If you’ve stayed at a major hotel chain or played their casino slots lately, you may have noticed things are getting a bit more aromatic these days. The latest marketing trend isn’t promotional, but a fragrant one geared towards appealing to their customer’s noses. Smells like a winning combination – if you’re not asthmatic or allergic to them.
All across the United States, thousands of hotels are infusing their property with floral scents. Were not just talking about putting a Glade plug-in by the guest room beds, but actually pumping these potpourris through the ventilation system.
Sure, we would all prefer a good smell to a bad one, but not everyone is pleased by the new ambrosial approach to welcoming guests. Based on the marketing research behind the tactic, however, chances are it won’t waft away anytime soon.
In the book ‘Mental Dominance‘, authored by Dr. Haha Lung and research specialist Chris B Prowant, it is noted that the Las Vegas Hilton saw a 50% increase in casino slots revenue after they began filtering floral scents through the gaming floor’s ventilation system.
Likewise, a 2012 study led by Eric Spangenberg, Dean of Washington State University College of Business, revealed that shoppers who had been exposed to the aroma of oranges were coerced into spending 20% more at retail outlets. His research indicated that a simple orange scent, as opposed to a “more complicated orange-basil blended with green tea”, were more effective in tempting customers to part with their money.
It’s called ‘environmental fragrancing‘, and while it’s obviously working to some degree, the millions of people who suffer from allergies and asthma don’t find it to be so appealing.
After a recent trip to Los Angeles, Sheila Haus of Boynton Beach, Florida told NBC’s KGW.com out of Portland she had to change hotels due to the heavy stench of a ‘sweet, metallic fragrance’ drifting into her room.
“It triggered an asthma attack,” she explained. Complaints to the apartment hotel’s management didn’t help either. She said her grievance was simply shrugged off by the staff, who essentially blamed her, arguing, “you didn’t pay for a fragrance-free room.”
With no health-conscious alternative, Haus said ,”we had to stay elsewhere.”
Despite the research published by WSU, more and more hotel’s and casino slots floors are pumping complicated perfumes through their vents. KGW spoke with representatives of popular hotels in the US, who exposed a few of their signature aromatic blends.
Tina Hingle, Marketing Manager for the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa, said they “convey a sense of belonging” to guests with a combination of fig, bergamot, jasmine and freesia. She atetsted the correct blend “can evoke warm memories, relax the body and calm the brain,” and “create a desirable and inviting atmosphere.”
Jeroen Quint, General Manager of Southern California’s Hotel Irvine, said “we gently pump a pleasant scent of watery green floral notes of jasmine and lily, mixed with creamy oriental floral nuances and a touch of musk, amber, sheer woods and vanilla into our public spaces.”
No one knows just how many hotels and casinos are utilizing environmental fragrancing these days, but Lior Azachi, Head of Business Development for scent provider, Bioluxal, said that all of the Holiday Inn properties around the globe – more than 1,000 in the US alone – use the exact same fragrance.
“Numerous hotels, from hotel chains to boutique hotels, are currently scenting,” said Azachi.