Scent Marketing: they are poisoning us

May 19, 2023 | Health Issues from Perfume, All


Infusing sales spaces such as stores, shopping malls, hotels and airports with specifically chosen aromas to influence buying behaviour – a tactic known as scent marketing, neuromarketing, smell marketing or olfactory marketing – is big business today. Smells have an instant effect on one’s emotions, so if you get it right, scent marketing is an effective way to evoke the right feelings and memories to put potential customers in a buying mood, and so increase sales.

You could argue that scent marketing is really surreptitious mental manipulation, as shoppers seem blissfully unaware of this insidious marketing tool that is being foisted on them. But much worse than this, shoppers are unaware that when they enter each store, shopping mall, hotel or airport, they are being poisoned with every breath they take – and we take about 23,000 breaths a day. Clean air is what we need, not ‘perfumed’ air!

  1. Without food, we can survive one to three months
  2. Without water, five to seven days.
  3. Without air? A minute or two!

These three aspects should make it clear that AIR is the most important element that our bodies need to survive. And what every environmental activist and organic food fan have long realised, is: the more our food and water is contaminated, the more our health is endangered. The same is true for the quality of the very air that we breathe.

And what 99.9% of the public either does not know or blatantly ignores: chemically produced perfume is a dangerous a pollutant. And it is right here in our homes, offices, and in a parts of our life 24/7 – but often hidden.

Johann Kellerer – Perfume: The Hidden Bane of Your Health

There are many players around the world in the scent marketing business; it is now a well established industry. These companies supply “scent” which is diffused throughout their clients’ sales spaces via a diffuser like the one above in the video, or through their existing heating or air conditioning systems.

Scent Marketing in action

Scent marketing websites boast, very clearly, that their products conform to all government safety regulations, and that the amount of the toxic chemicals is these products are at a ‘safe’ level. What this doesn’t take into account is the fact that toxins build up in the body. The staff who work in these malls and airports every day, or shoppers who regularly visit them, must be building up a large body burden of these chemicals, taking them way over the arbitrary, official ‘safe’ level.

The video above was taken in Malaga Airport in quite a confined space, full of passengers waiting to board a plane. The diffuser was located above their heads and it spewed out its ‘fragrance’ for about 30 seconds, every minute. The passengers were waiting to board the plane for about 20 minutes, and therefore had no choice but to breathe in whatever chemicals were coming out of the diffuser for all that time. One wonders whether the passengers were placed there deliberately to get them to breathe the chemicals in, to get them in the right mood to buy the on-board duty-free items… perhaps?

So what were they breathing in and was it harmful? The company in question has not yet revealed what chemicals are in their scent despite reaching out to them, and their website gives nothing away. However, other companies are more open about their ingredients. Some claim to only use ‘natural’ products, i.e. essential oils, with the implication that this is healthier that a synthetic product scenting solution. According to the Endocrine Society, the claim that ‘natural’ products are less harmful than synthetic chemicals is bogus because it has recently been discovered that essential oils can act as endocrine disruptors.

Some scent marketing companies use only synthetic chemicals, and others use a combination of both. To make matters worse, many individual stores have their own scent diffusers, and the malls they are in have their own as well, so it’s impossible to know what cocktail of neurotoxins, phthalates, carcinogens and endocrine disruptors we are breathing in.

Whichever way you look at it, we are being poisoned when we enter these sales spaces where scent marketing is in operation – with asthma, allergies, migraines, cancer, birth defects, infertility and depression as possible outcomes. They are poisoning us, which is why it is better for your health to do your shopping online and to just stay home!

Update: On 4 August 2023, we called The Aroma Trace company and they confirmed that their scents contain a mixture of synthetic and “natural” chemicals.