Most of our attention has been on commercial scenting, especially for hospitality...
New research by Dr. Eric Spangenberg and Swiss scientist Andreas Herrmann has found that simple scents are more effective in boosting sales. He tested a simple scent, a complex scent and no scent at all. The results? The simple scent (orange) outperformed the complex scent (orange, basil and green tea) and the unscented environment; the average sale amount in the orange scented store were 20% higher than in either other situation and there were were more total sales transactions.
Spangenberg attributed the success of the simple scent to the brain’s ease of processing it, freeing the customer’s mind to pay attention to shopping. When they were exposed to the fragrance blend, at some level, their minds were distracted by its complexity. He tested this theory by having subjects solve word problems in rooms with the same scents: orange, the basil-orange-tea blend and no scent. Those in the orange scented room completed more problems in less time than in either other condition.
The research has implications not only for scenting retail stores, but also for education.