Scents are not only very subliminal, triggering emotions in ways you would never expect, but they are also more memorable than any other sensory experience.
The Mind-Body Connection
Given the intimate inter-connections between smell and emotion, it’s not surprising that a glitch in one can contribute to problems with the other. Anosmia—complete loss of the sense of smell—often leads to depression. Conversely, people with severe depression often show a diminished sensitivity to odors.
As a significant link in the mind-body connection, the sense of smell can be deployed to improve pain tolerance. Any pleasant smell can act as a distraction and lift mood, but recent studies suggest that sweet smells may work best. “Sweet tastes reduce pain by activating opioid systems in the brain, and the odor comes to activate the same systems,” says Australian psychologist John Prescott, currently a visiting scholar at Oxford University.
Scents Help with Relaxation and Memory
You can also use your sense of smell to deliver instant relaxation. Pick a distinctive odor, then pair that aroma with a calming meditation session. After a few sessions, the odor itself will elicit a relaxed state, even when you don’t have time to meditate.
An odor has no personal significance until it becomes connected to something that has meaning. With your initial encounter, you begin forming nerve connections that intertwine the smell with emotions. The capacities for both smell and emotion are rooted in the same network of brain structures, the limbic system. The olfactory center also interacts directly with the hippocampus, a brain area involved in the formation of new memories. No other senses have this kind of deep access.
Certain industries make a natural fit for scent marketing. Restaurants and bakeries, as well as fashion companies that use perfumes to evoke certain styles, are well versed in this art. And we all know about real estate agents who recommend baking cookies before the open house.
Understanding Typical Scent Characteristics Aids in Marketing (and Sales)
Vanilla: Makes you feel childish, young, energetic.
Wood: Reflects earthy, solid, classic values.
Fruit: Evokes summer, and makes people feel more open-minded, happy and sexual.
Cigars and Leather: Reflect conservative values and make brands seem more trustworthy.
Relaxing aromas such as lavender actually slow our heart rates and make our perceptions of time slow down, which encourages us to linger in the store longer, increasing our odds of spending money.
84% of people were more likely to buy shoes when in a scented room. In a Las Vegas casino, a pleasant ambient scent in an area of the casino was related to 45% more revenue than comparable non-scented slot machine areas. A sweet citrus ambient scent nearly doubled the average total purchases in one retail setting, from $55 to $90 per customer!
Scrub n Shine has several deodorization (odor control) products that can enhance your indoor air environment.
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