Scents and Sensibility

Researchers say smells can affect a shopper's behavior. So stores are trying to cash in on what the nose knows

You might call it muzak for the nose. The latest technique for putting consumers in a spending mood is to fill the air with a seductive scent. That's why Select Comfort, a nationwide chain of 400 bedding stores, is in the market for one that will soothe shoppers browsing for bedding. ScentAir, one of several firms that design scents for retail settings, has suggested a mix of cashmere wood, amber, cardamom, cinnamon and bergamot. The blend, it says, will convey quiet repose.

The demand for these olfactory services--by stores, hotels, casinos and even museums--is stimulated by a growing body of research...

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