Biophysicist Luca Turin is definitely a ‘mover and shaker’ in the perfume and fragrance world. In this video he explains his theory on how we smell substances, which is based upon the frequency of vibration of molecules. Also explained is the process he uses in the discovery and development of new scent molecules. The importance of his work is highly relevant to ambient fragrance and in this case he shows us an in-depth view of coumarin, a fragrant molecule taken from Tonka Bean which has been deemed unsafe (carcinogenic). He describes how his team has been able to create a scent identical, safer molecule.
For further reference the highly recommended book by Chandler Burr “The Emperor of Scent: A Story of Perfume, Obsession and the Last Mystery of the Senses” explains much more about Turin’s work.