Analysis suggested that it was this increased attention -- a cognitive, not emotional, process -- that improved brand memory.
Other researchers have reported that scent does not influence shoppers to buy more at a mall by putting them in a good mood, thus making them think more highly of the mall and the products in it. It's the other way around. The smells make shoppers think more highly of the mall and the products in it. That, in turn, puts them in a good mood -- which makes them buy more.
A "Got Milk?" advertising campaign in San Francisco earlier this year put the scent of chocolate chip cookies into bus stops. It was meant to move people to buy milk (not a house), and it was aborted after one day.
Some people had complained because they thought it might make homeless people feel bad because they couldn't buy cookies or milk. Others had complained because they thought the artificial scent might be releasing dangerous chemicals.
Scent marketers are adamant that everything they use has been tested and approved for safety. But some people in the industry worry that, as the use of scent marketing continues to expand, more people will start objecting to it because they think it's dangerous, or it'll bring on allergies -- or maybe because they just don't like it.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, has declared itself a fragrance-free city. In Santandrea's opinion, people there are missing out. "The nose is here to stay," he says, "and we are going to tweak it."