NOTA NOTA: Make Your Own Perfume

There’s a mysterious allure to the art of perfumery; certain scents have the power to transport us to other worlds, evoking visions of lamp-lit Parisian cafes, sun-dappled gardens, or the balmy shores of the Mediterranean. Part of the pleasure in amassing a collection of perfumes is the ability to set the stage for any occasion via fragrance; we attach memories to scents, and by spritzing a certain perfume on the wrists before an event or dinner, the experience becomes cloaked in a fragrance with which it will perhaps forever be associated.

Of course, there’s a science involved when it comes to fragrance; part of the challenge (and the fun) is finding which scents not only appeal to our sensibilities, but also our body chemistry. Certain fragrances that work well on one person might all but disappear on the skin of another, and some bodies are better suited to florals while others tend towards musks. So, without investing in dozens of perfumes, how to find the one that works best?

Enter NOTA NOTA. This creative company turns the consumer into the designer; with the use of a small machine, a person can concoct elaborate and varied perfumes as easily as making coffee in the morning. It works with the help of a smartphone app, through which a user customizes the ingredients and the amount; scents like bergamot, jasmine, magnolia, moss, saffron, sandalwood, and more can be mixed and balanced by specifying the number of drops. A small test sample is then produced, allowing the user to finesse the recipe. A little heavy on the floral side? Add a few drops of sandalwood. Hoping to evoke the aroma of a summer seaside day? Marine, bergamot, and saffron will be the ingredients of choice.

The various basic fragrances come in cartridges called TOLAs. “Some TOLAs have absorbing fragrance components, like Musk, Oud, Vanilla,” explains the company. It describes other TOLAs as having the power to “take you away to the sea or library!” There are twelve different fragrances available, and each machine purchased comes with twenty-four cartridges (two of each). It is also supplied with one hundred glass bottles, each with 5 mL capacity. The tiny bottle size allows for the user to create a wide variety of scents, each for different use: everyday, evening, work, concerts, vacation, a romantic dinner…the possibilities are endless.

Of course, as one might expect these days, the NOTA NOTA isn’t just a functional machine; it’s also a social sharing platform. Each machine is connected to the Internet, allowing users to share their designs, thoughts, and ideas, popularizing fragrances and inspiring one another in the art of perfumery. Once you have settled on the perfect mixture, the user has the opportunity to name the fragrance and share the recipe with a short description. Other users can then sample it for themselves and like, comment, and share. Think of it as a virtual test lab — an online version of the bohemian perfume labs we might have once imagined, in which shelves were lined with colourful bottles and the air was cloaked in nature’s most appealing fragrances.

While NOTA NOTA is still in the preorder stages, it garnered some significant attention at CES 2018. We’re guessing that it won’t be long now before this sleek little machine begins to change the art of perfumery altogether, allowing users to create smart designs in a smart (and fragrant) world.