Fragrances, scents, odors, perfumes and aromas are constantly around us within society and stimulating our mind on a subconscious level. Our world is full of fragrances, natural or synthetical based. Walking by your favorite bakery will always bring back the memory of tasty fresh baked bread. It doesn’t matter if you’re hungry, you just want to buy it. You know it and the entire food industry knows it with you. This “smellvertising” is big business and not only for the food industry. Fragrances combined with light and sound can make you choose things you normally wouldn’t have considered to buy. It’s all about manipulating you into buying things you don’t really need at that moment in life.
Fragrances are like airy memory pockets, awakening the mind and stimulating you into action. How many times did we have the experience of smelling a specific aroma in the air and suddenly a nostalgic memory pops up of your grandmothers famous tomato soup. The aroma you smelled doesn’t have to the smell like tomato soup, just one highlight out of the bouquet of aromas that forms the memory of tomato soup is enough. Next you find yourself wandering off thinking about your grandmother who is deceased now and from one memory you end up in the other. Smelling baby shampoo for women with a ticking biological clock, is confirming that they desire a child. Smelling your neighbors BBQ makes you believe that you’re hungry even when you just had a meal. Certain medical smells bring you back into the memory of fearful hospital experiences. The smell of the laundry hanging outside gives you the impression of cleanness. We are even attracted to each other just by the smell of the other. Fragrances are important and a great way to manipulate.
Since we do not really understand what smells are doing with us we feel like we have no control over these experiences. We see that we’re manipulated into something when it comes to “smellvertising”, but we do not know how to say no to buying stuff we do not need. Fragrances are used by the mind to induce memories and since we are all more alike than we want to admit, these fragrances do always push the same buttons for all of us. It doesn’t matter which specific memory pops up, it matters that it brings you into the mood to buy. Whenever you understand that you’re double tricked, you can be a critical customer. First the mind tricks you into a memory through the smell, which basically means that your sucked into a surreal reality and common sense is not at hand anymore. Secondly the shop tricks you with smells that are not coming from their products, but are synthetically vaporized throughout the shop to get you in the mood to buy more than you intended when you made your shopping list at home.
Tricking or manipulating people with fragrances is of all times. Manipulating people into buying through fragrances is a more capitalistic way of making more money and not considering your client at all. This whole business is about generating more money and getting people into the mood for your product. It’s not about the quality of the product, it’s about the selling of the product and all means are allowed. The New Age movement has taken the whole scent experience even further into businesses with aroma-therapy, for instance a private clinic doctor using calming lavender scents in his waiting room to make his patients more at ease. Once at ease the patient isn’t afraid to go through some more treatments to cure his disease. The New Age movement promises even to bring you happiness and cure through their aroma therapy.
Businesses who use scented writing/printing paper to get their “smellvertising” even in the homes of the customer. The whole point within “smellvertising” is making the connection between your product and a certain smell you use to advertise with. Every time when a person thinks that he smells your company scent you’ve got free advertising. In the end the name of your company on a billboard will make your future client go into a hypnotic state having the connection made between the scent and your product together with a positive irresistible memory. It doesn’t need much work to get this future client as a client.
The food industry is an obvious place where you would expect them to advertise with the smells of their foods. Although most of the times it’s not their food you’re smelling but the scent delivery systems that are releasing food fragrances throughout the shops. There are companies specialized in the right smell for the right place. When the peanut shop isn’t roasting it’s peanuts, artificial scent will invite you from the street into the shop to buy some food you do not need in the first place. Even amusement parks are using these artificial scents to get you into their shops. Scent marketing is another way of making big money while convincing people that they really wanted to buy this product in the first place.
So where is the responsibility of the customer/client? How manipulative this way of advertising is and how impossible it is to resist for people with eating disorders, the ultimate decision wether you buy yourself that slice of pizza is totally up to you. When you understand that memories are emotional pockets that feed in on your feelings and have nothing to do with the moment you’re in, you’re able to see where you trick yourself into believing that the emotional experience that is tricked, is merely a random search within your pre-programmed mind construct. You know that your dirty house that smells like potpourri doesn’t mean that your cleaning lady just mopped the floors. Throughout our live we’ve made all kind of connections between events, smells, colors, forms and it’s all archived within our mind. There is no logic within the mind other than generating as much emotions, feelings and fears to generate energy. So you determine if your experience is real happening within your physical reality and not a shop owner. Desiring a donut when passing by the bakery and being contaminated with an artificial scent of fresh bread which gives you the feeling of home and safety, makes you an impulse buyer. You’re buying without knowing why, just because it smelt so good.
We need to take back our self-responsibility again as customers and future customers. The question is always: am I buying this because I need it or am I buying this after using a lot of excuses and justifications for my impulse purchase.