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Why Are Bowling Balls Scented?

Why Are Bowling Balls Scented? - bowlingview

Why are bowling balls scented? They have evolved significantly from their humble beginnings, and a fascinating development in recent years is the addition of scents.

A fascinating development in recent years is the addition of scents. The addition of scents to bowling balls may seem peculiar at first, but there are actually some practical reasons behind this unusual choice.

Manufacturers of bowling balls began adding scents in the early 2000s as a way to distinguish their products from competitors in the market. These scents are not only appealing to the senses but also serve as a unique selling point that can attract and retain customers. They come in a variety of fragrances, from cinnamon to fruity concoctions, giving bowlers an opportunity to personalize their sporting experience.

The scented bowling balls also have a practical purpose in terms of performance. The added fragrance oils can influence the viscosity of the ball’s coverstock — the material enveloping the core. This change in viscosity may affect the way the ball moves down the lane, and thus influence its performance. By choosing a particular scent, a bowler could potentially gain an advantage from the slight alterations in ball behavior, making scented bowling balls not just a novelty but a strategic choice for some players.

History of Scented Bowling Balls

Bill Chrisman and Storm Bowling Balls

Bill Chrisman, the founder of Storm Products, introduced scented bowling balls in 2000. With the vision to create a unique experience for bowlers, Chrisman added fragrance to the coverstock of Storm bowling balls.

The idea behind this innovation was to enhance the sensory experience of bowlers and differentiate Storm products in the market. The first scented Storm bowling ball was launched with the popular “Citrus Breeze” fragrance, which received a great response from the bowling community.

Evolution of Scents and Fragrances

Over the years, the range of scents and fragrances used in Storm bowling balls has evolved. Today, scented bowling balls come in an array of fragrances, such as chocolate, mint, and berry. The scents are designed to last for an extended period, typically matching the lifespan of the ball.

The addition of scents distinguishes Storm bowling balls from other brands and fosters a deeper connection between bowlers and their equipment. This connection can have a positive impact on their performance, as they are more likely to care for and maintain their balls.

As scented bowling balls gained popularity, other brands in the bowling industry have also experimented with adding fragrances to their products. However, no other brand has matched Storm’s success in this niche.

Innovations like scented bowling balls have played a significant role in shaping the history of the bowling industry. As new technologies and ideas continue to emerge, the sensory experience of playing the sport is ever-evolving, and scented bowling balls have certainly made their mark.

Why Are Bowling Balls Scented?

Aromatherapy Benefits

Scented bowling balls offer aromatherapy benefits to bowlers during gameplay. Essential oils derived from plants impart relaxing, stress-reducing properties to the scents. As bowlers handle the ball throughout the game, the fragrance helps in lowering stress levels and boosts their confidence.

Masking Unpleasant Odors

Bowling balls can sometimes emit an unpleasant odor from manufacturing processes, exposure to lane oil, or storage in confined spaces like cars or bags. Scented bowling balls help mask these odors, keeping the overall atmosphere pleasant for bowlers and those around them.

Focus and Concentration

Smell is closely linked to the memory center of the brain, which can influence a player’s focus and concentration during games. Scented balls can help bowlers maintain their focus throughout the game, especially in noisy environments or high-pressure situations such as competing in tournaments.

Creating a Unique Atmosphere

Incorporating fragrances, whether sweet, earthy, floral, or custom-made based on personal preferences, enhances the game’s overall atmosphere. The fragrances range from fruity, such as blueberry, to soothing floral scents that appeal to a variety of bowlers.

Scented balls have become increasingly popular in the market as more companies capitalize on the trend. USBC-approved scented balls not only offer performance benefits but also improve the bowling experience through aromas that cater to individual preferences. Bowlers are thus encouraged to practice proper care for their scented balls, such as cleaning them regularly and avoiding direct sunlight exposure, to prolong the life of the fragrance and protect the ball’s performance on the lanes.

Types of Scents and Fragrances

Bowling ball fragrances are designed to not only enhance the overall bowling experience but also to stimulate memory recall and increase enjoyment on the lanes. There are various types of scents to choose from, including Fruity Scents, Sweet Scents, Earthy Scents, and Custom Fragrances.

Fruity Scents

Fruity scents are quite popular among bowlers due to their refreshing and invigorating aroma.

Fruity Scents - Bowlingview

These fragrances often include:

  • Grape: A scent that combines the sweetness and tartness of a freshly picked grape.
  • Orange: Providing a zesty citrus aroma, reminiscent of a ripe, juicy orange.
  • Citrus: An uplifting scent that balances sharp citrus notes with the subtle sweetness of fruits like grapefruit, lemon, and lime.
  • Green Apple: This scent captures the essence of a crisp, tart green apple.
  • Lemonade: A delightful aroma that mimics the bright and refreshing qualities of a glass of ice-cold lemonade.

Sweet Scents

Sweet scents offer a pleasant and comforting appeal as they often remind bowlers of their favorite candies or desserts. Among the popular sweet scents are:

  • Cinnamon: The warm and spicy aroma of cinnamon instantly creates a cozy atmosphere on the lanes.
  • Chocolate: An all-time classic scent, this rich and indulgent fragrance evokes memories of decadent treats.
  • Banana: The creamy, sweet smell of ripe banana conjures up thoughts of banana splits and other nostalgic desserts.
  • Cherry: With its bold and sweet aroma, cherry is a pleasant reminder of succulent fruits and delightful confections.

