Monday, July 04, 2005

Forget seeing is believing--smelling is selling.

July 5, 2005
Sensations: A Hint of Lavender and the Scent of Money

By ERIC NAGOURNEY
What happens if you release the odor of lavender into a restaurant? In the case of a small shop in France, at least, it led to customers' staying longer and spending more, researchers say.

The researchers, whose report appears in the current issue of Hospitality Management, say the findings offer more evidence of the power that aromas have to influence human behavior.

In the past, studies have suggested, among other things, that peppermint oil may help athletic performance and that pleasant smells make people more cooperative and even induce them to gamble more at casinos.

The authors of the new study, Nicolas Gu├ęguen from the University of South Brittany and Christine Petr from the University of Rennes, say this is the first time researchers have looked at the effect on restaurant customers of aromas - at least, those not coming from the kitchen.

In Brittany on three Saturday evenings at a 22-seat restaurant that serves mainly pizza, the researchers released either oil of lavender, oil of lemon or nothing at all. The scent was spread by diffusers that were plugged into three electrical outlets.

The study found no change in customer behavior when no scent was used or when they used lemon, considered to have stimulating effects.

Things changed, though, with the lavender, which is believed to make people relax. On average, customers spent about 15 minutes longer in the restaurant. And they spent almost 4 euros more - about $5.

Noting that the findings were in line with earlier research, the researchers wrote, "These studies taken together support the position that scents could influence many consumption environments."


Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

1 Comments:

Blogger JY said...

i've noticed that shary symon, a local agent, bakes cookies during open homes and fills the house with sweet smells of chocolate and fat. not only do people linger longer to feed, but the smell gives you a sense of home. her listing always sell for ridiculous prices. not a bad ROI for a bag of nestles.

10:01 PM  

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