Does chromatic lightness have an impact on the perceived odor of Brazilian perfumes?
This paper presents results of experiments carried out between 2013 and 2016, in which we searched for correspondences between the olfactory stimuli of perfumes and the visual stimuli of their primary packaging. In the present study, we explore a potential correlation between colors and smells. The chosen methodology consisted of analyzing colors from two different points of view: first, how companies use colors to represent smells; and second, how consumers perceive fragrances and how they correlate them to colors. We called these two approaches the ‘representation of colors’ and the ‘perception of colors.’ Our method also entailed searching online for catalogs of fragrance companies and selecting those that use colors associated with fragrance families. In order to investigate the consumer’s perception, we carried out sensorial experiments in which a group of people performed a blind analysis of four Brazilian perfumes. Quantitative and qualitative explorations were conducted. Basic statistics were used that confirmed companies’ practices. The research results concluded that consumers not only associate specific colors to fragrances, but they may associate the lightness of a color to the intensity of a fragrance. For example, participants of the experiments perceived a fragrance as softer attributing the softness to the lighter colors of the packaging. The results presented in this paper could be useful for designers and marketers because they highlight the importance of the correspondences between the senses, as well as the correlation between color and odor intensity.
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