I read an anecdote about the author Rachel Hertz who told about a car trip she made as a 5 year old. The whole family sat in the car together and drove in the countryside in the USA. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and everyone was in a great mood and the wind was blowing hot against their faces.
When an unpleasant odor suddenly came in through the open windows, her mother exclaimed "I love that smell ".
At that very moment, an emotional link was formed between the car's rich experience and the distinctive aroma Rachel felt, which has made there no more glorious scent for Rachel as an adult than the scent of .... skunk.
A scent has no personal significance until it is linked to something that has meaning, says Herz, the author of the book The Scent of desire. With your first encounter with a new scent, you begin to form nerve connections that intertwine the smell with emotions. The capacity for both smell and emotion is 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," says Herz.
The general and almost universally underestimated effect of how scent affects our daily lives is interesting with the above. This means that those who have this information about our sense of smell have a mile-long advantage in many respects.
A common misconception is that fragrance marketing means spreading a good fragrance. Point.
Above describes that so much more happens in us when we are introduced to a new scent and create emotional bonds to the scent.
What happens is that the first time you enter the mall, you have no preferences or memories of either the mall or their signature scent. When you make a purchase in the mall, the brain releases endorphins, you can be temporarily happy with your purchase and when this happens together with the scent, you form nerve connections that intertwine the smell with the feeling.
This means that the next time you step into the mall with the same scent, your brain remembers that you feel good here, you become subconsciously in a better mood and your brain becomes the mall's best seller as it remembers your well-being with your latest purchase that triggers the reward system and whispers buy!
The fragrance memory has taken over and controls your actions at the mall.
"Fragrances can have positive effects on mood, stress reduction, sleep improvement, self-confidence and physical and cognitive performance," says Theresa Molnar, CEO of the Sense Smell Institute and the Fragrance Foundation perfume industry. By becoming more aware of how specific odors affect you personally, you can improve your health and well-being.
On a practical level, this means that you can use your sense of smell to remember better when you do a test, for example. Research shows that your ability to recall information is enhanced by inhaling the same scent you had while studying. This means that if you are surrounded by a particular scent, such as Lemongrass while you are studying, you can bring a scent bottle with the same scent to recall the memory during the test.
With that said, you understand how powerful it is for hotels, shops or spas that want to deliver a fantastic and memorable experience. Offering an experience along with a specific signature fragrance enhances the memory of the wonderful experience, and customers come back. Scent products that customers can buy to take home are an optimal solution to stay "top of the mind" with the customer as the scent has created an emotional bond to the place.
One should not underestimate the sense of smell, which is our strongest emotional mind. With the competition that prevails between marketplaces and public environments today, those with knowledge of how our sense of smell dictates our daily decisions have a strong edge.
As more and more services we use today are digital, there is a fear that we will no longer visit different places physically. This means that the places we actually continue to visit we choose with greater care so we have to ask ourselves the question, What makes customers and visitors come back. If you deliver a good experience, you stand out and offer something extra. Subtly stimulating the sense of smell can be the way here, to create an emotional bond with customers with positive memories.