The gist of this article is that businesses are starting to pull from a library of over 1,500 scents compiled by a company called ScentAir to enhance the sale. I originally found this story because two of the businesses referenced are in Orlando: Coors Brewing Company's annual distributors meeting and the Hard Rock Live. Hard Rock was using sugar-cookie smells to entice people to go downstairs and check out the ice cream shop, and Coors used a vanilla-peppermint blend to create an atmosphere that made people think 'cold'.
Apparently the atmospheric applications are popular, but I am more intrigued by the idea of inserting the smell of a hot pizza outside a classroom on a college campus to try and bolster slice sales. Now, I don't mean every day, maybe they would just set up shop for a week and move it along, but I bet the campaign would be a success. Even just strategically positioning someone with a fresh hot pizza sitting on the bench could possibly have the same effect.
Two more stories ScentAir mentions on their site are even more compelling. First of all, the SonyStyle Stores apparently use a mixture of citrus and vanilla to create a brand recognition experience based on the 5th untouched sense, which is apparently the strongest sense tied to memory. The final example could only come from a town called Celebration. In their branch of Florida Hospital, simply named 'Celebration Health', they created a beach themed MRI room to make people feel more comfortable about going inside the big evil pulsating magner machine, complete with beach chairs, a sandcastle (the evil machine itself) and of course, coconut and ocean scents.
One fact remains: even though ScentAir is located in Charlotte, NC, they have quite a few success stories in the Orlando area. This could be because of the influence of the entertainment and convention industry on our town, or just a strange coincidence. Florida is certainly a "hard sell, but with pageantry" sort of place. Someday my dissertation on the influence of theatrics and big productions on Orlando business and arts will come, but not today. For now, I'll stick to thinking of those Fresh Baked Sugar Cookies that aren't really there... ::sniff::
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