Consumers will soon be able to experience the smell of toiletries, food and even car-seat leather through point-of-purchase kiosks.
German company Aerome will introduce the interactive kiosk to the UK at an industry seminar today. The kiosks contain cartridges of synthetic scent which squirts out in fine jets when activated by touchscreen sensors.
Aerome claims that it is possible to create any requested scent and the kiosks will be available next year, for the first time, on shop floors throughout Europe.
Outlets such as car showrooms, chemists and supermarkets are likely to use them.
The kiosks will also display video and audio footage on touch-activated screens. Through Philips Interactive CD, consumers can select and access information on different products while experiencing the smell.
The aroma, released within a second, evaporates almost immediately, is experienced only by the person interacting with the screen and can be repeated as often as required.
Nielsen figures show that 70 per cent of purchase decisions are taken impulsively and that smell is an important trigger in those decisions.
Supermarkets routinely filter the synthetic smell of freshly-baked bread through vents near their bakery departments.