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How Psychology Of Aromas Influences Consumer Preferences In Choosing Spirits

psychology of aromas

Olfactory sensations have a big role to play in culinary preferences. How often does it happen that we choose to avoid eating something or are attracted towards a particular dish because of the smells that waft towards us? In fact, smells are so important that many times, we are reminded about memories of food and drink because we come across a particular fragrance reminiscent of those moments. Simultaneously, just as most culinary experiences begin visually, so too eating experiences begin with how well a dish smells. Scent indeed is one of the most powerful senses in the human body and just as our food preferences are influenced by smells, so too fragrances play a big role in influencing how far we are attracted to a particular spirit.

Fragrance Perceptions

Many recent researches have indicated that there are as many as a trillion different smells in the whole world and each person perceives these scents in their unique way. Some might find certain scents appealing while others may be repelled by those exact smells. This means that every person connects with smells differently depending on their memories or experiences associated with that smell. Broadly, there are several kinds of odours including floral, woody, fruity and herbal notes and each of these is composed of layered notes.

Understanding the psychology of aromas means understanding the high, body and fixative notes in olfactory perceptions which are constantly influencing the way an individual gets attracted to a particular fragrance. Sometimes, the high notes or the smells on the uppermost layer may be appealing but as one goes deeper, the base note or fixative which helps the smell stick might become too overpowering. This is why, when choosing drinks a lot of people opt for mint-infused cocktails because the fixative note of mint remains pleasing for longer than the intense notes of cinnamon or basil.

aroma and liquor preference

Choosing Spirits

These fragrance perceptions affect mood and behaviour as well as consumption patterns. A lot of times, an individual’s fragrance preferences might influence the kind of spirits they end up buying. This is exactly like going to a store and choosing a soap or bath salts to your liking. Along with checking out what is best for your skin, you will also sniff at the salts and soap to figure out which scent feels most appealing.

The same goes with spirits too. For those people who are inclined to choose fruity aromas, one of the most sought after liquor options is a cocktail with lots of berries or fruit juices like a manhattan or a mai tai infused with citrus notes.

aromas and spirit choices

At a tasting tour, a person who favours slightly oaky or woody aromas would find an aged spirit which has an oaky note to be highly appealing like a bourbon or whisky. This indicates that those with a hankering for such rustic smells would not only buy these spirits but also end up appreciating them more. 

There is a regional component associated with this olfactory consumer preference too. Those hailing from a countryside which has lots of greenery and vineyards are often attracted to floral and fruity notes making them opt for really aromatic white wines or sparkling rosés which might remind them of beautiful memories of a time well-spent in this region. The kind of smells which are most alluring then directly influence consumer preferences because buyers end up being more attracted to those products which feature floral or fruity notes they associate with a particular memory.

Suffice to say that the psychology of scents and smells can find direct correlation with one’s spirit preferences that in turn impacts consumer choices and the popularity of certain spirits. This is most evident in the flavoured vodka trend today where many opt for pleasing aromas like vanilla and raspberry in choosing their liquor.