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Ambient Scent Is the Star at the Movies

Ambient scent at the movies

When you think of going to the movies, one thing that comes to mind may be the smell of popcorn. According to a study done in Portugal, movie theatres will do better and get more repeat business if they add some ambient scent.

The Right Fragrance for the Movies

The researchers started out by testing different scents for pleasantness and appropriateness, trying popcorn, cola-lemon and mint. Interestingly, the subjects much preferred the cola-lemon smell to the mint and both of them to the popcorn. Each of them was considered appropriate for the movies, so the researchers used the cola-lemon for the experiment.

Researchers scented two theatres over a period of time. At the end of the movie, movie-goers completed a survey. Customers seeing a movie at two other similarly sized unscented theatres were also questioned.

Scent for the Win

First, researchers asked the subjects about their general impression of the movie theatre. Those in the scented theatres consistently gave higher evaluations. They then answered questions about specific characteristics of the theatre environment. Again, those in the scented theatres gave higher ratings for characteristics such as comfort, pleasantness, attractiveness, cheerfulness and liveliness. When asked about the concessions, there was little difference between those in the scented versus unscented theatres, with one interesting difference. Those in the scented environments thought the prices at the concession stand were lower, possibly leading them to buy more. Finally, people in the scented theatre said they were more likely to return in the future.

The Lesson

Whether you have a movie theatre or not, this study gives us a valuable insight. Sometimes, we have a business that has an existing scent from product such as a restaurant, coffee shop or bakery. Because there is already a scent in the air, you may think that no additional scent is needed. However, a complementary scent may be just what you need to take your customers’ experience to the next level.

Your Air Esscentials rep can help you decide if environmental scenting will help your business. See more about scenting for service businesses here.

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