Love is in the Air on Valentine’s Day

by Feb 14, 2018Business Marketing, Scent Marketing0 comments

It’s Valentine’s day and love is in the air – where did that saying even come from? It’s not like we’re walking around living in a SnapChat filter with little hearts floating around us – right?

For some people, ‘love is in the air’ just because of the way it smells. Leading up to Valentine’s day we popped a question to a few hopeless romantics. We asked them “What does love smell like?” The results were extremely interesting and we’d love to share our findings! Perhaps they’ll make you re-think the way you choose to scent your Valentine’s day.

We refrained from influencing the responses we got – giving respondents zero indication of where they should draw the smell from.


Here are a few of our findings:


When people chose to respond to the question by identifying certain notes from a scent or fragrance, there were only 3 – across participants that were highlighted. These were:

  • Roses/fresh flowers
  • Vanilla
  • Coffee


Scents and Fragrances

Some participants had particular whole scents they drew on and associated with love such as:

  • Their gran’s cooking
  • Baked goods
  • Fresh bread
  • Mont Blanc perfume
  • Egyptian Musk

For some people, the smell of love was attached to the scent of a person they love because of the particular cologne, aftershave, perfume, body wash or cream that person used.


Scented experiences

We’ve touched on scent and nostalgia before. Here we explained that the reason why we feel emotions so strongly and powerfully after a scent-triggered memory compared to any other scent-triggered memory is due to the strong connection between the olfactory bulb and the amygdala. This would be why some respondents associated the smell of love to a particular situation or experience they have been in where they felt loved. Our respondents that fall into this category said love smells like:

  • A Sunday roast
  • Being in the bushveld
  • Rainfall


Associations with other feelings

This was quite an interesting one for us. One respondent chose to identify what love smells like by drawing on other feelings and emotions. She said that love smells “safe and comforting”. This is possible because a certain scent or note may have been present during all the times the respondent felt safe, loved and comforted. Alternatively, the respondent feels loved when she is safe and comforted.

As for us at BrandScents, we think love smells of fresh linen and baby powder!


The takeaway?

This Valentine’s day, don’t project your love-scent-association onto another person. 100 vanilla-coffee scented candles arranged in a giant heart won’t set the same atmosphere for someone else as it does for you.

To truly show your appreciation for a friend, family member or partner, find out what smell makes them feel loved and scent their space with it. They’ll be automatically and unconsciously overwhelmed with feelings of love and appreciation that you may not need to do much else after that. (Disclaimer: BrandScents accepts no responsibility for what happens to you if your partner has been hinting for you to book tickets for Fifty Shades of Grey and all you did was light them a candle.)


Ways to scent a space

Once you’ve discovered what love smells like to a person, you’ll need to figure out exactly how to scent their space with it! Here are some of our suggestions:

  1. Cook or bake the love-associated meal on the day to scent the house
  2. Spray a tiny bit of your cologne/perfume on their watch, collar or blouse
  3. Purchase and light fragranced candles
  4. Use a Reed Diffuser
  5. Send baked goods such as fresh bread, doughnuts or croissants to their offices
  6. Make them coffee in the morning
  7. Bottle the scent and put it in their car for the day (or you could put some fragrance on a scent pillow and hide it under their seat).

o sum up our findings, we’d like to quote the reaction of the ‘Sunday Roast’ respondent:

“What does love smell like? Hmmm…That is so hard! Um… I have no idea – it could be so many things! I feel like it’s such a personal thing because everyone would express it differently. No one loves in the exact same way and certain smells are so personal that it’s exactly the same thing.”

We’ve highlighted this reaction because it perfectly describes the way we need to think about scent and association. Everyone has and makes different associations all the time about the way people feel and express love. While some people may feel loved, safe and comforted when they smell roses and coffee, others may feel the same way when the first summer rains fall.

What we really want to know is – what does love smell like to you?