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Ambient Scent is an unsung hero in the hospitality industry, and this tool is absolutely essential for enhancing your guests’ impression of your brand and property.

Considering that scent is the strongest sense tied to memory and emotion, hotels of all types and sizes can leverage Scent Marketing to improve their guest experience – and their bottom line – in a number of impactful ways:

  • Creating a more welcoming feel for guests
  • Establishing and enhancing a branded atmosphere
  • Evoking positive emotions and memories
  • Reducing anxiety among guests and staff
  • Inducing sleep and improving sleep quality
  • Creating a positive, sanitary impression
  • Promoting on-site dining and café areas

In this article, we’ll break down the importance of these benefits and explain how you can find the best ambient scent solution for your needs and budget.

#1: Creating a Welcoming Feel

The idea is to complement welcoming and friendly service with a pleasant and defined scent that represents your brand. Doing so will give guests a more positive first impression while setting the tone for an incredible experience to come. It all adds up to a more memorable experience that your guests will remember and want to repeat – which is the key to establishing brand loyalty.

#2: Establishing and Enhancing a Branded Atmosphere

Creating brand loyalty is all about connecting with your guests on a more personal level in ways that make them feel as if your brand is theirs. The quality of the service you provide will be the primary factor in establishing this connection, but what your guests see, hear and smell has the power to drive to their affinity for your brand even further.

As we explain in How to Create Lasting Guest Loyalty, Scent is just one element of a multi-sensory experience, and it should work alongside anything your guests see and hear to create an atmosphere that represents your brand values and image.

Aim for fragrances that embody the personality of your brand. Is your brand young and vibrant? Homey and relaxed? Cool and modern? A qualified Scent Marketing provider will be able to help you choose the right scents for your brand so that you can connect with your unique clientele on a more personal level.

#3: Evoking Positive Emotions, Reducing Anxiety and Inducing Sleep

As Scent Marketing Research teaches us, the olfactory nerve is what manages our sense of smell, and it’s directly linked to the part of the brain that monitors emotions. In fact, 75% of the emotions we generate on a daily basis – both positive and negative – are directly influenced by our sense of smell. As such, specific scents can induce specific behaviors and feelings. For example:

Peppermint and cinnamon can have a stimulative effect. Cinnamon can induce feelings of euphoria and happiness.

Citrus scents can uplift moods, ease anxiety and even boost productivity – which can be a real boon for your staff and guests that use your property for remote work or conferences.

Vanilla can be highly effective at reducing anxiety.

Lavender can promote a decrease in anxiety and an increase in cognitive function, as indicated by a study performed at the J. Medical Association in Thailand. It’s also great at promoting a state of restfulness and inducing sleep.

Eucalyptus-type fragrances can be very invigorating. They can also aid as a nasal decongestant, which can be an added benefit for your guests during the winter and other common allergy seasons.

When choosing scents, ask yourself, “How do I want my guests to feel when they’re at my property?” Do you want them to feel invigorated? Energized? Relaxed? At home? The provider you choose should advise when and where to deploy specific scents. As a result, you’ll be more equipped to ensure that guests feel the way you want them to during their stay.

#4: Creating a Sanitary Impression

As guests become more aware of sanitization, clean fragrances can go a long way in masking odors and providing additional peace of mind that your property is clean and pristine.

#5: Promoting On-Site Dining and Café Areas

Though your kitchen may not always be active, the aroma of freshly-baked bread, coffee or chocolate
chip cookies can help stimulate appetite (and sales). This type of scenting strategy can be very effective at encouraging guests to grab a table at your restaurant or call in for room service.


While there are a variety of scent solutions to choose from, it’s important to remember that not all scent solutions are suitable for use in hospitality. For example, home-based oil diffusers aren’t designed for commercial use, and they’ll end up being more expensive and far less effective than a commercial-grade scent diffuser.

Your best bet is to choose a professional provider that offers a variety of commercial-grade equipment, including:

  • Electronic fan-based diffusers
  • Wall-mountable oil cartridge systems
  • HVAC distribution systems, which provide even, widespread distribution

Each of these devices covers spaces of different size, from the lobby and lounge to hallways or individual conference rooms. Make sure that the vendor you partner with is experienced in serving the hospitality industry. They’ll understand the role of Scent in enhancing the guest experience, and they’ll recommend the right equipment and fragrances for your needs. They’ll also provide the most optimal placement of diffusion systems based on your unique facility.


You can further consolidate costs and mitigate risk by working with a Scent provider that also offers other solutions for your guest experience such as Music, Messaging, Digital Signage and AV Systems. Partnering with a hospitality media specialist will result in a more cohesive experience at your property and provide greater consistency across your entire footprint.

We hope that this article has provided you with a better understanding of how Scent can improve the experience for guests and staff. Contact us today to learn more about bringing Scent Marketing to your property. Our experts will take the time to understand your needs and provide the perfect solution for your property and your budget.



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