Waitrose has long been regarded as having a nose for innovation and now boasts being the first retailer to offer scratch and sniff panels with its freshly cut flowers.
UK consumers prefer to buy flowers when their petals are closed before the scent has been released. However, this new technology on the scented panels allows customers to sniff the intense aroma before they buy.
Waitrose customers say that fragrance influences their choice of flower purchase so with this in mind from Monday May 24th Waitrose branches nationwide will be offering long-stemmed bunches of Oriental Lilies with a scented label you can scratch and sniff.
Waitrose Buyer Emma Coupe comments, “Consumers demand that their flowers last longer and in recent years cultivating cut flowers with a consistent quality and long vase life has bred out the scent genes – it’s one of the side effects.
“However, we’ve worked closely with our suppliers to ensure that the long life and scent of the flower is not compromised. As the Oriental Lily hides its scent until its petals start to open it was the perfect guinea pig for the trial of scented labels.”
The Science Bit
Waitrose enlisted the help of floral fragrance expert Dr Hazel MacTavish-West and natural perfumer Dr John Heffernan to assess the fragrance of open lily flowers. This was no small feat considering a fragrance can typically contain over 100 different components, which also develop as the flower matures.
Each component of the fragrance was analysed and then recreated as a fragrance in a bottle. The team assessed these fragrances, comparing them with the real thing to provide feedback – after six attempts they had Oriental Lily fragrance in a bottle.
Getting the balance of the different components right was difficult as some have a tendency to dominate the fragrance. The final step was to encapsulate the fragrance into a print varnish, which is applied to a print
label as the final step. The varnish is unscented until you brush your finger across the page, breaking open the capsules and allowing the fragrance to escape.
Long-stem bunches of Oriental Lilies costing £9.99 will include a label on the sleeve that you can scratch and sniff – no more guess work, as you will be able to ‘put your finger on it’!