My research on fragrance and social behavior is concerned with how people use fragrances to create social images and to play social roles. As a social psychologist, I am well aware that people employ a wide variety of strategies and tactics, some subtle and others not-so-subtle, to control the images they convey to others. With the support of the Fragrance Research Fund, we are looking at the role that people’s choices of fragrances (that is, their perfumes, their colognes, their after-shaves) play in the fashioning of images.
We want to know what people’s motivations are for using fragrance products. Do people choose scents on the basis of the images they can project by using these products, images that they may learn about from advertising campaigns for particular products? Or, do they choose their scents on the basis of their personal preferences, choosing the fragrance that pleases them independently of the image that it may convey?
Survey on the Role of Fragrance
To answer these questions, we have conducted a major survey of attitudes, behaviors, and motivations relevant to the role of fragrance in the lives of several hundred college students (who are at a critical development period in which so many of their habits as consumers are being formed).