THE POWER OF SCENT
By Andy Myers for research-live.com
THE SENSE OF SMELL
No other sense is so firmly linked to memory and emotion than our sense of smell. With its strong physiological link between the olfactory and limbic system and around 1,000 genes that encode distinct scents – compared to vision that only has four – our sense of smell is highly discriminating and adept at distinguishing and recognizing smells, even though we may struggle to articulate them…
…And maybe that is part of the problem: bricks and mortar retail stores are still dominated by vision, sound, and touch. What about smell?
It is clear from both academic literature and our research that smell has an impact on us, but that impact is unconscious: when people are asked what they think, they struggle to give any deep level of introspection into the experience, beyond whether they like it or not.
Does this mean scent alone will enhance an experience? Should retailers spray a couple of bottles of perfume around each day and that will do the trick? Or is it more complicated, more nuanced? As you may expect it is the latter, so put the perfume down for a moment and read on…
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