What does success smell like?

Here at Marketing Sciences, we have been attempting to find the answer.

To do so, we enlisted the help of our highly trained sensory panellists, a group containing members of the 10% of the population who possess enhanced senses. Whilst they usually use their senses of taste and touch to test consumer products, they took on the challenge of using their sense of smell to test 80 different fragrances, from dirty linen to top of the range perfumes, before rating them on a number of different attributes (such as how sweet the fragrance is). This allowed us to build up a picture of what notes each of these different fragrances contained.

The next phase was a consumer test, with around 200 people smelling 22 fragrances (chosen from the 80 fragrances that were profiled) and rating them as to how likely a successful man or woman would be to smell like them. Combined with our sensory data, the results from this allowed us to see which notes were more frequently associated with success.

We found that there were differences between the notes that a successful man would be expected to wear, compared to a successful woman. A fragrance for a successful man should contain a blend of patchouli, sandalwood and black pepper notes, whilst a fragrance for a successful woman would be comprised of a blend of sweet, floral and tropical fruit notes. However, we also found that fragrances containing only one note (such as leather) scored poorly.

What surprised us most was that the most successful smelling fragrances were not always the most expensive! For both men and women there is a product available in the shops to suit all budgets. It has certainly given us all something to think about when we go shopping for toiletries!

For more information about how our expert sensory panellists can help get in touch!

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Jane Rudling
01962 842211
Article date - 27/03/2014
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