The Swiss retailer http://www.digitec.ch is currently running a thought provoking advertizing campaign. It is basically broadcasting what customers wrote about a product on the retailer’s website. This feedback needn’t be positive. It can be devastating. But it must be interesting. And in fact, the product scent – intended or accidental – occurs frequently as a matter customers care about.

Sensory and scent-marketing highlight how the sense of smell affects our everyday purchasing decisions. Accordingly, one expects an abundance of scented products in contemporary consumer culture. Yet, we can also witness an increasing awareness of multiple chemical sensitivities that might promote an opposite trend. This is the commercial context of a recent thesis submitted in the BBA International Program at Bern University of Applied Sciences by Jennifer Zwyer and supervised by Claus Noppeney: How prevalent is the sense of smell in today’s consumer culture? How prevalent are scented products on the shelf in supermarkets today? How openly is the olfactory status communicated to the consumer? Verbally? Visually?