How To Sell Something Scents-Ably -- The Nose Knows Good Deals

Everyone loves the smell of freshly baked cookies, but don't expect that aroma to sell your home, new research tell us.
Scientific research went into the mold to properly drive dollars and scents.At an at-home-decor store in Switzerland, researchers found sales zoomed when people sniffed orange scent. Make sure it's a simple orange scent. Complex scents muddy the mind's eye. The second-rated scent was a combo of orange, basil and green tea, so shoppers spent only $47.37. Simple orange made browsers spend $62.44. No scent produced a return of $50.50 in sales.

Complex scents -- even pleasant ones -- can be a distraction. It makes people spend shopping time thinking about what they smell. Professor Eric Spangenberg says he recommends simple smells, such as lemon, basil and pine. "They are easier to process and less distracting and thus more conducive to spending."

The long-worded research title included ..."the Effects of Olfactory Cues on Retail Sales." Although the research says people processing smells get in the way of their shopping motive, real estate agents continue to fire up the oven or light a few candles on open-house day. An agent in Connecticut says she brings pumpkin pie into the house and butter cookies, "anything that has that combination of spices and gives you the impression of being at home."