Process for Developing an Olfactory brand

“The scent has a more compelling persuasive power of words, appearances, emotions and will”

- Mr Süskind, author of the famous novel The Perfume (1985)


Fully understand your entity’s brand DNA. Just as in visual or audio branding, the signature scent needs to convey and support the brand foundation. For this process, you will need to define your unique promise, brand personality, tone of voice, values, and the overall emotions that you’d like associated with your brand experience. Put these thoughts into a cohesive brand statement that can guide you through the next steps.

Step 1

Translate your statement into a scent. Work with a scent branding strategist and a perfumer trained in ambient aroma development to create your signature scent. As in audio branding, where a marketer should avoid going directly to a musician but rather work with a strategic agency that understands the use of sound as a branding avenue, marketers should rarely go directly to a perfumer. Instead, marketers should work through a scent branding firm, as signature scent development and diffusion is an art and a science. You need the combination of a scent strategist’s skill to interpret a brand through the olfactory lens and the creativity of a specialized perfumer to create the right composition.


Step 2

During this process, which is different from that of traditional fragrance creation, scents are selected to represent emotional triggers. The feeling of cleanliness and order can be transmitted, for example, through green citrus, or a sense of dynamism and energy through spicy olfactory notes.


Step 3

Run some tests. Pilot the signature scent before exposing it to prospects and customers. Testing can be as simple as deploying it in your offices to see the reaction of your employees. Alternatively, you can test it with customers in focus group settings, one-on-one interviews, or other market research environments that enable researchers to gauge the prospect’s reaction to it and their interpretation of its meaning.


Step 4

Decide your points for diffusion. Look back at the statement you want to convey about your brand’s values and personality and the overall experience you want to create, and answer a few questions:

️Do you want the scent to act as a form of greeting, so it’s centred on main entrances?

Would you like a scent that envelops your entire space or only highly trafficked areas?

Would you like your scent to be at play round the clock or only during certain hours?

Are you looking for a scent to act as a backdrop or a more obvious and identifiable statement?

Once you have your answers, you can determine the ideal location for the diffuser to suit your needs and calibrate the on/off timer and velocity units.


The Signature Scent, custom-designed to the brand, is used to evoke a creative mood, causing the customer to linger, hopefully creating brand loyalty or at least a memorable experience. The scent is diffused through hidden high-tech professional scent diffusers, suitable for larger spaces and retail branded environment.

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