A Mesopotamian romance: Gurugram-based fine fragrance firm captures perfume profiles

AI-created bespoke fragrances are taking this perfume company places with Indian and international businesses booming
Image used for representational purposes only (Photo | Pexels)
Image used for representational purposes only (Photo | Pexels)

Your handbag may be forgotten, but your perfume won’t, assures master perfumer Olivier Creed. Capturing the essence of this belief in a bottle are entrepreneurs Sushant Panda and Anil Panda, who launched 3003BC in 2017, a Gurugram-based fine fragrance firm that specialises in bespoke scents. They claim that every individual has a perfume profile and 3003BC will create a unique perfume accordingly. By bringing AI into the smell-good business, what started with 100 ingredients such as violet leaves, galbanum, Bergamot and musk has scaled up to over 500 in July with the help of Tapputi, their AI perfume platform that can produce bespoke formulations for both everyone.

Many successful partnerships begin at home. Sushant and Anil are first cousins. The inspiration to establish a fine fragrances company came from their redolent birthplaces in Odisha respectively. The region around Berhampur and Chhatrapur is known for kewda attar culture. “Good perfumes reminded us of Odisha and we wished someone gifted us these perfumes. This made us think of a platform for fragrances,” say the dyad of dilutions, who quit their corporate jobs to launch 3003BC.

They named the company after the Mesopotamian civilisation, which was extant around 30 centuries years ago; a culture where perfume making was at its apex. Tapputi is the world’s first recorded chemist and popular perfume-maker of perfumes who lived in Babylonia in 1200 BC. She used flowers, oil and calamus, cyperus, myrrh, etc to create distinctive perfumes. Hypothetically, even she would have thought twice when asked by a client, “How do you know that he or she would like the scent?” They speculated on the mysteries of scent like why someone should like a particular perfume, but dislike another. Their curiosity took them to Cotswold in England to train under John Stephen, where they learned the art.

How does Tapputi work?

“Tapputi mimics a perfumer’s thinking process while picking the ingredients that best suit a client. It decodes the customer’s responses by studying answers to a 16-set questionnaire, which takes about five minutes to fill,” says Anil. The platform builds associative fragrance profiles based on gender,use (office or party), mood (sensual or romantic), personal style (modern or  sporty), etc.

So far over 300 customers have taken the questions. The AI analyses the responses to arrive at a set of three formulations that best match the customer’s requirement. Once the scents are ready at the factory, the samples are sent to the customer. “After the customer chooses, the final fragrance is dispatched with the user’s name etched on it from 3003BC’s Gurugram factory, which has serviced over 200 clients, and will soon apply for a patent for Tapputi,” adds Anil. The eau de cousins have plans for a brick-and-mortar store later this year.

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