Scents and Semantics: Do Fragrance Names Influence Consumer Perceptions of Scented Products?

Lauren Yourshaw, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Previous research on scent perception has focused on the effects of ambient scents (i.e. scents in the environment) on consumer decision making; however little work has examined how consumers process olfactory attributes that are integral to products. The proposed research investigates the effect of manipulating the descriptiveness of the label given to a scented product has on overall product evaluations. Results indicate that for scents that are familiar, hedonic ratings are significantly higher when the scent is labeled with a more abstract name. In contrast, hedonic ratings for unfamiliar scents are significantly higher when the verbal label is more concrete.
[ to cite ]:
Lauren Yourshaw (2010) ,"Scents and Semantics: Do Fragrance Names Influence Consumer Perceptions of Scented Products?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 938-939 .