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The Scent Guru Group, LLC

Innovative multi-sensory kits for smell training, memory recall, learning and speech communication


Date Established 01/2016
Founder Ruth Sutcliffe
Headquarters Greenwich, CT, USA
Health & Wellness
Press Contact Ruth Sutcliffe


The Scent Guru Group, LLC is the first company in the health and wellness industry to bring innovative multi-sensory kits to consumers, helping people with various health conditions improve their lives.

The Essential Awakenings® Smell & Memory Kits were initially developed to help stimulate the sense of smell and memory recall for seniors living with dementia. Now, these kits are helping people with anosmia due to COVID-19 or other illnesses. The Scent Guru Group teamed up with Dr. Rachel Herz to create an All-In-One Smell Training Guide that has become a sought-after element included in these kits.  In 2017, Essential Awakenings® received the InnovateHER2017 award from the Women's Business Development Council in Stamford, CT.

The Scent Guru Group, LLC believes in empowering people with disabilities and sustainable practice. They hire non-profits such as Abilis (Greenwich, CT) and Ability Beyond (Danbury, CT) to assemble and pack Mindscent® kits; an educational and communication tool for people with learning and speech communication impairments, such as autism. All Scent Guru Group kits are made with recyclable materials, and cartons printed with renewable energy. All components are sourced from and made in the USA.

Founding Story

While visiting her mother in assisted living who suffered from dementia, founder Ruth Sutcliffe was deeply affected by the solitude and absence of stimulating activities for seniors. When her mother passed away in early 2016, Ruth's goal was to use her expertise as a scent designer to create activities of distinctive prompts (such as scents of chocolate, grass, and cinnamon) so families, caregivers, and program directors could engage their loved ones in social activities that stimulate their sense of smell and memory recall. Ruth began volunteering by giving Essential Awakenings® Smell & Memory activities to senior centers and communities across the US to help with memory care. This lead to the thought that if scent can help people communicate, why not explore how it can help people with autism. With that, MindScent® was developed in 2018, in collaboration with Sutcliffe’s own daughter who has a congenital neurological disorder.


Ruth Sutcliffe


see bio

Ruth Sutcliffe graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration from Concordia College and has been a fragrance industry executive for more than 30 years. Sutcliffe was a professional fragrance developer known for her work on many iconic brands from Clairol's Herbal Essences and Coty mega-celebrity brands like Beyoncé and Celine Dion. After leaving corporate, she dedicated her talent and efforts to focus on products for wellbeing; especially to improve the lives of underserved populations like seniors living with dementia and people with speech communication impairments such as autism. The results she found: scents recall memories, memories spark conversations, and conversations lead to a social activity that is not only fun but creates a highly positive and engaging environment connecting people to one another. Realizing that a "tool kit" could help other people with various conditions communicate, Ruth tested a more comprehensive multi-sensory concept at an autism center in 2018, followed by a collaboration with speech communication therapists. In 2019, Ruth launched MindScent®.

Sutcliffe's daily affirmation during the conceptual and developmental phases for Essential Awakenings® and MindScent® were: "Humanity vs. Vanity."


C.O. Bigelow




“The smells in MindScent® added another dimension of therapy activities focusing on increasing mean length of utterance and expansion of descriptors.”

Angela DeRuvo

“Our elders living in our home have enjoyed the smell and memory kits. It has been a great way to interact with them and reminisce about what these smells mean to them. I really appreciate your time with us in May. Thanks again!”

Gretchen Houchin

I lost my sense of smell and taste when I had COVID in March (2020). Several months later, I was surprised to still not be able to smell and taste. The world seems a bit flat and uninteresting without those who senses. Luckily, I contacted Ruth and she sent me her wonderful smelling kit. The variety of scents and the easy use of the applicators motivated me to use the kit fairly regularly. A doctor explained it to me like this: When you injure your left, you do physical therapy to regain your strength and agility. This is like physical therapy for your sense of smell. Both taste and smell have improved greatly with the use of the kits but taste is definitely in the lead. I’ve got a way to go until I fully recover, but this lovely kit has speeded up the process for sure. Many thanks to Ruth and the Scent Guru Group!”

Christina Young


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