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The colors of the smells: the influence of culture and society in the visual design of packaging of perfume

Silva, Camila Assis Peres ; Mazzilli, Clice Sanjar ;


This paper presents a discussion about the socio-cultural influences on the use of the colors in the packagings in order to represent the smell of a perfume. We have observed that, in the market practice, certain colors are associated to certain categories of perfume. We know that color is an important element to be used in communication, being able to evoke feelings and memories in people. We argue that the appropriate use of colors will allow more effective communication of a perfume. Despite the perception being an individual phenomenon, literature has shown that there is a trend to a collective perception. A trend which is influenced by socio-cultural issues. Our hypothesis is that there is a relationship between market practices and consumer with regard the association established between colors and smells. That is the point which we will discuss in this paper. To do so, we make a brief introduction to the fragrance market and the role of packaging design. Then, we carry on presenting the colors of smells according to perfumery companies in their market practices. Forward, we analyze the potential of the colors to evoke certain fragrances, based on the results of an exploratory survey done with Brazilian consumers.


Palavras-chave: design, culture, packaging, perfume, colors,


DOI: 10.5151/despro-icdhs2014-0051

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Como citar:

Silva, Camila Assis Peres; Mazzilli, Clice Sanjar; "The colors of the smells: the influence of culture and society in the visual design of packaging of perfume", p. 373-378 . In: Tradition, Transition, Tragectories: major or minor influences? [=ICDHS 2014 - 9th Conference of the International Committee for Design History and Design Studies]. São Paulo: Blucher, 2014.
ISSN 2318-6968, DOI 10.5151/despro-icdhs2014-0051

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