vacation scents

Smells Like Vacation

Signature scents from high-end hotels can help you extend your trip even when you return home.

Smell is our most powerful sense, in terms of emotion and memory, and according to Ed Burke, Vice President of Customer Strategy at sensory branding firm ScentAir, it’s a sense hotels can leverage to cultivate happier, better feelings. “When a hotel adds a pleasant, contextual scent then we, as guests, will have a deeper, more emotionally involved and engaging experience," he says. "Whether we associate the distinct aroma with that hotel or not, we will still have an overall more positive experience in that environment.” 

The feeling of being welcome, for example, can be coaxed by a hotel’s use of  “recognizable notes,” says Burke, “like citrus varieties, vanilla bean, and subtle, recognizable floral accords.” A scent may even influence your impressions of the hotel, by doing something as simple as “adding a light, crisp grapefruit note to help create ‘pop’ in an environment that is cool, modern and funky,” he adds.

Here are several hotels who have taken the concept of a signature scent and run with it, creating candles or other take-home items for guests to prolong the sensation of vacation, long after leaving.