Our olfactory system doesn't just detect scents. It plays a significant role in how and what customers buy – and don't buy!
Have you ever caught a waft of perfume or an odour and, a split second later, you were transported back to a time or a memory – buried deep in the cortex of your brain? According to research, sensory memory does exist, connecting you to experiences and sensations, sometimes from the distant past.
Our sense of smell, or olfaction, has been extensively studied, including marketing and consumer behaviour.
Consequently, the smell of a product can modify our sensory attributes and influence whether to buy or not buy a product. Fragrance-scented products have been known to sway consumers to buy, regardless of the product's efficacy.
Therefore, it is not a coincidence that most cosmetics, toiletries and household products we buy today are scented to appeal to our olfactory glands.
In an experiment, three gel formulations and three cream formulations were tested. Two of each formula had different types of fragrance added, while one of each formula had no scent added.
The results confirmed that the presence and type of scent used in the formulas affected the tester's perception. In conclusion, the study found that a consumer's response to a cosmetic product lies not only in its efficacy but how it is perceived through appearance (packaging), tangibility (how it felt on the skin), and smell.
Consequently, when developing a new product, it is paramount that you get the fragrance right, as it could heavily influence the consumer's purchasing decision and may be the difference between whether your product is a success or not.
Trulux offers different kinds of fragrances like:
Smell the roses
In 1991, Richard Axel and Linda Buck discovered how olfactory receptors work and how the brain interprets the smell.
The researchers found a large gene family that coded for olfactory receptor types. (This equalled 1,000 genes or 3 per cent of the human total.)
These receptor cells are highly specialised to particular odours. Each olfactory receptor type sends an impulse to the olfactory bulb, which passes this information on to other parts of the brain, which interprets the odour patterns as smells.
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Fun fact: Humans have an immense number of olfactory receptors – about 40 million – but it is nothing compared with animals like German Shepherds dogs, which have about 2 billion.
Image courtesy of: motejo.jp/