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Psychology of scents

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

The Psychology of Scent: How Smell Affects Our Emotions and Behavior


Our sense of smell is often overlooked, but it plays a significant role in our emotions and behavior. Certain scents can evoke strong memories and emotions, while others can impact our mood and even influence our purchasing decisions. Here's a look at the psychology of scent and how it affects us:

The Power of Emotions

Scent has the power to evoke strong emotions and memories. For example, the smell of fresh-baked cookies might remind you of your grandmother's house or the scent of pine trees might transport you to a favorite camping trip. This is because the scent is processed in the same part of the brain that handles memory and emotion - the limbic system. This is why certain scents can instantly transport us to a different time and place, and even evoke specific emotions. For example, the candle Monique was created as a tribute to my grandma, in fact, she used to put orange blossom in our french crepe base. When she passed away in 2021, it was the main way for me to create a product for her, for her travel.



Mood and Behavior

Scent can also impact our mood and behavior. For example, lavender is known for its calming properties and is often used in aromatherapy to help reduce stress and anxiety. Similarly, citrus scents like lemon and orange are invigorating and can help increase alertness and improve concentration. This is why certain scents are often used in spas, hotels, and other environments where relaxation and focus are essential.


Marketing and Purchasing Decisions

Scent can even influence our purchasing decisions. In retail environments, certain scents are used to create a specific mood or atmosphere. For example, bakeries often use the scent of fresh-baked bread to create a cozy, welcoming atmosphere. Similarly, many retailers use scent to encourage customers to stay longer and make more purchases. A study by Nike found that shoppers spent 80% more time in the shoe department when the scent of leather was present.



In conclusion, scent plays a significant role in our emotions and behavior. By understanding the psychology of scent, we can use it to our advantage to create a specific mood or atmosphere, enhance our focus and concentration, reduce stress and anxiety, and even influence our purchasing decisions.

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