Scent Marketing: Everything You Need to Know

What Is Scent Marketing?

Scent marketing is a sensory marketing tactic. Shoppers and visitors in a brick-and-mortar shop or business location can enjoy specific scents as they walk through the environment. The use of scents in-store aims to improve the customer’s mood and encourage more spending.

Scent is more than something to freshen the air or just simply being pleasing to your customer’s senses. Scent marketing companies realize how beneficial this marketing tactic can be and work to provide the best fragrances for your business.

In this blog, our team at Oil Works & Company talks about this essential marketing tactic and how you might begin using it in your store.

Why Is Scent Marketing Effective?

Scent is one of the most powerful senses humans have. Scent can trigger long-lost memories and entwine associations in favorable ways. Smells can incite appetites, influence moods, and generally please the senses.

Consider the following scenes (and their accompanying scents) and how they can impact your mood:
  • A lemony-fresh kitchen gives the impression of a well-cleaned kitchen that is ready for you to tackle your next adventure into the culinary arts.
  • Home-baked apple pie creates a compelling scenario that can incite increased salivation and a sudden desire for sweets.
  • Freshly grown flowers provide a scent that promises the coming of spring and summer weather or of travels yet to come.
  • A brand-new car evokes the scent combination of leather, oil, and musk that dares you to venture out into the wide world to make new memories.
These familiar scents spark all your senses, solidify the connections between senses and experiences, and make you feel good inside on an almost primal level.
Marketing with scent relies on mental imaginings like these to create a positive experience and encourage consumers to purchase goods and services. Why not use them in your location, too?
Multiple studies have explored the power of scent. Take a look at a few of the ways scent can influence customers:
  • Creating links between emotions and memories to help clients remember your shop or brand
  • Encouraging the customer to linger in the store and thus increase sales
  • Offering a pleasing and memorable scent experience that encourages return visits

A great example of how scent impacts behavior is when you walk past a bakery or a food retailer, and you automatically begin craving the food they are selling inside. Some online businesses can use scent marketing in their packages to provide a pleasant experience that the customer wants to repeat. You can use smell marketing for specific areas within your store or as a way to improve the ambiance of your entire shop. You will find that using scent as a part of your marketing strategy in almost any industry will help your business succeed. Your clients will be more likely to remember their experience with you and your brand.

Examples of Businesses Using Scent Marketing

There are two primary methods to using scent as a marketing tool. Ambient scenting is ideal for the whole building, while thematic scenting is when you localize a scent to a specific area of your store. Choose the approach that fits with your business, brand, and goals for your shop.

Improve the Ambience with Ambient Scenting

Ambient scents in a business help change the mood of the clients and customers who visit your facility. You can use ambient scents to set a tone for your business while also developing positive associations with your brand. You’ll need to decide which approach best represents your goals and in-store branding.

Some ambient scent marketing examples include:

Soothing scents are ideal for health centers like hospitals, nursing homes, airlines, and other facilities or businesses where individuals may experience anxiety or emotional stress. The use of soothing scents can reduce appointment cancellations for medical offices and improve the customer’s experience overall. Familiar soothing scents can include:
  • Lavender, which is renowned for its calming effects.
  • Vanilla, a good mood booster.
Orange, which is ideal for increasing energy Invigorating scents are ideal for gyms and active recreational centers that aim to motivate clients and encourage physical activity. These scents can help get clients in the mindset to approach their workout with more vigor. Popular scents that help invigorate your customers might include:
  • Citrus, an energizing scent ideal for boosting energy and overall mood (especially through the Winter months)
  • Mint, a stimulating scent that has a positive impact on motivation and stamina
Fresh outdoor scents are ideal for retail shops in any niche to solidify brand associations or positively affect customer interaction and engagement. Some examples of fresh scents might include:
  • Newly cut wood, which is great for hardware and DIY retail centers
  • Freshly cut grass, which resonates with customers in yard care centers and outdoor recreational retailers

  • These scents are fantastic choices to modulate the ambiance in your professional space and provide the best experience possible for your clients. You and your coworkers can also enjoy the scented space and experience a similar mood boost to improve interactions with customers.

