How supermarkets, estate agents and airlines are using scent marketing

How supermarkets, estate agents and airlines are using scent marketing
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Written by Addmaster Blog

When compared to the other four, our sense of smell is often undervalued.

Despite this, our olfactory receptors can be hugely influential when it comes to triggering memories, moods and behaviours and savvy marketers can take advantage of this to make their products and services stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Here are just three examples of how supermarkets, estate agents and airlines have been utilising fragrances to improve their customer experience and, ultimately, sales.

Supermarket's citrus scents

Supermarkets are constantly devising new ways of making sure we spend more, whether this is by placing essential items at the back of the store, playing slower music to make us take our time or selling Easter Eggs in January.

Now a Dutch supermarket chain claims to have increased takings at the till by diffusing an artificial melon smell throughout the shop floor over a three week experimental period. 

No scent was used in the first week, whilst a faint melon aroma in the second week resulted in a 2% growth in sales and a huge increase of 14% in the third week when the fragrance was strongest.

Real smells in real estate

A study carried out by an Australian real estate website found that using different smells around the house can have a great influence on the perceived value of a property.

The house was infused with the smell of either citrus, brownies, baked bread, coffee, roast chicken or smell socks and 22 potential buyers were asked to estimate the overall value of the property, after being provided with a guide price.

Scent Average property estimate (AUD)
Citrus $850,250
Brownies $821,250
Baked bread $808,750
Coffee $785,000
Roast chicken                $749,500
Smelly socks $743,750


The citrus scents added a perceived value of over $100,000 over smelly socks, which has been attributed to the smell of lemons and limes being a simple, subtle scent that are more ambient than a punchy roast chicken dinner.

Scent marketing at 30,000ft

In a pressurised aeroplane cabin our taste buds and sense of smell are the first things to go at 30,000 feet, which partially explains why airline food can taste so bad.

Despite this, some commercial airlines are using fragrances to improve the experience for passengers and, it is hoped, promote brand loyalty and repeat custom.

  • Turkish Airlines’ TK 1933 aims to ‘produce feelings of trust, peace, happiness, serenity and pleasure’
  • Delta’s Calm scent incorporates lavender and chamomile in their soap and hot towels.
  • Iberia airlines diffuses a custom citrus aroma throughout its cabins


How likely are you to choose your next flight based on a more pleasant smelling journey?


Scentmaster fragrance and flavour technology has been incorporated into hundreds of products to give brand owners and manufacturers a competitive edge in the marketplace

Contact us today to discover how we can add a unique scent or taste to your product range

Click here to download Scentmaster brochure

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