Bell Flavors & Fragrances decided to take the sense of smell a step further and find out what colors are associated with specific fragrances. A panel test was conducted by Dina Piersawl, fragrance applications manager for the company, to determine if a fragrance profile could make a sensory panel select a certain shade of color.
The panelists were given 15 fragrances to smell, ranging from fruit fusion to sweet lime punch. After listing their favorites, the panelists were shown a color wheel and asked to indicate where they felt each fragrance should be placed on the color wheel to the right.
According to the company, when the panelists smelled citrus-type fragrances they chose the color yellow, as citrus is often associated with sunny days, summer and picnics. When presented with watery, sheer, ozone-type fragrances, the panelists chose white, as they were reminded of water, rain showers, and ocean breezes. Pink was the color chosen when the panelists smelled mixed berries and sweet fruits whereas blue was chosen after the panelists sniffed a combination of citrus, florals and musk.
This research certainly can be used by personal care formulators when choosing complementary fragrances and pigments for their products.