Hal McDonald’s recent article, The Mysterious Connection Between Smell and Our Past, in Psychology Today connects the dots between our memories and what we smell.
His article references, and may have been inspired by, the song Stressed Out by 21 Pilots:
Sometimes a certain smell will take me back to when I was young.
How come I’m never able to identify where it’s coming from?
I’d make a candle out of it if I ever found it,
Try to sell it, never sell out of it, I’d probably only sell one,
It’d be to my brother, ’cause we have the same nose,
Same clothes homegrown a stone’s throw from a creek we used to roam,
But it would remind us of when nothing really mattered,
Out of student loans and tree house homes we all would take the latter.
“A typical adult looking back over his or her lifetime will find that they formed the vast majority of autobiographical memories during the 20-year span between ages 10 and 30. Studies of memory retrieval with olfactory cues, however, indicate that memories involving smell deviate from this general pattern. They cluster not in the reminiscence bump (between 10 and 30 where the majority of our autobiographical memories cluster), but rather in early childhood when we were under 10 years of age). Our olfactory autobiographical memories, then, actually reach farther back into our pasts than the bulk of our other autobiographical memories.”
“…when a random smell triggers a feeling of intense recognition and familiarity, it may very well simply be the experience of having smelled it before that we are remembering, and nothing more.”
“So the next time a few stray molecules grab you by the olfactory cortex and send you hurtling through time, just enjoy the ride—but there may not actually be a destination at the end of the line.”
How Scent & Fragrance Screen Printing Increases Sales
When Yankee Candle added scent to its catalog, sales increased 18%. It may seem odd to add scents like leather, mown grass or baby powder to packaging, POP retail displays or printed pieces, but consumers react to scents: they notice, consider and buy with much greater frequency than if you rely only on visuals alone to get their attention (just like everyone else does).
When you engage multiple consumer senses with scent and fragrance printing, you increase the chances they will notice and buy.