November 28, 2007

New Meanings to "Follow Your Nose"

In my post about nasty stench at the Grossology exhibit, a conversation came up in my comments that I found absolutely fascinating. In case you don't remember, here's a recap, and if you do remember, just scroll down to the bottom:

I once worked for a scent company. We provided scents to museums and Halloween Horror Nights. Scents like Dino Dung, rotting flesh. Bou, on the days we had to make scent cartridges for clients requesting our foul scents, hoo boy, what a stench! We'd open all the doors (warehouse) and try to counteract the bad smells with powerful positive scents running in our machines in the front office. But it wouldn't matter. And the people who were actually handing the chemicals would get to go home early to take multiple showers to try to de-stench themselves. And they wore plastic jump suits to try to combat the stench clinging to their person.

heh. When I worked there (2002), it was the first year Universal used our scents in Hween Horror nights. We told them not to use the bad smells inside. Yet they ran Dino Dung inside one of the buildings. Once. And it was weeks before the smell finally subsided. We warned them! LOL!

I really loved that company. Pity they relocated to another state.

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at November 21, 2007 10:45 PM
Wow. I had no idea there was such a thing as a stink factory! Do you guys have a suggestion box, or how do you come up with ideas?

Posted by: Peggy U at November 21, 2007 11:38 PM
Peggy, they have a library of hundreds of scents. And most of them are good smells. And you might be surprised where you encounter them without realizing it. We marketed our scent machines as Muzak for the nose, and in fact, I think they are now partnered with Muzak. There are some major chain stores that utilize scent zones. The idea is if the store smells good, you'll linger longer and buy more. And in some applications (food stores), if you smell how wonderful something is, you're going to impulse buy it.

When I am out shopping, I am keenly aware of scents (because I worked there), and once I smell something, I search for the machine just to see if it's my company.

Best application: the M&M's store. You walk into the glorious scent of chocolate and even though I know it's a machine, I want to buy candy!

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at November 22, 2007 08:03 AM

That's really interesting! I had no idea they did things like that. Pier One must do that, because whenever I go there I smell like that place afterward! Where do they put the machines, and what do they look like? I want to see one!
Posted by: Peggy U at November 23, 2007 06:59 PM
Peggy, I'm going to email you rather than take up Bou's bandwidth.

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at November 24, 2007 09:17 AM

So I sent Writersblock an email and asked her to expand on this 'scent' business and how stores use them and her experiences. Good Grief. I don't think I'll ever smell something again in a store without wondering if its fake!

She posted it for me HERE. Go take a read. It really is fascinating. They even use scents to train our troops. Holy crap...

Posted by Boudicca at November 28, 2007 09:39 PM | TrackBack

I started doing that when I worked for "the other company" and they all thought I was crazy.

I traveled with FeBreeze, so I could keep the floor samples fresh. I put scented candles around, that even though we wouldn't lite them, they still gave a wonderful atmosphere.'s gone commercial. I should have staked my claim on the idea. Damn.....lost that one!

But ohhhh it works so well. Really.

Posted by: Tammi at November 28, 2007 09:45 PM

I'd just never really thought about any of it in stores. Not at all. But when we sold our last home, if I knew people were coming, I'd bake cookies so the house had that homey cookie smell.

And febreeze to keep the product fresh was a good idea! Very very detailed...

Posted by: Bou at November 28, 2007 09:57 PM

Yeah....detailed...that's a GREAT way to put it.

Much better than the "anal retentive" that I usually get.


Posted by: Tammi at November 29, 2007 07:05 AM

Tammi, you're a brilliant sale woman!

Because I worked there, I'm more aware of scents in retail applications, and thus more prone to seek out the source of the scent. Hubby will confirm I get very excited when I find one of the scent machines. I still love that company.

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at November 29, 2007 08:28 AM

I once translated some web pages for an olfactory marketing company. Fascinating stuff. They sold masking scents to places that smelled bad - parking garages, sewage plants, you name it. And yes, they recommended popcorn scents for movie theaters, beeswax scents for department stores, on and on. They even ran forest-scented ads for vacations - they made the posters smell like the place, apparently.

Posted by: Amity at November 29, 2007 12:28 PM

Just wanted to let you know I linked your post for my Around The Blogosphere post :o)

Posted by: Lemon Stand at December 2, 2007 11:11 AM