Skift Take

Smells fishy to us.

What’s the scent of an exciting holiday in Rio? How does a day wasting away on the beach in Phuket smell? Will a Tokyo shopping spree be appeal to your nose?

Only Heathrow Airport knows.

Heathrow wants to inspire travelers to head to new and exciting locations for their holidays by appealing to their sense of smell. To do this, it has narrowed down the globe and focused on the scents of five nations (South Africa, Brazil, Japan, China and Thailand). The airport worked with Design in Scent to bottle all their local goodness and create bespoke scents for the misting globe in Terminal 2.

As Heathrow’s Chief Operating Officer, Normand Boivin explains: “We strive to offer a unique experience that delights our passengers. These specially created scents will give passengers traveling through Terminal 2 an exclusive preview of destinations that only Heathrow connects to.”

South Africa’s scent “captures the adventure of safari with notes of tribal incense, wild grass and musky animalics through the scent of Hyraceum [a petrified excrement from the Cape Hyrax harvested from rocks in South Africa].” This was, Design in Scent emphasizes, “harvested without disturbing the animals.”

Brazil’s aroma “embraces the scents of its rich rainforest fauna with a palette of coffee, tobacco and jasmine.”

Japan comes to life right before your nose “through cool, oceanic tones with a mix of seaweed and shell extracts, green tea and Ambergris [a waxy substance, solidified in the digestive systems of whales].” Design in Scent is at pains to explain that this Ambergris is synthetic. No whales (or dolphins) where harmed in the making of the scent of Japan. Japan’s aroma captures “the essence of small coastal villages so synonymous with the great Pacific Island.”

Employing China’s “mystical temple incense and subtle Osmanthus Fragrans [an exotic flower native to China],” evidently creates “an orient explosion.”

Thailand “tantalizes the taste buds with an appetizing mix of lemongrass, ginger and coconut.”

Design in Scent, and Heathrow intend the fragrance of both Thailand and China to “transport travelers to the Far East in an instant.”

Actually getting to these places might take longer.

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Photo credit: The scent-dispensing globe at Heathrow. Heathrow Airports Limited

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