Much has been written and said about the range of emotions that we go through in a day. Food cravings are often linked to these emotions. But ever wondered about scent? Do we associate certain fragrances with a particular mood or time of the day?
We analyzed nearly 2000 Instagram and Twitter posts related to household scents and everyday lifestyle and ran these posts through our Culture AI models that specialize in image and textual analysis.
The conversations around scents and fragrance range from being an experience to be ‘managed’ to one with sentimental value and the ability to create a ‘mood’.
Fragrance products and brands position themselves along these lines as well: either as products to help ‘manage odor’ (that is, scents sprayed for specific purposes) or as ‘mood lifters’, sprayed to create an uplifting, pleasant atmosphere.
At the same time, conversations around fragrance also revolve around associated benefits: the ‘life-enhancing’ properties of fragrance (the ways in which the product is likely to positively impact or alter the consumer’s life) or the ‘utility’ of odor control.
Based on these scent segments, we created a 24-hour mood clock to understand the functional and emotional associations with different kinds of fragrances and the time of the day, as represented in social media posts.
24-Hour Mood Clock
Wee hours of the morning are associated with lightness, sophistication, and nostalgia.
From midnight till about 3 AM, the mood detected from image uploads on social media platforms tended towards reflection and self-exploration, with early-risers using this time to explore their creative side. The fragrance associated with this time of the day is ethereal and refreshing, such as jasmine or sea breeze.
Between 3 AM to 6 AM, the mood shifts to being cool and chic. Image uploads from this time of the day showcase aspirational freedom of sorts and the associated fragrances are citrus or floral scents with a musky note, such as rose, lemon, sandalwood, and patchouli.
Morning to noon represents optimism, energy, and excitement.
6 AM to 10 AM represents refreshment and invigoration. It’s the start of the workday for most people and uploads showcase morning views from apartments, selfies, breakfast, commute, etc. Strong, bright, and fresh fragrances such as coffee, lemongrass, and vanilla are associated with this time of the day.
10 AM to noon can be linked to empowerment and excitement, as the day picks pace and people settle into their work-routine. Warm, floral scents such as rose, rosemary, citrus, and grape are associated with this time of the day.
Afternoon time is for play, affiliation, and warmth.
The mood from 12 PM to 3 PM is of confidence and playfulness. The associated fragrances are fresh, fruity, and spicy, such as apple, cinnamon, clove, etc.
Between 3 PM to 6 PM the mood shifts to affection, warmth, and calm. Refuge is sought in the company of friends and family, and thus, the associated scents are sweet and bright, such as strawberry and candy.
Evening to midnight is for introspection, relaxation, and unwinding at the end of the day.
Images between 6 PM and 8 PM showcase scenes of drinks, relaxing by the beach, cooking dinner, etc. The associated scents are cool and relaxing — think green tea or white tea.
The final time band of the day, that is between 8 PM and midnight is dominated by reminiscing and introspecting on the deeper aspects of life. We see images of vast landscapes (mountains, cityscapes, sea), as well as the recollection of past events, such as wedding memoirs, past travels, etc. The associated fragrances are relaxing but also refreshing: such as peppermint, chamomile, and lavender.
Communicating Through Scent
Today’s consumers don’t just seek ways to neutralize bad odors, but also to bring pleasant scents into their homes — and lives.
Fragrance products like air fresheners, household sanitation products, deodorants, and perfumes catering to these needs and evolving expectations must think about the overall sensorial experience they offer — one that meets the varying emotional needs of the consumer through the course of the day!
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