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What’s the right scent for a hotel? A memorable one

Excerpt from Hotel News Now

Feb 08, 2013 12:34 am

Skift Take

The hotel smell is something you notice only when it goes just right or has already gone very bad. Finding the right one is half science, half art.

— Samantha Shankman

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David  / Flickr

A red candle in the presidential suite in Le Meridien Hotel in Shanghai. David / Flickr


When it comes to depicting a hotel experience, our lexicon usually describes a journey primarily of sights—soothing room ambience, extravagant lobby décor and so on—with glossy, high-resolution photographs as worthy complements.

What’s often left out of the picture is the fifth spoke on the wheel: smell. Our sense of smell can at times be highly underrated for its powerful psychological effect on people’s moods, but more can be done to activate it in a positive way.

…the hospitality industry is rife with other ambient-scenting success stories, even if those victories aren’t directly quantifiable. Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas pumps coconut spice throughout its lobby, shops and casino floor—a fragrance that is striking yet subtle and evocative of the hotel’s tropical theme while masking some of the casino’s lingering cigarette pungency.

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