This smells of marketing

Silvia Ravetllat
CEO Ravetllat Aromatics S.L.
Marc Carbó
Marketing Ventós
Silvia RavetllatMarc Carbó


Marketing plays an increasingly important role in companies. In the past only big firms invested in it, but fortunately this has changed in recent years.

Occasionally, the function of scent marketing goes beyond the relationship with the brand

One of the most common ways to understand marketing is through the four Ps: product, price, place, promotion.

Although some experts believe there are now more key concepts, we are going to focus on product and promotion to explore the topic that concerns us: sensory marketing.

Smell is one of the most primitive senses and the one that most triggers our subconscious. How many times has a smell taken you back to your school days or to summer holidays at the beach? How does smell influence our mood, receptiveness or attitude?

Naturally, all of this is applicable to marketing. We all know logos aim to strengthen a brand image and ensure that consumers will quickly link the symbol to the company, such as the bitten apple or the polo player.

When we apply this to the field of smells, we have scent marketing. Increasingly, brands are creating a corporate scent to reach consumers’ pituitaries and encourage them to identify it with their company.

The retail sector is a leader in this type of marketing. Shops want to be appealing and recognisable from their aroma.Consumer goods companies want a coherent “image”: the music, atmosphere, decor, shop assistants’ outfits, smell and many other factors should all be aligned.

Many of you will be thinking about the smell in the shops of a well-known American brand where you are greeted by two guys without shirts, or the elegant line of the famous businessman Amancio Ortega.

Smell is one of the most primitive senses and the one that most triggers our subconscious

Another sector coming into the world of scent marketing is hotels. Using clean and warm notes, they aim to “dress” their atmospheres to make them welcoming. In scent marketing there are two types of smell:

Associated scents, which are linked to the product on sale.

Signature scents, which create a link between a smell and the brand.

Olfactory culture has evolved and society is increasingly used to making this type of link, which means that scent marketing is becoming more and more relevant.

The real issue that its proponents face is to prove that it leads to sales. Some companies are very reluctant to invest in something so intangible and right now the mentioned companies that are opting for it are ones that have long-term branding strategies.

However, as noted above, not all brands invested in marketing initially and this will be exactly the same with scents, which is where we must play a key role. Creating a link between a smell and a brand involves in-depth knowledge of fragrances and scenting techniques as well as how to reflect the brand, the values it wants to convey or the state of mind we want to bring about in the consumer. Scents are already a major part of sensory marketing.

We are ready. Are you?

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