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The UK’s Favourite Smells Revealed

9. april 2021

Have you considered VELO nicotine pouches? They aren’t tobacco pouches, but a tobacco-free* alternative and an easy way for existing adult smokers and nicotine users to consume nicotine on the go.

When transitioning from other nicotine products to nicotine pouches, many people tend to stick to flavours they’re familiar with – like Polar Mint – as the flavour is similar to that of some vaping e-liquids. For those interested in trying something new, VELO offers a wide selection of flavours, including red fruit flavoured nicotine pouches like Urban Vibe or exotic fruit flavoured nicotine pouches like Tropic Breeze.

Smell, like taste, is one of the most important senses, and is one of the contributing factors when it comes to processing taste too. With such a variety of VELO pouch flavours available, we decided to find out which smells linked to VELO pouch flavours were the UK’s favourite. Then to take this data one step further, we decided to uncover the UK’s favourite smells across other areas of life, such as the outdoors and cleaning, to see which smells the UK has been missing the most during lockdown.

Using a survey, we asked 2,000 people to choose from some of the most common scents to find out which smell would come out on top, and which smell people would rather live without. We asked respondents to select up to three, five or ten smells from our pre-defined lists of smells to determine which were the most or least popular.

Respondents were also analysed by age, gender and city to look at how those characteristics can influence reactions to different scents.

The UK’s favourite smells

30% of the respondents say the smell of freshly baked bread is one of their favourite scents. That makes it more popular than the smell of sizzling bacon (21%) and even fresh flowers (19%). The smell of freshly baked bread is more popular for respondents aged 55+ (42%) compared to only 12% of 18-24-year olds surveyed who feel the same way.

Following closely behind the top spot is the smell of fresh coffee (27%). This is also the most picked choice of smells from respondents in these UK cities: Plymouth (35%), Sheffield (32%) and Leeds (31%). The third favourite scent in the UK is freshly cut grass – the first of the outdoor smells. Almost a quarter of people surveyed (24%) chose freshly mowed grass as one of their top outside smells. Interestingly, it is a greater favourite for those living in big UK cities; respondents in Brighton (35%), Liverpool (34%) and Nottingham (26%) all chose it as one of their top smells.

The best outdoor smells

This category looked at some of the most common smells associated with spending time outdoors.

The summery scent of freshly cut grass came out as the overall favourite for outdoor smells (24%). We found that the smell of freshly cut grass is a smell our survey respondents missed more than the salty scent of the seaside (19%), a smoky BBQ (9%) and the smell of rain (8%).

We also found that fresh outdoor smells, like cut grass, are more preferred by the women surveyed than the men (25% vs 22%).

The best smells linked to nicotine pouch flavours

Nicotine pouches are a convenient alternative for existing adult smokers and nicotine users, and come in a wide variety of flavours to excite your taste buds.

It’s often the case that if you like the smell of something, you’re going to like the taste of it too. So, to find the UK’s most-liked VELO nicotine pouch flavour, we looked at which smells were the most popular and linked those to VELO nicotine pouches flavours.

‘Fruity’ smells (like those associated with Tropic Breeze) were chosen as the favourite, with almost half of respondents (46%) listing this as one of their most appealing categories. Other top results included berries (40% like Ruby Berry) and menthol (29%, like Polar Mint).

The best foodie smells

As the overall favourite scent, the warm aroma of freshly baked bread (30%) was, of course, found to be the overall favourite food smell. It beat frying bacon (21%) and even a Sunday roast (16%) to the top spot amongst respondents.

Freshly baked bread beats everything else to the top of the board in most regions around the country, however, in the North East, the smell of frying bacon came out on top (27%). In Wales (28%), Yorkshire and the Humber (29%), and the East Midlands (29%), the smell of fresh coffee sits firmly as the favourite foodie smell. Greater London enjoys the scent of vanilla the most (25%), and for Northern Ireland, the smell of chocolate (38%).


The best cleaning smells

The clean, comforting smell of freshly washed clothes is the UK’s favourite cleaning scent (18%). The cities that are home to those who chose this smell as their favourite are Sheffield (30%), closely followed by Cardiff (27%) and finally, Belfast (26%).

The smell of freshly washed clothes beat relaxing scented candles (15%) and the smell of a newly deep-cleaned house (10%). It is also a more prevalent favourite with the women surveyed (27%) than with the men (16%).

Cleaning smells also emphasised generational differences. For the younger respondents (aged 25-34 year olds), shampoo is one of the most highly rated cleaning scents (11%), whereas furniture polish is a favourite for the over 55s surveyed (10%) only.


The UK’s Worst Smells

Unsurprisingly, 62% of those surveyed think that vomit is one of the worst smells of all, and the results of our analysis show that this smell is considered one of the worst by females primarily, compared to the male respondents (70% vs 54%). The smell of vomit is disliked more than sewage (59%), body odour (45%) and nappies (33%).


From food and nature to cleaning products, our favourite smells are often linked to things we enjoy and are familiar with.

Throughout all the categories we analysed, it is smells surrounding baked goods and fresh food that are the favourites. Thankfully, VELO has pouches in flavours that match some of these top choices. So you can get a taste of the UK’s favourite smells whenever you like.

Find out more about VELO and explore the wide range of VELO nicotine pouch products available to suit your taste.



  1. To find out the UK’s favourite smells, BAT conducted a survey of 2,013 adult respondents across the UK aged 18+ via Censuswide.
  2. For the purpose of the campaign results, at the start of the survey respondents were asked their age group, region, gender , and how familiar they are with nicotine product flavours and smells (from very familiar to not familiar).  
  3. For each question, respondents were asked to select up to three, five or ten smells (depending on the options), which were then analysed to determine an overall percentage of “top” and “bottom” smells.
  4. For the purpose of this campaign, the smells that had the highest percentage, are those that had more people choose it as one of their best or worst smells. Respondents were not asked to rank smells, so these percentages cannot add up to 100%

*This quality does not necessarily mean this product is less harmful than other tobacco products.

18+ only. VELO nicotine pouches contain nicotine which is addictive. For adult nicotine consumers only.

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