Smell of dishes made by Mom we always remember, howsoever old we become. People have far better smell memory than audio visual memory. The reason is that our smell sensing systems are much nearer to central portion of our brain, which is less susceptible to changes due to external environments.
The concept of better smell memory is being identified recently as a tool to impress customers and in turn achieve greater commercial success. A grocery store in New York actually used artificial aroma diffusers to pump dry aroma of chocolates and baked bread to give customers a feel that fresh chocolates and freshly baked breads are available here.
As we use logos to identify a brand, we are likely to use a distinct smell to identify a particular brand or a specific product from a particular brand. Even today many housewives identify their choice of washing powder with its smell. If by chance a company forgets to add right amount of fragrance to its washing powder, its sale may come down drastically. We may soon enter the times, where even things like mobile phones, laptops or television sets may get identified with their smell. The digital gadgets promises to make this competition one step further as it may allow choice of smells by digitally communicating it from one point to the other.
A new dimension is Aromatherapy will soon make headlines owing to its power of drawing customers towards a product. Scents can boost suggestive selling of products kept at the point of sale counters. A research jointly conducted by Washington state university and Switzerland’s University of St. Gallen conclusive proves that simple single aromatic essences like orange can make a person buy a product much more easily than complex smells of essences like basil, green tea etc. I am sure if research is done further we will surely find out exact components vis a vis purchase behaviour of Individuals.
In terms of hormonal induction, I can say with my experience that aromas that induce happiness hormone categories like endorphins, serotonins and dopamine can usually be considered as suggestive selling boosters. Essential oils of Lemon, Grape Fruit, Bergamot, Orange, Tangerine, Peppermint, Spearmint fall in this category. There are some essential oils which are effective in some people but not in some other people. Lavender and Sandalwood fall under this category. Sometimes it is observed that these oils are initially not liked, but later the liking level is extremely high. Floral source oils like Rose, Jasmine and Geranium may help boost sales of products for Ladies. Oils like Cinnamon, Fennel and Vetiver can also be experimented as oils with smells to align our minds to a particular category of products. For example a pencil brand with a cinnamon smell can become an identifier for customers to identify it quickly. Some smells like citronella, lemon grass, basil, eucalyptus etc. are too strong and may give a feeling of rejection and moving away from a product. However a mild mix of these oils with some other simple and pleasing smells may sometime be used as a variation of smell variety. Some smells like Frankincense, Tea Tree and Thyme etc are often controversial in terms of liking by some Individuals, but rejected by many other people. For example smell of shoe polish may not be liked by many, but some people identify it with its characteristics smell only. If it is case of a product like shoe polish, trying addition of smells that give it characteristics balsamic or resinous natural smell, people may perceive it of pure quality and may be inclined to buy it. Smell of products like shaving cream should be such that it is expected to be liked by masculine gender while shaving and should retain its smell in a way that even a well shaven male is liked by his partner also. Lavender and musk aromas meet this criterion.
Finally, it can be said with surety that our smell sense do affect our behaviour related to making purchase decisions the way we think colour and looks does. It is largely an untapped area at the moment, but for this reason only it is a very high potential area to venture into and apply our knowledge of Aromatherapy to commercial success of products by making them not only visually appealing but aromatically interesting as well.