If a picture paints a thousand words, then a smell can bring to life an entire novel. Our sense of smell constantly picks up scents that leave a lasting impression, or better yet, scents that trigger off past memories.

Smells are often associated with past holiday destinations, favourite foods and even with special individuals and are a powerful method of gaining attention.

“The use of fragrance response is well documented, we know it enlivens the senses, stimulates our imaginations and has the ability to transport us to another place,” says Graeme Lidgerwood, sales manager of EGO, a local printing company that has recently been involved with scent marketing.

Last year, gourmet ice cream brand Connoisseur executed billboards at central tram stops in Melbourne that encouraged commuters to smell their different flavours by releasing sprays of fragrance.

Australia Post, together with EGO, has recently released a collection of Australian postage stamps that feature the iconic Australian scent of eucalyptus.

According to Lidgerwood, while embedding scent into marketing materials have been possible for some time, “it’s been fairly restrictive in terms of application, materials, scents and cost.”

However, according to Lidgerwood, today scents can be embedded into papers, boards, synthetics, adhesive materials and certain rigid plastics.

With the multitude of brands in the market fighting for their differentiation point and cracking their heads to develop each brand’s unique brand personality, Lidgerwood believes that adding scent into the sensory mix will only create competitive distinction for the brand.

“Scent marketing is effective as it increases customer attention and increases purchasing activity when compared to non-scented material”,

While scratch-and-sniff products have been frequently used, Lidgerwood believes that scent-printing is “more direct, quicker, flexible and cost effective”.