Fragrant Memories A project to create a new type of flower gift scented with the aroma of memories

That midsummer coastline where you held hands for the first time, that coffee shop where you always met up at, the church where you exchanged vows… We will analyze scents drifting in such memories, from photographs and memorabilia, and find a flower which matches that scent. 22nd November is Good Couple’s Day. Why don’t you present a bouquet of memorable scents on this important and memorable day?

Background

Flowers are loved all over the world, as a ”standard” gift, however the annual amount of cut flowers per household is declining year by year. In Japan, the sales of the flower market as a whole is also gradually declining.

The project started with the aim of creating an opportunity for consumers who have not recently purchased flowers for gifts to easily find the right choice, within the flower market as a whole.

Annual purchase of cut flowers per household
Changes in annual purchase price
Source: Ministry of Agriculture, 2017, The present condition of flowers – Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications statistics Bureau “Family Income and Expenditure Annual Report”

■ Challenging and creating a new idea around flowers as gifts

This project launched in collaboration with “Les mille feuilles de liberte” florists and Ota Floriculture Auction Co. Ltd, a wholesale company of the Flower department of the Ota Market of the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market, aiming to create a new idea around flowers for gifting.

■ “Les mille feuilles de liberte”

Florist managed by Liberte Co. Ltd, with 19 shops located in the hot spots of Tokyo culture, including “Shin Marunouchi Building” in Marunouchi, “Tokyo Midtown” in Roppongi.

■ Ota Floriculture Auction Co. Ltd

The wholesale company of the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market, boasts the largest handling size in Japan and is the base line and indicator for prices of the flower market nation wide.

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The relationship between scent and memory

Scent sensors will be developed for the project after the acquisition of funds via crowdfunding, which will be able to acquire detailed scent data, to match the scent of memories and flowers to provide a bouquet of flowers with the same scent.

For example, for Japanese people, the scent of natto (fermented soybeans) increases your appetite, although is only a bad scent for people of other cultures.

Whether people feel comfortable with a certain scent is strong related to the the past experiences which are recalled from the scent, rather than the strength of the scent itself.

However, scent measuring devices in the past measure simply the strength and weaknesses of scents and was not possible to judge whether the scent was ”pleasant”. This project is also an important attempt in such academic meaning.

Even the same scent is greatly influenced memory, whether it is based on culture and experience

The method of matching memory and scent

The device will extract digitized data, by analyzing scents from memories. Furthermore, using data the scents of areas as extra data, which is derived by the scenery within the photos of memories such as indoor/outdoor, by the water, in nature, in the city etc.

With the combined data, a match with the most similar scent of flower will be made, based on the accumulated data within the program inside the box, offering a unique bouquet of flowers with a memory behind it.

How it works

■ Fragrant Memories Project – The Scent Sensor

A new device was developed for this project, combining a standard gas sensor as an scent sensor and a crystal oscillator which can measure a variety of scent substances as a molecular level.

■ Sensitive membrane utilizing a crystal oscillator

A “sensitive film generating device” was developed which allows scent components to adhere to the crystal oscillator as a thin film (sensitive membrane). Detailed scent data can be acquired by attaching 6 components to each quartz oscillator.