In addition to light, sound, color and other design dimensions scent is increasingly used to influence human emotions and behavior. Aromatherapy is the discipline that has developed this expertise and knowledge of centuries. Scent Marketing is currently an obvious case. But there are also non-commercial contexts as this story from Eindhoven reports.

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?

The city of Bern runs a lively blog that monthly discusses business related issues in the economic area of the Swiss capital. Through it, a diverse selection of people from business, culture, civil service and society engage in public discourse. In this context, Claus Noppeney identifies “olfactory milestones” in the remarkable history of the city and shows how this tradition leads to current product innovation.