Seven different aromas wafted from beneath the back-row seats during showings of the The New World, synchronised with the on-screen action.

Asami Osato, who watched the film at Tokyo's Louvre Marunouchi theatre, said: "This movie depicted nature a lot, so the aromas created the atmosphere of the forest and flowers shown in the movie. It was nice."

Other smells included a floral scent accompanying a love scene, while a mix of peppermint and rosemary was emitted from special machines during a sad moment in the film.

The service, unveiled on Saturday, is available for only the back 33 of the 470 seats, according to theatre official Kenjiro Beppu.

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"The movie depicted nature a lot, so the aromas created the atmosphere of the forest and flowers shown in the movie. It was nice"

Asami Osato, cinemagoer

"We sold out all of our Aroma Seats for four showings" on Saturday, he said, adding that the service would continue through May 5.

Cinemas will be able to download scent sequences for other films from the internet from NTT Communications.

The company began a similar service for homes in Japan last year. Owners of the $620 home version can download different programmes to emit smells to accompany a horoscope reading or for aromatherapy.

Owners must keep refilling the machine with fragrant liquids. NTT Communications would not disclose how many machines it has sold.