Danielle & Company® and Marywood University Conducting Research to Help Uncover the Magic of Scent


Danielle and Company, in collaboration with Marywood University, is conducting research to uncover the correlations between our personality and scent preferences.  A theory developed by Danielle K. Fleming, M.A., founder of Danielle and Company, spurred her to pursue a research grant to test out her hypothesis.  She hypothesized that ones personality and lifestyle characteristics can predict ones scent preferences.  If her predictions prove to be correct, a Scent Classification System will be developed as a guide for consumer scent selection.  Also a doctoral student at Marywood University, Ms. Fleming partnered with Estelle Campenni, Ph.D. a professor of psychology at Marywood to collaborate on the research through funding received by the Keystone Innovation Grant.  A $49,000 grant was awarded to Danielle and Company and Marywood through the assistance of Northeast PA Technology Institute (NPTI) and the Department of Community of Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  “The collaboration between Danielle and Company and Marywood University is one of the most exciting projects we have funded through the Keystone Innovation Grant. The Scent Preferences & Personality Correlations project shows the emergence of the creative economy with true commercial viability and the potential to revolutionize the industry,” states Robert Watts, Vice President of NPTI. Through this research, Ms. Fleming hopes to revolutionize how consumers purchase scented products.

How the Research Idea Began: Ms. Fleming believes that people are overwhelmed when they want to pick out a scent for themselves or others. With so many options on the market today, we are inundated and over-stimulated.  Once this occurs, we are dissatisfied and end up choosing our ‘old stand by’ scent or simply pick the one that is most visually appealing.  The process becomes un-personalized and disconnected.  “This is the reason why I wanted to do this research.  Scents can transport us; bringing us to a place of happiness, relaxation or elatedness.  The experience of scent is amazing and our sense of smell is so powerful yet underestimated.  Scent can be used in our everyday lives to improve how we feel and enhance our well-being simply by using a scented product that specifically speaks to you”, says Fleming.  Her desire is that the results of this research will be used as a guide to assist people in selecting scented products that will enhance their mood and well-being, simply based on who they are as a person.

Creating a New Scent Classification System: She also sees a problem with the current methods of scent classification.  In perfumery, scents are classified by their “notes” (a play off of musical notes), and to have a scent smell good, one must have a harmonious accord. There are top, middle and base notes.   These notes are then categorized into scent families, such as oriental, woody or floral. This started in the early 1900’s and was modernized as new fragrances emerged. The latest classification system, called the Fragrance Wheel, was developed by perfumer Michael Edwards in 1983, with a revision in 2008. His system does make classification easier for the perfumer, but how does it help the consumer or salesperson? Does the consumer know or even care what an “Oriental” note is, or a “Mossy Woods” note? Does a consumer care what “note” their favorite scent is?  The answer, according to Fleming is, most likely no.  Fleming believes that as individuals, we purchase a scent that evokes a certain feeling or emotion.  Whether that is happiness, calmness, feeling sexy or feeling alive, we are all looking for that personal connection and evocative experience.  That being said, there is no scent system in the marketplace that guides a person to this evocative experience solely based on their personality and lifestyle.  So Ms. Fleming is creating it.

“My experience in the beauty industry and from selling scented products for over 7 years has been that consumers will buy a product based on how a particular scent makes them feel and how pleasant it is to their olfactory senses, not on the scent ‘family’ or ‘note’ of the scent.   The problem I saw was that people would smell many scents before making a selection.  When I asked why, most people would say, ‘I am not sure what I like’.”  This research will provide consumers with a guide for scent selection based on who they are as a person.  It will point them in the direction of certain scents that correlate to their personality.  It will make the experience of selecting a scented product an enjoyable, personable and fully engaged experience.

Seeking Research Participants

Danielle and Company, in partnership with Marywood University, is seeking research participants to participate in this study.

Participants must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Not be allergic to scents, odors or fragrances
  • Be available for a 1-1.5 hours to complete the study in Scranton, PA

Participants will:

  • Be reimbursed for their time with a $20 gift of Danielle and Company organic bath and body products (soaps and body washes) and;
  • Entered into a drawing to win a $500 cash prize (2 cash prizes will be awarded)

Please contact Danielle Fleming, founder of Danielle and Company, to participate or for more information:

Danielle and Company

831 Adams Ave.

Scranton, PA 18510

(570) 207-1779