Fragrances for hotels: this is why olfactory marketing wins over your guests

There are many stimuli that involve the guest upon his arrival at the hotel: the design, the music in the background, the materials with which he comes in contact... but there is another very important sense, which is often underestimated: smell.  


Smell is actually an essential part of the guest experience. Unlike the other senses, smell is the only sense completely developed at birth and is the one that most of all impacts at an emotional level as it is not perceived through intermediaries that transmit the sensory message, but is directly connected to the brain, specifically, to the limbic system, the part that processes emotions and memory.  


Süskind in his novel "Il Perfume" (1985), wrote that "Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions or will


Exclusive fragrances for unforgettable experiences

Perfumes enrich the guest experience and contribute to making it unforgettable, for this reason, a growing number of hotel chains and luxury hotels use exclusive fragrances to create a sensory and emotional connection with the guest. A real olfactory signature that blends with other sensory elements such as lighting, design and music; wraps guests in a unique 360​​° experience.


By bypassing rational cognitive thinking, the sense of smell touches our deepest emotional chords, which is why guests are more likely to remember what they smelled much more strongly than what they saw or heard.

Years later it is possible to remember 35% of what we have smelled, only 5% of what we have seen, 2% of what we have heard and 1% of what we have touched (Rockfeller University - New York ).


Olfactory marketing which is increasingly being used both in the hospitality world and in the retail sector, relies on the ability of perfumes to recall positive memories present in our olfactory memory and, at the same time, tries to create positive associations between the customer and the distinctive fragrance of a brand.


Photo credit: Palazzo Castri 1874 Florence


Scent Marketing Institute claims that odors are able to influence us by acting on the deepest levels of our unconscious, which is why smell becomes an important marketing tool for hotels: not only do exclusive fragrances cause a pleasant sensory experience, but they also influence purchasing behavior, persuade guests to stay in an environment longer and activate positive associations that leave a trace in their memory. Essential aspects for hospitality and business experiences.


What pushes the guest to a positive evaluation of his stay and influences his desire to repeat it, are the emotions felt during his stay, therefore perfumes and their intrinsic ability to arouse emotions have become a precious tool in the hands of management.


How to choose the right perfume for the hotel experience?

Attention must be paid to some aspects before using olfactory marketing: first of all, the choice of the fragrance must be consistent with the style and mood of the property, a sweet and fresh fragrance may not fit well with a sophisticated design hotel. Moreover, it should not be too intense or diffused in an intrusive way because even the most pleasant scent can eventually become nauseating. Finally, also the type of clientele must be considered.  


Some examples:

  • St. Regis hotels uses ambience fragrance inspired by the nineteenth-century style and floral bouquets

  • Indigo hotels offer as winter fragrances a warm scent of blueberries, spiced apples, balsamic fir and citrus

  • Holiday Inn uses a universal scent based on a blend of white and citrus tea, with subtle notes of woods, musk, herbs and perilla leaves

  • Conrad Hotels use a fragrance of white tea and thyme


Creating fragrances is a complex and delicate art, the fragrances for hotels must consider many elements of different nature such as architecture, colors and fabrics and the presence of open doors or windows - in such cases fragrances will also have to be in harmony with outside odors.



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