The Why Behind Hotel Scenting: Everything You Need To Know

The Why Behind Hotel Scenting: Everything You Need To Know

Have you noticed that scents have the ability to make you travel in time? For instance, every time you inhale the sweet yet tropical aroma of sunscreen, it instantly transports you to that last trip to the beach; to that place where the sun is lingering on your skin, as you’re sipping fresh coconut water as you relax through the sound of the waves. 

You may think nothing of it, but; you’ll be surprised to know that memory recollection via smells is an actual phenomenon. This effect is attributed as “smells are handled by the olfactory bulb, the structure in the front of the brain that sends information to the other areas of the body’s central command for further processing. Odors take a direct route to the limbic system, including the amygdala and the hippocampus, the regions related to emotion and memory.” ¹

Without you realizing it, you’ve just created a memory bond between a place and a smell. Hotels and businesses are aware of this; therefore, multiple companies invest a good part of their marketing budget in generating specific emotions and reactions in their guests and employees. This strategy is called scent marketing, and top-of-the-line brands such as Marriott, Westin Hotels and Resorts, Apple, amongst others, use it. Hotels achieve this through signature scents tailored to provoke certain feelings. Those who intend to stimulate a sense of vitality or energy may be inclined to use citrus smells. In contrast, hotels with a lavender scent are looking to evoke sensations of relaxation and tranquility. Hence instantly creating a direct emotional bond through smell, so every time we encounter a similar fragrance, it will take us to that specific moment in time. 


 Research conducted by Rachel Herz, one of the leading experts in the science of smells, and a neuropsychologist at Brown University, states that smells are potent triggers of memories and emotions. So taking into account the potential of scent, this is where science and emotions collide. Since the 90s’ hotels have been implementing scenting strategies to trigger memories and emotions, this has proved in the increment of client return and retention. The goal of successful scenting is to be subtly blended in the background to be delightful and not overpowering. With integrated scenting systems into their HVAC, large resorts can now aromatize their spaces, allowing large areas to be covered using high-pressure technology that spreads nanoparticles of scented oils evenly for a subtle and consistent scent. 

Driving guests to establish an emotional link to hotels through aromas is why more scenting experts team up with small and large entrepreneurs to bring all the benefits of olfactory marketing to their businesses. Whether you’re a hotel owner or an enthusiast, the science behind it is an excellent opportunity to look at how our brain works and how we experience everything around us. There’s no doubt the world of scenting is fascinating and worth researching.   

"Odors take a direct route to the limbic system, including the amygdala and the hippocampus, the regions related to emotion and memory.” ¹



So what do we suggest?

  • Very intense scenting can sometimes be unpleasant and consequently counterproductive. Considering the size of the spaces to be aromatized, it is vital. 
  • Boutique hotels and Airbnbs might take advantage of stand-alone diffusers to achieve the same goal. 
  • Be aware of how the ingredients and notes fit different environments, moods, and events.
  • If you are unsure where to start, ask for help. Experts are always a click away to solve all of your scenting needs.


    If you're eager to know more, remember our scenting experts are always willing to guide you and help you find the ideal aroma for you. Don't hesitate to contact us at we can't wait to provide you with our scenting solutions.


    1. (Walsh, C. (2020, February 27). How scent, emotion, and memory are intertwined — and exploited. Harvard Gazette. Retrieved January 31, 2022, from )
    2. Exploring the Psychological Science of Smell with Neuroscientist Rachel Herz. (2021). Johnson & Wales University.
    3. Fredericks, L. (2021, June 16). Why Do Hotels Smell So Good? Complete Hotel Scent Guide | Cvent Blog. CVENT. Retrieved January 31, 2022, from

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