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How powerful is your sense of smell? Perhaps more powerful than you think. A scent can affect what we think and how we feel. It can even trigger our memory. There’s a business at the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove that wants to make what we smell a fun and memorable experience.


Inside Olfactory Scent Studio in Maple Grove, noses are put to work. It’s where we find Gracie Clem and Summer Olson trying to balance a few of their favorite smells to make into a candle.

“I chose watermelon, sunflower and cherry blossom,” said Clem. “I think it kind of has a summer and fruity smell to it, which is kind of what I’m going for.”

Here a few favorites are selected out of many scents. More than 130 to be exact. The fragrances can be mixed and made into something memorable and distinct. The idea for a scent store came from owner Sue Brady.

“I have always liked scent,” said Brady.

The former scientist of 25 years thought of the idea after she met a person on the East Coast who sold natural soy candles and premium fragrances.

“My whole goal is to have a place people can come, you know, you have friends in town, you have a group outing, a corporate outing, just something you can come do.”


So what’s among the most popular scents?

“Kind of depends on the time of year,” said Brady. “Right now even year-round, champagne is always popular.”

Or what about the scent people can’t believe?

“Bacon,” laughed Brady. “We do have bacon.”

There’s even a scent for old books.

“I think people are surprised, more than what scents we have, but how true to scent they are,” said Brady.


All the scents got me thinking of my favorite smells. But I needed a little help to start.

“It sounds funny. But the first thing you do when you’re blending scents together is it’s a visual,” said Brady. “And if you can set the scene, that’s the first step, and that’s what we do first.”

My visual was a drink at the beach. And with that image in place, manager Ali Palm helped me get to work. Palm gave me options that would go with being at a beach. She helped write them down and I trimmed the list to three.

“Our goal is to narrow it down to two or three,” said Palm. “We think of it like painting. You add too many colors, you can’t really smell anything.”

So after a little sniffing…and winnowing, I had my three choices: mango, coconut and champagne.

Then I just had to blend. Palm arranged them in order from most intense to least intense. I poured droplets into a jigger to create my blend. Finally, I had to pour the blend into the wax and stir. (It takes about an hour and a half for the wax to solidify.)

Besides making your own personal candles, you can make room fresheners, body sprays, lotions and bath salts.

“Let’s face it, there’s a million candles out there. So I do say we would compete with everyone out there candle-wise, but we’re not a big store. We’re not a conglomeration. So what we’re selling really is the experience leaving with the best product you had.”

Olfactory Scent Studio is located on Elm Creek Boulevard in the section of stores where Gap and Punch Pizza is located.

Source: Business Matters: Favorite Smells Abound at Olfactory Scent Studio – CCX Media