Material Monday on Scent in Packaging: Olfactive Packaging Experience

Posted Last Friday by Katie Kubrak

By triggering instant responses, an olfactive memory, can instantly alert, allure, disgust, or even transport you across the world. This week in “Material Monday: Series 2”, we explore how this significant value can be applied through a functional or branded approach to packaging.

Functional scenting is used in the background for the purpose of complementing a product, an experience or a space by masking an unpleasant odour or amplifying key scent. This approach celebrates single-note aromas such as lavender (for relaxation), pine (for stress release), cinnamon (for concentration) and many more. A selection between these is based on the designated function of this accompaniment.

The described approach can be illustrated on an example where scent of the product relates back to the main ingredient from which it was made. This can be further complemented by paper made out of coffee husks, citrus peels, grape skins, lavender petals etc. Such extraordinarily holistic relationship of elements that make up your product can be further magnified by adding aromas of coca beans, coffee, lavender or orange to the outer packaging. You can find a visual representation of this idea in the header image of this article, where functional scenting of packaging with lavender amplifies the product.

Inversely, branded approach places aroma at the foreground. It is about using tools of custom olfactory production to develop scents that are exclusive to a certain brand or branded product. This method often promotes sophisticated complexity of olfactive communication as it seeks to enhance consistency of recognition, improve brand experience, and establish unique relationship with the end-user. In order to ensure success of this methodology, signature scent should ideally be used at every customer touch point, across all channels of online and offline exposure in order to become closely associated with the brand in the mind of the customer. Allow us to take you on a journey exemplifying this use of scent.

Close your eyes and imagine standing in front of the wine counter trying to make an informed decision of which wine should accompany your evening. You want this product to help you relax and enjoy the beauty of golden leaves falling on your porch. To achieve the desired, you read the description of the vineyard and bouquet composition, assess colour and tactility of the label, investigate whether bottle was closed with means of a screw-on or cork. As your fingers move across the bottle, not only you establish a tactile connection with the brand, but at the same time you begin smelling a custom scent of this particular vineyard. Scented associations of nature, region and on-site tasting begin to complement your product experience as you move to the check out and travel home. With added custom scent, product experience is prolonged and more holistic.

If you would like to ideate how functional and branded approach to scent could work for your brand, or you would simply like to visit our exhibition launched during London Design Festival 17 titled “London in Seven Scents”, which was released to coincide with “Perfume” exhibition at Somerset House and “Material Monday: Series 2”, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We would love to meet you!

Inspiration: Milanese Communication designed a wine label, which was printed on paper made out of grapes. Imagine if we would complement this wine label / wine packaging with aroma of zesty grapes or custom scent of vineyards of Northern Italy.  

Above: Video introduces Favini’s Crush paper series where orange peel residue is used in paper production. We propose that this material could be further complemented by addition of scent in order to create a more sensorially holistic product and its packaging.

Inspiration: Consider scenting paper made out of coffee husks with custom scent of your coffee.

Above: Favini’s Crush made with Cherry residue could be further complemented by addition of scent in order to create a more sensorially holistic product and its packaging.