work and made some scents. Mayor Paul Depla, Alderman Boaz Adank and entrepreneurs based in Breda all tested them. There was a fairly unanimous choice. And now there is Eau de Breda. A name was the most popular among followers on an online voting round on BredaBusiness’s LinkedIn page. As a promotional gift for entrepreneurs and international relations. When people put that fragrance in their room, it smells like Breda, and recalls memories of the conversation that led to its creation. Or reminds them of our beautiful city. A very smart way to put Breda on the map!"
Margot van Es