How to Smell Good

Scents and sensibility.

DNA Matching

Identify the emotional aspects of your brand that resonate with consumers, then build on those. If your brand is family-friendly, pick a corresponding scent. If it’s young and hip, your fragrance should be equally stylish.


Less Is More

Beware the Yankee Candle effect. If customers are overpowered by your scent, you have your diffuser turned up too high. The best use of a fragrance is as a peripheral note in your customer-experience offering.

The Scent of a Woman

When possible, strive for gender congruency in your fragrance. Women’s products and environments should feature smells that are pleasing to women, and smells intended for men should be appropriate, too. In areas catering to both sexes, find a smell that swings both ways.

We Are the World

Be very careful to test fragrances pegged to global brands for their international appeal. Steer clear of powerful scents that are identified with one culture or another. Instead, look for a fragrance with worldwide charm.


About the author

Linda Tischler writes about the intersection of design and business for Fast Company.