What the Nose Knows: The Science of Scent in Everyday Life by Avery Gilbert
Gilbert is attuned to the history of scent science, and gives outlines of how smell has been both understood and misunderstood. He covers the use and history of leveraging aroma in detail in Hollywood, Retail, Perfumery, Taste and Psychology. He also loves references to scent in literature, including Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, Hawthorne, Proust and a number of others. Along the way he gives a detailed history of scent evoking memory, and makes the case that it was not Proust that discovered the idea. Only a brief mention of Aroma Therapy. A mention of P&G's scent delivery player, Scentstories, now no longer available except through sources like eBay. Gilbert quotes some bad reviews of the device, but does not comment on why it did not succeed.
In chapter 9 'Zombies at the Mall', despite the implication in the chapter title, he does not make the case that the use of scent in retail is excessively manipulative. He mentions a company, Digiscents, he had consulted with that we also did a project with. They were attempting to digitize and transmit aroma descriptions on the web, but ultimately failed. He says that there are now a number of companies tailoring scent to the retail experience, but unfortunately gives little detail. I guess that his interesting experience there lies behind disclosure agreements. He quotes Brand Sense author Martin Lindstrom "All around the world people and companies are becoming aware of the power of scent." fMRI scanning is only very briefly mentioned with regard to how the brain reacts to scent.
Gilbert's direct (consultants) advice:
" .. Out in the real world, fitting a scent into a commercial context has always been a matter of style, taste and culture. It's what what perfumers and fragrance evaluators do for a living, and marketers are well advised to join forces with these experts. What marketers need to do is develop clear standards for success ... In short, marketers need a Nielsen rating for the nostrils... "Overall, a very good introduction to the subject. I much enjoyed the history and literature asides, though some may think he went too far in these. I only wish he had spent more space on the retail aspects of delivering smell. Does a good job of linking psych findings to practical uses. What he did say there, that it was difficult to deliver, remove, focus and interpret scent, was not news.
See also Avery Gilbert's site.
Update: See comments, and the Scent Marketing Institute.