How Hotels Entice Their Guests Through The Power of Perfume

How Hotels Entice Their Guests Through The Power of Perfume

Luxury hotels and resorts around the world are collaborating with scent branding agencies to craft unique fragrances.

Kristen Nozell
  • 25 march 2014

An emerging trend in high-end hotels around the world is upping the ante for hotel branding through signature scents. Scent marketing, a topic that PSFK been covering for the last few months, has become an important tool in the world of retail, fashion shows, and destination experiences such as theme park rides and even sports arenas, and is increasingly infiltrating the hospitality industry. These exclusive hotels and resorts are working with perfumeries and scent branding agencies to create unique olfactory experiences to influence a guest’s perception of the establishment.

One example of the scenting trend is Thompson Hotels, which infuses rooms and open spaces with its custom-designed scent, ‘Velvet.’ The fragrance was created by New York scent branding agency 12.29, and is based on the materiality of velvet and leather. According to 12.29, the scent ‘conveys the deepness of aubergine with hints of black leather, fresh tobacco, smoky cedarwood and deep patchouli.’ The complex perfume is designed to portray ‘the aesthetic of casual luxury,’ effectively transforming the Thompson Hotels brand into a multi-sensory experience.


12.29 was also the scent designer behind the Quin Hotel‘s signature scent, ‘Heritage’, which is crisp, bright and elegant thanks to ‘notes of clean linens, earthy vetyver, fresh pepper, juicy cassis and smoky cashmeran.’

Just as any branding endeavor will work cohesively with the entire brand identity, the uniquely crafted scents that entice hotel guests are built on a strategic foundation. The Refinery Hotel in midtown New York, for example, relies on a stress-relieving lemongrass and jasmine fragrance, crafted by scent agency Scent Air, to sooth weary travelers. And Starwood Hotels uses different fragrances in each hotel chain, depending on the strategic objective. Le Meridien conveys a comforting, homey vibe with its fragrance LM01, concocted by Le Labo and reminiscent of a well-loved leather book. The Westin Hotels, on the other hand, promotes guests’ well-being with a soothing White Tea scent, which has become so popular that patrons can purchase a signature White Tea Scent System to bring the Westin fragrance into their own homes.

Other hotels also sell their custom scents as bottled fragrances and candles, so that guests can bring the olfactory experience back home with them. Not only is it a smart extension of hotels’ product lines, but brand loyalty is also increased by allowing patrons to develop an emotional connection to the hotel’s scent.

12.29 / ScentAir / Le Labo
Sources: Condé Nast Traveler, Luxuo
Image: Thompson Hotels

+Brand Development
+consumer goods
+Customer retention
+fashion / apparel
+Quin Hotel
+Refinery Hotel
+Starwood Hotels
+Thompson Hotels

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