Properties / Hotels

Scent Branding in the Hotel World

Hoteliers are using their own perfumes so that guests can take a sensory reminder home.

Mar 20, 2014 | By AFPRelaxnews

Suite at the Mandarin Oriental Paris

Just as real estate agents suggest baking cookies to make potential buyers feel at home, more and more hotels are using the same concept to fill their lobbies with signature scents developed exclusively for their brand.

In the hotel industry, the strategy is known as “scenting,” an extra-sensory marketing strategy that’s meant to attach certain smells to brands, drive loyalty, and make people feel at home.

Just as certain smells will transport people back to their childhood, hoteliers are leveraging this powerful memory-maker to connect certain fragrances to their brand.

The latest luxury hotel to develop its own scent is the Thompson Chicago, which collaborated with scentmakers 12.29 in New York to come up with its own custom scent, ‘Velvet,’ inspired by the hotel’s signature colors black and aubergine, and textures like leather and velvet.

“The vision was sinking into a worn-in leather chair in the lounge with a glass of scotch. Warm, inviting, comfortable, sexy and modern,” said sisters Dawn and Samantha Goldworm of 12.29 in an interview on the hotel blog.

Similarly, when guests walk into the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York, they’re greeted with the warmth of wood and leather scents which are bottled in $90 room sprays and $150 candles.

Over at Le Méridien, the signature olfactory logo was developed by Le Labo in New York, helmed by two French men who bottled the scent of old paper, leather, wooden shelves and an old copy of Le Petit Prince.

The connection: Le Méridien was originally founded by Air France while the author of “The Little Prince,” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, was also a pilot, pointed out a Travel + Leisure article.

The Westin’s signature scent is White Tea and the Mandarin Oriental takes inspiration from its signature Mandarin Blossom Tea.

And luxury boutique hotel Dukes St. James in London pipes the smell of the “English countryside” throughout the rooms with scents of hyacinth and bluebells.


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