Scents are the latest addition to products and services from companies ranging from Cartier to Vaqso, as brands from many different industries aim to enhance the consumer experience.
Perhaps it’s a waft of aromatic gardenias like the ones that grew in your childhood garden, or catching a whiff of the type of tobacco your grandfather smoked—whatever the scent, likely most everyone has had a Proustian moment when it comes to sense of smell and memory, an experience that attests to the power of our olfactory aptitude. Businesses large and small are highly aware of the influence of scent, which is why they are now combining fragrance with products or services they offer to create a sensory immersive experience for visitors. Here’s how five brands are finding creative ways to increase consumer engagement using scent:
Maison Cartier developed a temporary art installation called OSNI that combined scent and climate engineering to present the fragrance called L’Envol. Installed in the The Pavillion at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, visitors can engage with the fragrance through a perfume cloud that is located inside a large see-through glass cubical structure. The exhibit, which was designed by climate engineers Transsolar, combined ethereal innovation with olfactory diffusion, helping transport visitors to an experiential world of the scent.
WOOM Center, a yoga studio in New York, focuses on bringing all five senses into yoga practice. Classes are comprehensive and encompass mind, body and spirit through music, sound vibrations, lights and scents. The studio’s signature essential oil blend allows a deep-relaxation scent to permeate the yoga room while practitioners enjoy an immersive multi-sensorial experience.
Temporary tattoos company Tattly developed a tattoo designed to relax the user with the calming scent of eucalyptus on six sacred geometric shapes. Each tattoo reflects the concept of balance and consciousness found in nature. The scent, which is made using two types of eucalyptus-based calming aromas, is intended to complement an accompanying sound meditation for a relaxing and enlightening experience.
Alice & The Magician
Alice & The Magician is an American company that sells a line of edible aromatics designed to enhance cocktails by stimulating the two different ways people perceive odors: through the nose, and at the back of the throat. Alice & the Magician’s unique products rest on creator Aaron Wisniewski’s remarkable ability to consider a scent and break it down to its molecular components so the elixirs don’t add any taste or texture to a drink, allowing the experience instead to remain olfactory.
Tokyo-based startup Vaqso designed an odor-emitting attachment for VR headsets. VAQSO VR attaches to the bottom of any Virtual Reality Headset to immerse users in their virtual environment, emitting life-like scents that are synced to their virtual experience. About the size and shape of a candy bar, the device has space for up to three different odors and comes with a fan that can change the intensity of the scent based on what is happening on the screen.
Enhancing the product or service experience using the power of scent is just one way that brands are increasing consumer engagement. For more information on this trend around sensory immersion, see PSFK’s report Introducing Scents Into The Brick-And-Mortar Experience.