• Kyodo


Sony Corp. has expanded its marketing channels and taken new approaches to promoting a portable aroma diffuser launched about a year ago dubbed the “aromatic Walkman.”

Nicknamed after its iconic audio product, Sony released the Aromastic in October last year with a special structure that allows people to carry their favorite scents wherever they go and savor their aromas in a way that does not offend people nearby.

The personal portable diffuser looks like a large lipstick. Cartridges for five different scents are inserted so people can refresh themselves with the scent of their choice.

Making use of Sony’s cell analysis technologies, the diffuser can switch scents instantly and prevent them from being mixed. Rather than changing the smell of one’s entire vicinity, the device is designed to limit the olfactory effects to one’s personal space, according to the company.

Unlike burning incense, however, the diffuser does not need fire or electricity.

The Tokyo-based electronics giant initially sold the product through its own online store, but the Aromastic is now available at Tokyu’s department stores, stationery store Delfonics and Loft, a chain of miscellaneous goods stores, that mark a change in the way Sony usually sells its products, which is mainly at appliance outlets.

Sony has not revealed sales figures for the aroma diffuser but attempts to boost volume have accelerated in recent months.

In October, Sony more than halved the price of the Aromastic to ¥4,298 ($38) from ¥9,698 and doubled the duration of the aroma cartridges to two months.

Last month, it increased the number of aroma choices by collaborating with a domestic scent brand.

The diffuser’s main customers are often people whose occupations preclude them from wearing perfume, such as those in the medical and service industries, but who want to refresh themselves at work using their favorite aroma, Sony said.

The gadget was invented by Sony’s team for creating new businesses. Shuji Fujita, an engineer with the team, said he is eager to discover further needs for the aroma refresher and enhance its functions.

“I think the diffuser could prove effective in helping people who want to quit smoking or those engaged in palliative care,” said Fujita.


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