Can a scent really help you sell a home? – The Telegraph
Marcel Proust knew about the power of the senses to evoke happy memories. Cues in everyday life – in his case, the smell of a madeleine dipped in tea – can spark a sense of security or joy.
Retailers and hoteliers have exploited our involuntary responses to certain smells for many years, and estate agent folklore says that aromas of freshly brewed coffee or baking bread can help sell a home. But does scent really make us buy a house?
At Buxmead on The Bishops Avenue developer Harrison Varma commissioned aromatherapist Alexandra Soveral to create bespoke scents for the super high end scheme of serviced apartments, where prices start from £6.9 million.
“The quickest way to add warmth and personality to a brand new home is to use scent – smell is very related to our emotional state,” says Portuguese-born Soveral, who has also created a Highgrove scent for Prince Charles. “I used the cedars around the Buxmead site and the interior’s wood panelling as a starting point. The fresh Alpine wood smell of balsam fir evokes a sense of “welcome home”. I think of Christmas trees and happy family times. I added petitgrain [orange tree twigs] to lighten it up and in the cinema and bar areas I used aged vetiver – think tobacco and leather chairs – to add a sense of warmth and maturity.”
Scent plays a part in creating a narrative or back story to a property – something that is increasingly important in helping to sell homes in high-end new schemes.