What’s That Smell? Eu de Holiday Inn

The Wall Street Journal: “What does a cheap hotel smell like? These days, it may be notes of jasmine mixed with wood and honeysuckle. Luxury hotels have scented lobbies, hallways and other public spaces with carefully crafted perfumes for several years to create a memorable brand image and stealthily calm guests as they arrive. Now budget chains are spritzing, too. Hotels have arguably never paid so much attention to how they smell, employing expert “noses” from leading perfume makers to entice travelers with just the right amount of sandalwood.”

“ScentAir, a Charlotte, N.C., company that develops and delivers scents for hotels and other industries, says its highest area of growth right now is in value hotels. Hotels say the scent has to fit the brand, and mixing the right fragrance is crucial to marketing. Experts say what we smell and hear can create lasting impressions stronger than visual cues. Just as favorite songs get attached to memories, so, too, can pleasing smells link a certain brand or place with happy thoughts.”

“A side benefit for hotels: Just about every brand now sells its scent in candles and other products for home use. Marriott says sales of all its scents, such as a room spritzer to add the lemony, seductive W smell to your own bathroom or bedroom, are up 35% compared with a year earlier. The Carlyle in New York, a Rosewood hotel, sells more than 2,500 bars of its scented soap each year at $6 a bar. The soap grew so popular, Carlyle now uses the scent in the lobby.”

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