Now, however, it is common to see a whole network of decision makers wanting to fragrance areas both inside and outside of the washroom, and for different reasons. For, it is no longer just about the perception of a clean and fresh washroom, but instead, the whole user ‘experience’. Organisations are realising the powerful ability of scent to deeply connect with our emotions. According to branding expert Lindstrom, “Seventy-five percent of the emotions we generate on a daily basis are affected by smell.”
As an industry, this means we are now looking at new types of decision makers, new and more considered ‘non-washroom’ fragrances, and new technology to cater for these changing environments. New and improved channels of communication mean that we can do business with more countries than ever before, which is a huge positive – however, this does pose a few challenges in the sense that we now need to tailor products for different audiences and ensure that they work in different climates.
As manufacturers and service providers, we have to think not only about the fragrance experience (for example, utilising multi-phasing technologies which release different fragrances over time) but also about consistency and the fact that people will be much more exposed to fragrance over longer periods of time. There has long been a race to find ways to make fragrance particles smaller, whilst maintaining effectiveness and reliability. The environment comes into play here, too, with businesses becoming much more environmentally aware.
Fragrance preferences are constantly changing too, and more and more links are being made between scents and memories, travel and experiences. The UK Telegraph recently asked its readers ‘what is your smell bucket list?’ and suggested the ’21 smells before you die’, which included roses in Morocco, lavender fields in Provence, cinnamon in Mumbai, pine trees in the Alps, and maple syrup in New York. Each smell was connected to a place, evoking memories and positive connections. Recently I also
read about the grand opening of ‘Le Grand Musée du Parfum’ in Paris – the world’s first perfume museum. Set inside a 19th century mansion, the museum provides a multi-sensory journey through the history and science of scent and perfume-making.
Scent has become not just a science, but a culture – and a culture that we need to immerse ourselves in to stay ahead of the times.