Consumers demand a more fragrant brand experience

READING, PA.- Ambius today revealed new research which reinforces the importance of scenting and the multi-sensory experience to consumers today. Carried out by independent market research agency ICM, the research found over half of consumers say they love their favorite stores due to its ambience – placing multi-sensory cues such as design, fragrance, lighting and music above good service from friendly staff. 

For the retail and hospitality sectors, the research showed an especially high demand for a more fragrant experience. Three out of four people (74 percent) have been impulsively drawn into a store by a smell, and a considerable 90 percent of consumers would either walk out of a store or speed up their browsing if they didn’t like the smell inside it. Similarly, in a hospitality environment, 77 percent of consumers said a pleasant smell in a hotel would have a positive impact on them, and 43 percent said they would regret or reconsider checking into a hotel if they noticed an overpowering smell. 

Professor Charles Spence MA PhD, Experimental Psychology at Oxford University, comments: “As consumers, our brains are constantly monitoring the inputs from each and every one of our senses in order to make sense of the world around us. There is a growing neuroscience understanding today, of the impact of scent on customer experiences. New technologies around effective scent dispersal means there has never been a better time for hotels and stores to consider developing their brand through the use of scent and other multi-sensory marketing strategies. It is, however, important to remember that harmony is key – the right scent should correspond with its surroundings and be congruent with our other senses. Based on my own research in this area, I am convinced of scent’s role as a powerful means of communication with one’s customers no matter what the business.” 

The research found smell is the top rated stimuli for triggering a memory or feeling (73 percent), highlighting the positive impact it can play in creating a connection between a brand and consumer. As businesses focus on how to evolve their models to attract more customers and retain them both online and in a physical environment, the new research demonstrates the significant role scenting can play. 

Christophe Laudamiel, Master Perfumer for PremiumScenting with AirQ, says: “Our sense of smell is as important a tool as our vision for informing us about our surroundings. We use it to make crucial judgements about a space, its people, and merchandise even if we don’t always realise we’re doing so. Scent is uniquely three dimensional and has the ability to holistically tie all other design elements together and infuse soul into a space, in a discreet or memorable way. It is therefore no surprise that scentscaping is increasingly being used in the retail and hospitality industries to enhance consumer feelings of trust, relaxation or their enjoyment of brand quality. This study is a reminder of how scent design should not be ignored by any brand that cares about its employees and consumers – and their overall experience.” 

Sue Wieland, Ambius Line of Business Manager for Premium Scenting, comments: “Our research highlights the importance of scent marketing for a business operating in the hospitality and retail sectors. A pleasant scent can can encourage hotel guests to stay for extended periods of time; while for a store it can greatly increase foot traffic, encouraging people to linger for longer. Appealing to consumers is tough with brands competing for every single sale. Therefore when considering the design and fit out of a hotel or retail store, scenting should not be an afterthought, but rather a key consideration. It’s in the interests of businesses to use every tool at their disposal to gain higher amounts of customers, while enhancing brand experience and association.” 

For more information, please download our report ‘The Business Impact of Scenting’ at

About Ambius:

Ambius is the world’s largest provider of plants, holiday décor, replica foliage, and flowers for commercial environments. 

Ambius also offers a broad range of products and services including scenting and living green walls which can help improve employee productivity, reduce absenteeism, and boost well-being in the workplace. Founded in 1963, Ambius is a division of Rentokil Initial plc. For more information, visit Ambius at and connect with Ambius on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.