It’s not just the animals in the wild, hunting or avoiding prey. In humans, scent is a component in up to 70% of our decisions. And this factor is split evenly with good smells impacting decisions just as much as bad ones do.
It is important to choose the right scent for the right environment. Imagine going into a sweet shop that smelt of pine forests. Or a corporate facility that smelt of fresh bread! It just wouldn’t work, would it? You would immediately wonder why that scent was there, as it would be completely out of context.
Scent has to be subtle and appropriate to the situation to make us feel comfortable and relaxed. A particular scent needs to match the environment and be projected at just the right level, so as to not be intrusive. It is a very fine balance to get the psychology of scent right. The power of science has been used to work out the right levels and combinations of fragrances, so that they will both please the scent glands and project the right image of a particular company.
So much can be said subliminally with the right scent that scientists have spent many hours looking into how humans process and react to a range of smells. The science of professional ‘aroma management’ has been proven by a number of scientific studies. For example, a study by the University of Utrecht looked into the science of smell and how it affected our shopping habits. The study proved that customers spent much more time in fragranced shopping malls and much more money in shops that were fragranced, as opposed to ones that were not.
Research by Professor Dr Anya Stohr at the University of Paderborn on the power of scent management in retail environments had many interesting findings. It was shown that within fragranced shops resting time increased by 15.9%, buying intention increased by 14.8% and turnover increased by 6%. This shows that if shops and retail outlets want to increase their sales, they should invest in the power of scents.
In times gone by, when there were a number of different stores selling specific goods on the high street, each premises would have a scent evocative of that particular shop’s goods. For instance, the bakery would smell of bread and cakes and the sweet shop would smell of chocolate and lollipops! When supermarkets and shopping malls arrived, these scents and the comforting familiarity they brought were gone.
Large shopping outlets can be rather clinical and soulless, so a range of scents to replace the comfort and familiarity of local shops had to be devised. People realised that it is pointless having the perfect interior, with high-tech lighting and music, if you don’t complete the ambience with a welcoming scent. Therefore, many malls and large stores now project subtle scents into the atmosphere that we may not even notice, but that make us feel more at home and therefore encourage us to stay longer.
Afterall, shopping is commonly seen as an enjoyable experience and not a chore these days. So, many of us like to stay in shops as long as possible! A big question is exactly how does scent affect the human psyche? Smell is a powerful sense, as up to 70% of our feelings can be steered by the nose. The nose can differentiate between up to 10,000 different scent combinations. Scent also produces powerful memories, bringing back happy days or reminding us of a particular place.
There are several scents that can be used to fragrance a room that are universally popular and signify certain scenarios in people’s minds. For example, the scents of pine or lemon signify freshness in our minds. The smell of fresh bread is comforting and makes us think of delicious food. Fragrances have a tremendous impact on our mental well-being and behaviour. Just one scent molecule can immediately steer our decisions and mood. That is why it is important for businesses and building managers to select a scent they know will be popular with visitors and that suits the environment.
If scents are selected carefully, they can ultimately help to increase the turnover of a business. For example, a shop may sell more goods because a customer lingered longer and bought more items. Or a company may get more work from a client because when the client visited the company office, they liked the scent and subliminally decided to give another contract to the company.
Although scent management involves some investment, it may ultimately be cheaper than other traditional ways a company uses to promote itself – say through forms of advertising – meaning that in the long term it is a sound investment. A company’s turnover may be ultimately increased by subtle scent management that its clients don’t even realise they are positively responding to.
With this subtle action in mind, one thing that is very important to consider when selecting a scent for a business is the dosage and the method by which the scent is projected. The way that scent is spread into the atmosphere these days is by misting or ‘fogging’ machines that spray a mist of scent into the air at intervals. These clever machines can even detect when there are odour molecules in the air and react by spraying scent molecules to neutralise and replace the bad odour molecules.
At NCH Europe we use science to tackle problems and create solutions across the cleaning and sanitising sectors. We offer an advanced range of scents and fragrance dispersal machines that will eliminate odour in a wide variety of scenarios and replace it with a subtle choice of appealing scents. We are also specialists in water and maintenance solutions, offering effective ways to sanitise and deodorise drains and water systems.
New to our range of products at NCH Europe is our range of advanced scent solutions. Our Mystic Air products provide effective fragrance in any environment. We have a range of subtle scents available and can send out samples, in order for our clients to choose the right fragrance solution for their business environment. To find out more visit our website