Wake Up and Smell the Roses

Next time you’re staying in a hotel abroad, if you’re particularly observant, you may just notice the subtle new weapon in the hotelier’s arsenal. The power of the senses has always been crucial in how we judge everything in life; the feel of material, the flavour in meal ingredients, the collective arrangement of furniture. Chefs the world over know with any dish they prepare that for consumers judging it the first bite is always with the eye.
But one of the senses has often been neglected and has only recently being identified by canny marketers. The sense of smell is apparently a very powerful one. How often do we hear people refer to a vehicle having “new car smell”? Or how often do we walk past a bakery or café and feel the smell of freshly-baked bread or freshly-brewed coffee drawing us in?
Studies into consumer behaviour have indicated that shoppers stay longer and spend more in shops where there is a scented environment. Some marketers are themselves paying through the nose, if you will, to entice consumers through scents. In the US alone, $50 million was spent on in-store scents in 2006. This is expected to grow to $100 million by 2013.
Many hotels are considering adopting the power of smell and have developed their own hotel branded scents. Variations on ginger, pine and ‘white tea’ are just a few of fragrances currently trademarked and used by major hotel chains. As to whether this sensory initiative will spread to our fair shores, who nose?
But would it make you choose to stay in a particular hotel over another? If you stayed in a hotel and loved their fragrance would it make you more likely to stay there again? We’d really like to know what you think.
Are your olfactory senses powerful enough to affect the hotel you choose to stay in? What scent do you think would be perfect for Heritage Hotels? Feel free to add your thoughts using the feedback boxes below and we look forward to hearing from you.