Can a scent really help you sell a home? Like Hot Apple Pie

The secret is to make people think ‘what a wonderful place’ without ­realising it’s the smell

By Liz Rowlinson of the UK Telegraph

Marcel Proust knew about the power of the senses to evoke happy memories. Cues in everyday life – in his case, the smell of a madeleine dipped in tea – can spark a sense of security or joy. Retailers and hoteliers have ­exploited our involuntary responses to certain smells for many years, and estate agent folklore says that aromas of freshly brewed coffee, baking bread or  Hot Apple Pie can help sell a home. But does scent really make us buy a house?

It certainly persuaded Judi Bradbury, a perfumer, to buy a property in the “wrong area”. Rather than walking up and smelling the roses (or coffee), it was an olfactory “assault” of orange blossom, lemon balm, honeysuckle and lily of the valley.

“We’d been scouring the Home Counties and decided to take a look at the Grade II listed Georgian property in Warboys in Cambridgeshire,” says Judi, 54, who is ­married to Paul, an architect.

“The heavenly smell enveloped us as we entered the property. I have always loved florals, which remind me of my mother, who had a dressing room full of beautiful glass-stoppered bottles of scent.”

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