Next time you feel a little more at peace with yourself during a shopping trip, thank Enhanced Air Technologies. It’s well known that the scents of fresh flowers, brewing coffee and just-baked bread makes us feel good. Now Canadian retailers are squirting a synthetic human pheromone around shop floors. The stuff apparently makes customers feel comfortable and secure and hence more likely to buy. The pheromone was originally designed for a big Las Vegas casino. Now Vancouver-based Enhanced Air Technologies (EAT) has released its Commercaire pheromone for general use. The idea taps into some serious science. As we all know, most species of insects and animals produce pheromones naturally. The Vomeronasal Organ (VNO) within the nose detects pheromones emitted by other people and sends response signals to the hypothalamus, the brain’s centre of emotions. Different pheromones trigger different instinctive responses. EAT researchers have identified and synthesised a proprietary pheromone that instils a sense of comfort and security in humans. “The compound doesn’t cause consumers to get into a spending frenzy so much as it causes them feel more at ease in an environment and more receptive to sales messages,” says EAT director of development Nigel Malkin. Consumers also return more often to stores infused with Commercaire. “At a subconscious level, the sense of comfort and security instilled by the compound gives consumers positive memories of any environment that provides it. They’re more likely to return as a result,” says Malkin. Read more about this crazy and dangerous innovation. As you will expect, there is controversy surrounding the product and both the company and the product sites are down.