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Bell Conducts Research on Color Representation of Fragrances

Posted: June 9, 2009

Scientific research suggests olfactory perception or smell to be the number one sense for triggering memories. Taking a cue from these findings, Bell Flavors & Fragrances (Northbrook, Illinois) recently conducted a panel test to find out which colors are associated with which fragrances. Accordingly, a sensory panel was given 15 fragrances to smell, ranging from fruit fusion to sweet lime punch. After listing their favorites, the panelists were shown a color wheel and asked to indicate where they felt each fragrance should be placed on the color wheel.

“The results … shed light on how fragrances can not only evoke memories but also a color,” explained Dina Piersawl, fragrance applications manager at Bell. “For example, citrus-type fragrances were associated with the sunny days, summer, and picnics; therefore, the color yellow was assigned by the panelists. Watery, sheer, ozone-type fragrances gave connotations of water, rain showers, and ocean breezes; hence the color white was given. Mixed berries and sweet fruits led panelists to the color pink, whereas the combination of citrus, florals, and musk was thought to be the color blue.”

Based on this research, the perfumers at Bell have created a new line of fragrances including Berry Pretty Pink, Sunburst, Emerald Green, Purple Fusion and Off-White Elegance.