Retail Details: The Dollars & Scents of Giving a Store an Aroma

Unpacking the power of scent in retail


Back in the day, “fragrance branding” or “scent branding” started in casinos and hotels as a way to combat the smell of cigarettes and cigars that was more or less everywhere, according to Scenterprises’ Sue Phillips. But while smoking has certainly gotten less ubiquitous over the years, designing a scent for a hotel or a retail space has gone the opposite way.

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In the swimwear department of big retailers like Bloomingdales, the smell of coconut gently envelopes the customers so they’ll already envision themselves on vacation, as Douglas Elliman’s Faith Hope Consolo told Commercial Observer. Basking in the comforting smells, customers linger, return and spend.

But we should let these two pros explain why giving a store its own unique aroma has become more in demand, and why it can keep shoppers in stores longer.