Earthy Scents

Earthy scents tend to provide grounding and calming effects. Bowlers can enjoy these down-to-earth fragrances, including:

  • Root-beer Float: A playful yet earthy scent that expertly blends the caramel tones of root beer with a creamy, vanilla-esque aroma.

Custom Fragrances

Bowling ball manufacturers also offer personalized and unique fragrance options that cater to individual preferences. Custom fragrances allow bowlers to tailor their bowling ball’s scent to reflect their personality or evoke specific memories.


This level of customization helps create a more enjoyable connection between the bowler and their equipment.

Materials and Manufacturing Process

Coverstock Materials

Bowling balls are primarily made up of four different types of coverstock materials: rubber, plastic, urethane, and reactive resin. Each material has unique properties that influence the ball’s performance.

  • Rubber: The original material used for bowling balls, rubber provides a consistent and smooth rolling motion on the lane. It is less commonly used today due to advancements in other materials.
  • Plastic: Plastic or polyester is the most basic coverstock used in bowling balls. It provides minimal hook potential and is ideal for straight shots, making it popular for beginner bowlers.
  • Urethane: Urethane coverstocks offer more hook potential than plastic, yet less than reactive resin. It is preferred by bowlers who desire more control over their ball’s motion.
  • Reactive Resin: This high-performance coverstock, enriched with reactive particles, enhances the ball’s hook potential and lane reaction. Advanced bowlers favor these balls for their dynamic performance.

Scenting Techniques and Processes

The addition of scents to bowling balls is a recent development in the industry. Manufacturers infuse the coverstock material with scented oils during the production process to enhance the bowling experience. The integration of scents typically involves the following steps:

  1. Selection of Fragrance: Manufacturers choose specific fragrances for their bowling balls, often thematic or seasonal.
  2. Infusion Process: A mixture of the chosen fragrant oil and the coverstock material, usually urethane or reactive resin, is prepared.
  3. Curing: The scented coverstock is allowed to cure or harden, ensuring the scent is embedded within the material.
  4. Quality Control: Each scented bowling ball undergoes quality control to ensure the fragrance remains effective and enjoyable for the bowler.

Scented bowling balls have gained popularity among players for their unique appeal and sensory experience, adding a new dimension to the game. The integration of scents does not affect the performance or durability of the bowling ball.

Performance and Gameplay Aspects

Scent Impact on Ball Performance

The addition of scents to bowling balls offers unique performance benefits. Scent can serve as a hook, helping to make the ball more appealing to bowlers. The presence of pleasant odors in bowling balls can also create a more enjoyable experience when gripping the ball and placing fingers in the finger holes. This improved grip can lead to better control and accuracy during play.

One example of a scented bowling ball is the Brunswick line of products, which include various scents added to their balls. These scents may have the intended effect of masking unpleasant smells that can accumulate in bowling alleys and on the equipment over time. By including scents in the balls, it becomes part of the overall performance and gameplay experience.

Player Performance and Confidence

A player’s confidence and mental focus play a crucial role in their overall performance. The added scents may boost a player’s confidence by making them feel more comfortable with the ball and its grip. This increased confidence can lead to a more consistent release and improved accuracy when bowling.

Notably, the ball’s physical attributes, like weight or size, remain unchanged with the addition of scents. However, the psychological effect of a pleasant scent may lead to subtle improvements in a player’s performance.

In conclusion, scented bowling balls have gained popularity for their potential benefits on both ball performance and player confidence. While the primary function of these scents is to enhance the overall bowling experience through pleasant odors, their subtle impact on grip and mental focus should not be overlooked.

Maintenance and Care

Cleaning Scented Bowling Balls

Regular maintenance preserves the quality and performance of scented bowling balls. Bowling alleys apply oil to the lanes to preserve and maintain their surface. This oil, along with dirt and debris, can accumulate on the surface of the ball, reducing control and potentially damaging the scent.

To properly clean your scented bowling ball, use a designated ball cleaner specifically designed for this purpose. Follow these tips for effective cleaning:

  1. Wipe down: After each game, use a microfiber towel to wipe off any excess oil and dirt from the ball’s surface.
  2. Deep clean: Periodically, apply the ball cleaner to thoroughly clean the surface and pores of the ball. Follow the cleaner’s instructions for best results.
  3. Avoid essential oils: Do not use essential oils or other harsh chemicals to clean your scented bowling ball, as they can damage the coverstock and potentially alter the scent.

Proper Storage

Proper storage is crucial to preserving the life of your scented bowling ball. Follow these guidelines for storing your ball:

  • Control temperature: Store your bowling ball in a climate-controlled environment to prevent damage from extreme temperature fluctuations.
  • Away from direct sunlight: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can damage the coverstock and the scent, so keep it stored in a shaded area or a dedicated bowling bag.
  • Off the ground: Keep your ball elevated on a ball rack or in a dedicated bowling ball holder to prevent uneven wear or pressure on a specific area of the ball.

You don’t have a ball rack. Learn > How to Build a Bowling Ball Rack

By following these maintenance and care tips, you can ensure that your scented bowling ball remains in optimal condition and retains its pleasant fragrance for an enjoyable bowling experience.