According to U.S. poet Diane Ackerman, “nothing is more memorable than a smell.” She wrote: “One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains; another, a moonlit beach; a third, a family dinner of pot roast and sweet potatoes during a myrtle-mad August in a Midwestern town.”
Perhaps leaders with a good nose for business have been reading Ackerman’s A Natural History of the Senses. Scents are now being diffused into more workplaces – partly to attract employees and clients and develop positive brand associations. But while retailers, members clubs, and hotels have been wafting whiffs around for some time, does doing so in an office setting work, or does it, well, reek of desperation?
Jane Helliwell, founder of The Scent Styling Company, stressed the magic of a good smell. “Never underestimate the power of scent on a person’s mood,” she said. Further, certain fragrances can alter a worker’s mindset. For instance, rosemary is known to have a positive effect on memory and alertness, said Helliwell. Meanwhile, lemon is “great for cognitive function.” Jasmine is “energizing,” and ginger helps fight fatigue and “enhances performance and productivity.”
The full version of this article was first published on Digiday’s future-of-work platform, WorkLife, in March 2023 – to read the complete piece, please click HERE.