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Smarter Worklife

Scents that make an impression

Working with aromas in workplaces and associating a brand with a particular scent is becoming increasingly popular.
“We can use aromas to make a good impression in commercial contexts,” says Yaroslav Shevchenko, CEO of Aroma Marketing Sverige. “And we want to take it a step further, to where we can influence visitors, customers and employees through scent.
It gives us a whole world of opportunities.”

Aroma Marketing Sverige

Mission: Professional aroma marketing in a variety of businesses mostly in Sweden, but also in other Nordic countries.
Since: 2013.
Employees: 5. Partnered with a German business group found in 35 countries.

When you step into the employer branding and recruiting company Oddwork in Gothenburg, you might just catch a whiff of Oddwork—a scent designed specifically for them.
“There’s a lot of warmth and energy in our brand,” says Charlie Sinclair, founder and Head of Employer Branding at Oddwork, “so the scent has a touch of warm citrus, to give each visitor the same warm feeling when you step into our world.”
The signature scent, which has been around for four years, was designed in collaboration with Aroma Marketing Sverige as a creative complement.
“We thought it sounded fun to add a new element to the corporate culture,” Sinclair says. “Everyone in the company helped to develop the scent.”

“This is our unique scent. It’s a cool thing, also in terms of storytelling, particularly within the company.”

Oddwork office_puff.jpg

Yaroslav Shevchenko says that aroma marketing was not considered a serious alternative when he founded Aroma Marketing Sverige in 2013. Despite the fact that the concept has been used internationally since the 1960s. But as scents have become an increasingly important element in Scandinavian homes, they have also become more interesting in connection with workplaces and brands.
“If we look back 30 years, there weren’t anywhere near as many variations of perfume as there are today,” Shevchenko says. He believes that both households and businesses will get even more interested in scents in the future.

Aroma design is about triggering associations and memories. Our sense of smell is directly linked to the part of the brain that handles memories and emotions.
“A person can remember up to 10,000 scent memories, linked to an experience. We work with finding the right scent memories to create an environment that has a positive influence on the brain,” Shevchenko says, explaining that vanilla helps us to feel at ease and releases endorphins, lavender makes us calm and citrus scents make us alert and focused.

But how does one develop a signature scent for a company?
“We can convert emotions, colors, values and watchwords to a scent. We compose a variety of aromas and notes that together create the feeling we want,” Shevchenko says, reminding us that everything starts with the purpose for the scent.
“Is it meant to boost sales, enjoyment or creativity? Create productive areas or rest zones, or welcome customers?
We start from a changeable aroma library consisting of about 600 scents, and we also work with a German lab.”

Oddwork is very happy with its scent.
“This is our unique scent,” Charlie Sinclair says. “It’s a cool thing, also in terms of storytelling, particularly within the company.”
He doesn’t think they’ve had any direct feedback from visitors, but people who are aware of it notice it. And that is as it should be, Shevchenko says:
“If you think a lot about the scent, then we have failed. That means your brain has begun questioning it. The scent should be a natural complement, hovering just at the intersection of the conscious and unconscious mind.”

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