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Chef preparing vegetables and mushroom on a wooden tree slab for an article about experiential dining

The multi-sensory trend isn’t waning anytime soon. New and interesting high-tech sensory concepts, products, and restaurants continue to be introduced. In the last five years, Trendincite examined this enticing topic in various articles: Sensory Sensations, Multi-Sensory Experiences, Multi-Sensorial Products – You Fill Up My Senses, and Multi-Sensory Technology – Sensory Overload. There are a variety of recent, unique and interactive experiences available to engage consumers.

Experiential Dining: Chefs and restaurateurs are creating more than meals; they are creating full high-tech sensory concepts and experiences. Shanghai’s Paul Pairet of Ultraviolet spent 15 years designing his restaurant. This 10-seat restaurant offers a 20-course meal and each course is paired with a special beverage, sound, scent, and interior design with the use of 56 speakers, seven high-resolution projectors, and four dry smell projectors. In Paris, Anne-Sophie Pic of Le Dame de Pic based her restaurant on the idea that “a dish gets looked at, sniffed, tasted and eaten.” In collaboration with Takasago perfumer Philippe Bousseton, Pic designs perfumes based on the flavor pairings in her menus, which are built around three dishes and a dessert and change every two months. In February, Sniffapalooza curated a NYC sensory fragrance dinner with Chef Tessa Liebman of Methods & Madness and Perfumer Ralf Schwieger of Atelier Cologne. Chief Liebman designed a menu inspired by Schwieger’s Vanille Insensee, Orange Sanguine, Ambre Nue, and Sous Le Toit de Paris fragrances. As guests smelled and tasted their meal, both artists explained their creative processes.

Room Service: Last year, Rosewood Hotels introduced a “Fragrance Butler” program at select hotels including the Carlyle (NYC), Rosewood Crescent (Dallas) and properties in Saudi Arabia. Like room service that is available 24-hours a day, guests dial the fragrance concierge, who will bring a selection of perfumes on a silver tray for guests to try or buy. A new and noteworthy opening is Magna Pars Suites Milano, “the world’s first hotel-à-parfums.” Owned by the Martone family, the Italian hotel is a renovated perfume factory, which features 28 suites named after olfactive flower and wood essences such as Gardenia, Neroli, Vetiver, and Patchouli. The hotel bar, named Liquidambar, which translates to liquid amber, is inspired by three Liquidambar trees in the hotel’s lavish garden.

Get Shifty: Color and flavor changing technology continues to appear in consumer products. Orly Shade Shifter Gel FX responds to body heat and the color of your nails change to a gradated effect or tie-dye effect dependent on if your hands are cold or warm. Air Wick’s Color Changing Candle “glows gently and changes color to create a captivating rainbow effect.” Starburst Flavor Morph offers two flavors, which morph while eating them – Orange shifts to Orange Strawberry and Cherry changes to Cherry Lime.

Light It Up: Fashion is the newest vehicle for LED technology. The “Projection Dress” Carrie Underwood wore during her performance at this year’s Grammys received a lot of attention. The color changing LED technology projected a variety of shapes and colors on her dress. The Barbie “Digital Dress” debuted in February at the toy fair and similarly, uses LED technology with a touch-screen, which enables girls to preselect or create animated digital designs. It launches this summer.

Altered States: Technology is being used in unexpected ways and changing how we behave and interact with common products. Bob’s fast food restaurant in Brazil created an edible burger wrapper. Instead of unwrapping the burger and making waste, consumers simply eat the package along with the burger. The Vaportini is a glass device that heats alcohol into a vapor and enables users to inhale the liquor instead of drinking it. On April 1st, Google launched Google Nose Beta as a prank, which promised “to offer the sharpest olfactory experience available” through the Internet. Although, this was a prank, this technology has been explored before and continues to be explored. For example, Smell-O-Vision (1960) released scent during the projection of a movie while Digiscents (2001) designed the iSmell scent machine, which digitized scents for e-mail, online games, and the web. The “Smelling Screen” by researchers from the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology is the newest creation, which debuted in March 2013. According to the creators, “the smelling screen is a new olfactory display that can generate a localized odor distribution on a two-dimensional display screen.” These are examples of high-tech sensory concepts. And it’s is only a matter of time before fragrances emitted through electronics and mobile devices go mainstream.

The integral yet complex relationship between fragrance and flavor combined with technology is enabling exciting new products and multi-sensory experiences to launch and capture the consumer’s attention.

Need an inspiring and tantalizing day out of the office? Let Trendincite custom-design an interactive sensory trend excursion to engage your five senses and stimulate new product ideas.

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