The Smell of Shopping

In a quest to more effectively separate us from our money, retailers have tried music to tickle our ears, lighting to please our eyes, and special flooring to comfort our feet. Now they’re taking their appeal straight to our nose. According to an article in the 10/16 issue of _Time_ magazine, businesses ranging from bedding stores to hotels are paying big bucks for scents custom tailored to what they sell–soothing scents for bed buyers, an orange/vanilla blend with a hint of cedarwood to stimulate sales at Sony’s retail stores. Some businesses use the same scent throughout their store, while others “decorate” each department with a different scent. Bloomingdale’s uses the smell of baby powder in its infant clothing department, while a lilac/coconut concoction wafts through its intimate apparel area. Does it work? One upscale ice cream shop reported a one-third rise in sales after it added a laboratory-made waffle cone smell to its store. Apparently its own waffle cones don’t generate a strong enough scent.
h3(matt). Matt’s View
p(matt). The poor shopper just doesn’t stand a chance today. With cultural anthropologists monitoring our every move, psychologists getting inside our head, and now smell specialists figuring out how to best “in-scent” us to spend, it’s no wonder why the typical shopper leaves the mall with more than they intended to buy. I wonder what scent would get us to save more. As you ponder that, you can test your nose knowledge with this online “quiz”:

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