March 21, 2019 / Experience

The Scent of Memories

Sensory stimuli can create an emotional response, leading to deeper, more meaningful connections between brands and their consumers. The Fragrance Foundation’s annual National Fragrance Week invites people to consider the role of scent, and the memories it inspires. Here are our scent memories.

“My scent memories are were formed in early childhood as I come from a family of very keen gardeners. The smell of herbaceous borders, vegetable gardens, herb beds, and rose beds are embedded in my brain, along with cleaning out the hen hut.  Fortunately, it is roses that are my scent memory trigger, sticking my nose into the centre to see which one’s smelt and which one’s didn’t.  One could never tell by looking. The fact that we were rarely allowed inside in the day time, apart from to eat, meant that the garden was our world, and still now I am happier outside than anywhere.  I have a very good sense of smell and I am sure that it was honed at a very early age, and I thank my parents for this.” – Jules Sheridan, CEO and Founder

“My scent memory is Lavender. It’s a beautiful scent which is abundant and still found in many places. Quintessentially British, hence for me grounding whilst being eminently evocative and at the same time heartily aromatic.” – Michael Sheridan, Chairman and Founder

“One of my most distinct and favourite fragrance memories is of the Indian incense Nag Champa. It was is in my late teens was when I first began to visit New York City that I came across it. This was in the early nineties and the city still had some of its rough edges. Neighbourhoods had distinct characters and there was a lurid sense of discovery and danger. The downtown neighbourhoods were what interested me and where I spent my time.  They were gritty, loud and colourful, jammed elbow-to-elbow with people from every background. There was a collective energy and no one seemed to care who you were or where you were from. My friends and I would wander the streets, seeking record shops, music clubs, cool clothes and cheap food. Adding to this cacophony were endless vendors with carts and tables, much more than you see today, scattered along the streets. To a kid from the suburbs it felt like I was seeing a whole new world. Amidst the leather bracelets and knock-off Kate Spade bags were vendors hawking tables full of lighters and boxes of Nag Champa, of course with a stick lit. The rich smell infused the air as you passed by and, for a moment, the chaos of the city was overcome by a sweet calm.” – Kevin Lindberg, Head of Design

“The smell of salt is a really important part of my day-to-day life (Following a recommendation from Aubrey Marcus I mix salt and lemon into my water every morning). The smell of salt in anything, whether it’s chocolate or fragrances, reminds me of our family summers all through my life by the beach in Norfolk.” – Freddie Sheridan, Director

“Woodsmoke is a favourite for me. It reminds me of winter evenings at home growing up, and summer evenings on the River Dee in Scotland.” – Bertie Sheridan, Operations Director

“The scent I would choose is hyacinth as it reminds me of my granny. She was an amazing gardener and had a lovely sun room on the back of her house where she often grew hyacinths even out of their typical season. As a child I remember playing for hours on end in that room when we stayed and she would let me get all of contents of her cleaning cupboard and her walk in larder and set up a shop. I loved all of the odd tins of things that we never had at home (tinned potato salad!). The scent was always in the air there and remained a constant feature of her and her home right up until she died. Every time I smell hyacinths now I can shut my eyes and hear her voice, not as good as getting to speak to her one more time but close enough.” – Sophie Pinder, Managing Director

Key Insights

  • We’ve been working with clients to help find scents that represent them. Not only to evoke past memories, but also create a scent identity that can be linked to the brand.
  • As 30%+ of consumers see wearing a fragrance as a ‘personal treat’, we should be using a strong level of personalisation in stores – both for consumers and for brand identity.