Stimulating appetites using the senses of sound and sight

We eat with our eyes first and sometimes we can taste with only your mind.

The original article from Getty Image here, shows how food itself is sensory and social. Immersive imagery conjures the same sensations we feel as we experience a meal firsthand.

In the videos below, note your reaction to each scene, not only is your mind stimulating your sense of taste via your sense of sight, but it is working together with your sense of touch showing the rich textures of the food and how they might feel in your mouth. My mouth watered, hope yours does too. I find it quite amazing that our individual senses can be stimulated using the other senses. You can “feel” what things are like without experiencing them.


Below, coffee brand Carte Noire taps the ambitious home chef (along with the avid eater) with a “try this at home” ad that takes viewers through the delicious, delicate process of making cream puffs. This piece also uses extreme close-ups, time-lapse, and unexpected points-of-view to showcase the science of baking. But sound is the biggest star, fooling our senses into thinking we can touch and taste the airy cream puffs since we hear the crack of the egg and the sizzle of the butter. Read more here.

ROSE by Carte Noire from ))) datafone on Vimeo.

Pinrose Surf Siren Scent Review

A while ago I wrote about Pinrose, a company that uses synesthesia to help you find your signature scent. I had a wonderful experience with their customer delight department and yesterday I received this lovely little gift from them including a personal note. The Pinrose brand voice both online and in person is soulful, open and happy. For example, instead of using the traditional perfumer lingo of top, middle and base notes they have named theirs smile, heart and soul. On each scent card they describe the multisensory experience and traits of the scent.

Based on my synesthetic quiz answers, they recommended the Merry Maker, Campfire Rebel or Treehouse Royal however the scent profile of Surf Siren appealed so much to me I thought I would start with that.

2014-09-18 17.19.26 synestheisa to help find scent

Surf Siren multisensory experience:

Smells Like…

SMILE — Lavender, Orange Oil

HEART — Basil, Petit Grain

SOUL — Neroli

Sounds Like…

As I write this, I am listening to the song they say the scent sounds like, This Must be the Place by the Talking Heads. Initially it seems like a strange song to frame the scent, however, while smelling it and perusing the Surf Siren Pinterest board, it seems appropriate – hopeful, unassuming and breezy. They have an entire playlist for this scent and it definitely feel bouncy and happy and relaxed like a beach holiday.

Sips  Like…

This scent “sips like” a French 75. The drink is a classic, slightly sweet, citrus champagne cocktail with floral and herbal notes coming from the gin; another very appropriate cross-sensory reference.

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed wearing this scent, the only complaint I had is that it was too subtle at the end of the day. Until tomorrow where I will sample one of the scents they recommended for me.


Tableware that becomes an extension of our senses?

I thought I would share this article about a South Korean designer who has harnessed the phenomenon of Synesthesia to enhance dining pleasure. Her unique tableware designs changed the way people experienced food, with less focus on etiquette and focus on the physical and sensual experience of the food. The added texture, weight and balance of these utensils make for a unexpected and fun experience. The way “people eat changed dramatically, from being “proper”, adhering to conventional table manners, to being more childlike as they clearly have fun, emitting more sounds and laughing more often.

Her “Tableware as Sensorial Stimuli” has been nominated for product awards and she is already working on her next project regarding enhancing the dining experience using sound!

Watch the full video here: Tableware as Sensorial Stimuli from Jinhyun Jeon on Vimeo.

Synesthesia cutlery

You can read more articles about her inventions and where she is headed next here: Tasting the RainbowTableware as Sensorial Stimuli.

Synesthesia Helps You Find Your Signature Scent

Pinrose Ever since I was a little girl, I had always wanted to have my own signature scent. I remember listening to my mother tell me that a scent should be truly yours, if you walk into a room (and people get close enough to take a whiff) you should make a statement all your own. Both she and I do NOT believe in stinking out a room with over-applied scent, but if a person is in your small personal bubble they should delight in your subtle scent and remember you when you go. This applies to both men and women, growing up, my father used the splash cologne on his face and anything he touched had the trail of his scent, hours later when grabbing my lunch box at school, the scent of his Tuscany cologne still lingered and I would feel comforted by the familiarity and security I associated with his scent. To this day, I adore all 3 of his scents that he used to wear.

When getting married, many people recommend wearing a unique scent that, when worn in the future, will remind you of the day.

It is more difficult than you think to find your scent. For example, my skin seems to change the scent of the perfumes so much that once on my skin most turn sickly sweet. Trial and error is the best way to find your one true scent personality, however I recently came across Pinrose a site that helps you find your scent through a synesthesia process. They have a multi-sensory quiz that you can take which leverages synesthesia to help you find your perfect scent.

They have really creative ways of “expanding your scent wardrobe” and delivering their scents. pinrose

You can choose to purchase Petal Packs which are single dose magical fragrance sachets that stay fresh as the day they were created. Their scents sound lovely, synesthesia pun intended, examples include 

  • Renegade Starlit Pretty in pink and everything else. Make an entrance with this mix of gardenia, jasmine, and freesia
  • Surf Siren – For breaking hearts and sinking ships. Dive into this breezy blend of lavender and neroli.
  • Rooftop Socialite – No better place to survey the scene than from the very top. Brighten the crowd with this fresh mix of Italian bergamot, lime, and mandarin.

I know that there are lots of people out there that take as much joy as I do when finding a scent that makes you stand a little taller and augment who you are really are so I couldn’t help myself in sharing this fun site. The only question left is am I a Ballroom Philosopher or a Moonlight Gypsy?

Which one are you?


I Prefer the Smell of Blue to Pink

What?!? The scent of blue and pink, did I read that right? Yes, when faced with a scent I prefer cooler and fresher scents to sickly sweet confectionary or fruity ones. Does this mean that I actually smell the color blue, no, but I associate it with oceans and breezes and cool crisp and clean scents.

I am sure if you had to name a scent that you associate with the color blue or green or red it would be pretty simple. Shout out the first scent that pops into your mind.

These are sense associations.

These associations can be universal or cultural or regional. However, we as humans cross reference senses all the time even when we are not aware of it.

scent of blue sensory associations

So what does this mean, and what does it have to do with you and business brand?

Understanding the subconscious associations humans make, can help you create a more memorable brand.

By utilizing the neurological phenomenon of synesthesia, you can stimulate one sense with another and trigger those associations with multiple senses.Synesthesia happens with the stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway which then leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. The more senses that you can stimulate in one experience the more memorable that experiences can be.

So instead of sending out scented, fur covered, music-playing brochures, you can leverage sensory design to stimulate the senses with associations and cross references.

Smell is the sense that is most closely associated to memory,  it is the most primal of all the senses and therefore the most powerful.

Companies leverage scent, whether you are aware of it or not, to connect with customers, and chances are you have experienced at least one of these: 10 Weird Sensory Marketing Tricks Companies Use On Us

Singapore Airlines has used its scent called Stefan Florida Waters, on its hot towels and on its flight attendants. This way the plane smells fresh when you board, and the scent is spread every time an attendant walks past. According to the airline this enhances the travelers experience of a relaxed flight. After your holiday you will want to book with them again.

I would love to fly with Singapore Airlines, sounds like their fresh airy scent is just what I enjoy. If they pay attention to details like scent, I imagine that the full experience would be way above any other airline.

So I really prefer the scent of blue, what about you?