Design & Trends

Electrolux Design DNA - Scent

"Scent is essential to the whole product experience because our senses are linked to each other,” says Electrolux designer Serena Wu. Join her on this enchanting journey into the world of Scent and discover how Electrolux is able to interact with scents to elevate the user experience.

Over the coming weeks, Serena will guide us through the world of scent and how it can be designed to enhance feelings of quality, freshness, durability and more, as part of a multisensory experience of the products we design.

Scent is one design element that you can’t just “add” to household appliances. Rather, it’s an element that gets shaped by the usage of our products. Knowing how to optimise the potential of this element takes research, engineering, and extensive testing.

Design - DNA - Scent

Studies have shown that 75% of the emotions we experience day-to-day are not generated by what we see or hear but by what we smell. “If we use scent in our product experience, it will evoke emotions and positive associations to the consumers,” says Electrolux designer Serena Wu.

Everyone’s nasal palate is unique, and it’s strongly personal and cultural. Nonetheless, the challenge for Electrolux designer Serena Wu is to shape the experiences by understanding what properties people associate with different scents. “You really need to do your homework,” she says. “It’s so subjective. What does quality smell like? Or durability, freshness, hygiene?”

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The problem is, it’s very subjective – different people will perceive different characteristics from certain smells, such as intensity level, aroma or preference. Those in turn affect the perception of the product’s qualities. For example, the perception of durability, reliability and cleanliness can be dialed up or down in the presence of certain scents.

For Electrolux, this is a challenge that can’t be shied away from. We want to use scent to tell a story – or spark an association. This can elevate the experience of our products by working in harmony with other design elements, and it can make the usage of products feel more rewarding.

To achieve the best result, our designers work with professionals to dissect scent into all its chemical components, right across the product range. When the components are balanced – with none of them overtly dominant – the team can more effectively tailor how scent is conveyed, such as eliminating undesirable odours or stimulating a positive association for that experience.

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Just think about a fridge that opens up with a fresh and inviting feel – or a dishwasher being opened, upon finishing its cycle, with the user greeted by a sense of purity and hygiene. We want to enhance the everyday experiences people have when they are using our products.

“Scent is such a powerful sense,” says Serena. “We are able to connect with our consumers on a human level.”

Follow us into the next episode of our Electrolux Design DNA Elements series where we will explore Texture.

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