Clubbers can smell a good nightspot

Since the smoking ban in restaurants, bars and nightclubs, customers are more aware of unpleasant smells, such as body odors and the smell of old beer, that used to be masked by cigarette smoke. Now science is looking at how the introduction of pleasant ambient scents that hide unwanted odors might enhance the nightlife experience. According to Dr. Hendrik Schifferstein from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and his colleagues, carefully selected fragrances can enhance dancing activity, improve the overall perception of the evening, and improve how nightclub goers rate the music as well as their mood. Their findings were just published online in Springer's journal Chemosensory Perception.

The authors suggest a possible solution to this issue is to install machines that distribute a pleasant scent in order to mask the unwanted odors. This might lead to improvements in the perceived quality of the environment and hence greater spending, in nightclubs in particular. Just like combinations of lights and sounds create the desired atmosphere, adding scents to the mix could lead to an enriched multisensory experience.

The researchers tested the impact of dispensing three scents suitable for a nightclub environment - relaxing orange, stimulating and neutral - in three distinct dance clubs in cities with significant student populations. They observed the level of dancing in a mixture of male and female visitors in their early twenties, and then asked 849 of them to fill out a short questionnaire asking how they liked the evening in the club (quality of the evening, the music and the club, as well as feelings).

The results showed that the introduction of scents positively influenced dancing, enjoyment, music and mood, although there were no differences in effects between the scents. More dancing activity was observed with scents than without; participants rated both the evening and the music more positively with scents than without; and they were more cheerful with scents than without.

Dr. Schifferstein concludes, "Given that visitors gave a better evaluation for the clubs, felt more cheerful, and showed more dancing activity when scents were diffused, environmental fragrancing may be expected to have a positive effect on visitor return rate and future revenue for clubs."

More information: Schifferstein HNJ et al (2011). Can ambient scent enhance the nightlife experience? Chemosensory Perception; DOI:10.1007/s12078-011-9088-2

Related Stories

Early scents really do get 'etched' in the brain

Nov 05, 2009

Common experience tells us that particular scents of childhood can leave quite an impression, for better or for worse. Now, researchers reporting the results of a brain imaging study online on November 5th ...

'Cry for help' gene identified in plants

Jan 18, 2006

A genetic mechanism that enables corn plants to "cry for help" and attract beneficial insects has been clarified by scientists from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland and the Max Planck Institute for ...

A woman's nose knows body odor

Apr 07, 2009

It may be wise to trust the female nose when it comes to body odor. According to new research from the Monell Center, it is more difficult to mask underarm odor when women are doing the smelling.

Recommended for you

Brains transform remote threats into anxiety

12 hours ago

Modern life can feel defined by low-level anxiety swirling through society. Continual reports about terrorism and war. A struggle to stay on top of family finances and hold onto jobs. An onslaught of news ...

Mental disorders due to permanent stress

13 hours ago

Activated through permanent stress, immune cells will have a damaging effect on and cause changes to the brain. This may result in mental disorders. The effects of permanent stress on the immune system are studied by the ...

Could there be a bright side to depression?

14 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—A group of researchers studying the roots of depression has developed a test that leads them closer to the idea that depression may actually be an adaptation meant to help people cope with ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.