It’s no doubt happened to you.

You head off to a movie, Church, or an evening show of some kind and make your way to your seat.   As you settle in, you quickly notice that a person sitting nearby, or worse, right next to you is reeking of cologne, perfume, or some other strong-smelling personal care product.

As much as you want to get away from this overpowering smell, you realize with dismay that you have nowhere to go. All the other seats are filled.  Besides, it would be so rude to move!

Your hopes for an enjoyable event are dashed as the synthetic smells you are forced to inhale start to give you a nasty headache or worse, breathing problems.

Even if someone does not have an allergic reaction to synthetic aromas, the assault on one’s nostrils is still avoided by many who seek to limit chemical exposures of all kinds.  I myself avoid going near Subway or the bakery of a Walmart, for example, as the fake food aromas wafting forth from the chemical infused bread, cakes and cookies that are baking are absolutely nauseating.

Chemical sensitivity to fragrances used by retailers is fairly common.

Chemical Fragrances to be Used in Food Packaging

Avoiding synthetic smells is about to get a whole lot trickier.

More chemical smells are on the way harnessed via an “invisible technology” which food and beverage companies hope will tantalize your nostrils as you shop, enticing you to buy, buy, BUY!

Steven Landau, Chief Technological Officer for ScentSational Technologies said:

“… the sense of smell has been the most neglected sense in brand marketing strategies. Of the five senses, smell is the most powerful in driving consumer preference, conjuring up memories and creating purchase intent.  As a result, our customers [food and beverage companies] have been asking for a low cost technology to deliver aroma from the shelf.”

The fake food aromas are delivered to the potential consumer whenever a product is handled through a coating that adheres to the product packaging.

This patent-pending technology called “Encapscent” is applied as a microencapsulated coating (MEC) to the outside of the food or drug packaging.  The custom flavored, FDA approved “food grade” coatings are protected by microscopic cells that are ruptured when the product is touched or picked up.   The scent can be released over and over again as millions of these cells are applied to each and every package.

Mr. Landau insists the coating is in compliance with food packaging regulations and is safe for use with beverage, food and pharmaceutical packaging as it does not come into contact with the food or drug itself.

What about a child riding in a grocery cart who picks up a box of cookies, sniffs the box and then sucks his thumb?

Bet that hasn’t been tested, has it?  No worries.  By the time the general public figures out the likely health hazards from these deliciously aromatic yet completely synthetic coatings, all the people involved in the development of this “invisible technology” will most likely be long gone and relaxing in Dubai, courtesy of a very lucrative and ScentSational IPO.

So now our children are to be guinea pigs not only for the artificial ingredients inside the package but also the artificial flavors engineered for release into the air and no doubt onto your hands via the outside of the package?

It seems that taking your child shopping will be getting a whole lot more dangerous.  Looks like it won’t just be the folks in the deli section who are wearing latex gloves.

And, as the lady in the picture is demonstrating, a surgical mask would probably be a good idea too.


ScentSational packaging coating delivers food or drink aroma

Caustic Commentary, Spring 2012