Agents harness the power of smell

Using custom scents in homes is an increasing trend in the United States but most agents in Australia overlook the power of smell, according to one perfumer.

In an attempt to appeal to buyers on a new level, property developers in the United States have created customised fragrances to create memorable impressions.

“The sense of smell is something that's most memorable to people,” Louis Birdman, one of the developers, told The Wall Street Journal. “The idea is to try to touch on all five senses.”

And it’s no coincidence – solid research has identified smell as the sense most closely linked to memory.  

Speaking with Real Estate Business, veteran perfumer Jonathon Midgley from Damask Perfumery said he has created fragrances for agents to help sell a home in the past, but admits it’s a rare occurrence.

“Over the years, I've had a number of requests for certain aromas to help sell properties," he said. "The ones that are most popular are the smells of fresh baked bread, vanilla, and coffee.”

With experience as an industrial perfume compounder for Bush Boake Allen in the mid 70s, Mr Midgley has manufactured fragrances for common household items, but specialises in aromas used in different environments.

“Agents should look for aromas that people subconsciously associate with comfort and security,” Mr Midgley said.

“So vanilla is popular because it takes us back to eating ice cream as a kid, or coffee because it reminds you of your favourite café where you get excellent service and hospitality.

 “I’m not a real estate agent, so I can’t say that this will seal a deal for you, but smell is so strongly linked to memory that it certainly would give the home a better impression when the buyer looks back on the experience.”

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