    Target Shopping Sections with Thematic Scenting

    You can also choose to focus on thematic scent marketing to create more specific associations in certain areas of your store. Places like coffee shops and bakeries have an easy time focusing on a single scent, but stores with multiple sections will benefit from creating scent associations in each area.

    Some broad examples of thematic scents might involve using:

    Tropical Scents: which work well for swimwear sections and summery scenes that invoke a sense of leisurely travels. Consider the following tropical aromas:
    • Coconut
    • Mango
    • Pineapple
    Leather or earthy scents are great for creating an association with luxury and conveying the high quality of your goods. This scent is particularly popular in new cars and shoe sections. Popular leather and earthy aromas can include:
    • Leather
    • Musk
    • Cedarwood
    Fresh and Clean Scents are common for use around fabrics and clothing items because they convey a sense of cleanliness. Popular fresh and clean scents can involve the following:
    • Fresh linen
    • Baby powder
    Seasonal Scents are those associating each season in the year with particular smells. Some of the most popular seasonal scents include:
    • Summer: ocean breeze, pina colada, and coconut
    • Fall: pumpkin and cinnamon
    • Winter: pine and cranberry
    • Spring: lilac, gardenia, and rain
    You don’t need to feel limited to the scents in the lists above. You can even work with fragrance professionals to customize scents for your business. Be sure to find a good balance of aromas that aren’t too overwhelming. Remember, overwhelmed customers will focus more on leaving the store than shopping at your venue. Many people have fragrance sensitivities, so talk with a scent professional to fine-tune both the scent choice itself and the level at which you release it into the air.

    Each industry and retailer will need to consider their marketing goals when diving into scent-driven sales. You can consult with a marketing fragrance professional to hone in on the best scents and placements for your industry and sales goals.

    How to Get Started Using Scent in Your Business

    It’s easy to begin using scent in your marketing. The most challenging part of starting scent marketing is choosing the best fragrances and your scent approach. Essentially, you only need a scent machine and a pleasing scented oil or fragrance to begin using pleasant smells as a marketing tactic.

    You will find many different types of scent machines, including commercial essential oil diffusers and ULV fogging systems that distribute the scent through the areas you choose.

    Essential Oil Diffusers. Commercial diffusers for retail spaces are available in numerous sizes, the largest of which can scent an area of up to 50,000 square feet. Each diffuser features adjustable settings to allow you to find the perfect level of scent and cycle of operation.


    Marketing with scent is a powerful tool to help shop owners increase sales and create positive associations and interactions with customers. This marketing tactic is helpful for more than just retail settings. Scents are useful in many industries and niches, including:
    • Churches, temples, and other religious buildings
    • Automotive dealerships
    • Gyms and Fitness centers
    • Hotels and hospitality centers
    • Medical and dental offices
    • All forms of retail shopping
    This type of marketing triggers strong memories and emotional connections and helps customers remember your business and their great experience with your brand. You can boost moods and increase sales for a win-win situation for every individual that comes into your space. Begin implementing scents in your building today!

    At Oil Works & Company, we offer scent machines, essential oils, and fragrances that are ideal for any budget. You won’t have to use only our oils and fragrances, either — our machines are compatible with all oils and fragrances. You will never have to limit yourself to our proprietary brand of scents like other companies demand.

    Are you interested in trying scent marketing for your professional spaces? Explore the selection of high-quality machines, oils, and scents available with free shipping from us at Oil Works & Company. We provide sales and support from our U.S. location in Venice, FL. Explore our collection of foggers, diffusers, and aromas online, or call us today!

    If you would like to speak with a scent marketing strategist for a FREE consultation please contact us using the form below.



    Shopping cart


    No products in the cart.

    Continue Shopping