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Scents of Place

Hotels are finding ways to continue the guest experience through all the senses

Travel memories come in all forms whether it’s an experience you remember as a child to a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon splurge. Hotels are wise to help travelers hold on to those memories because where you stay is often an important part of the overall experience. Capturing the senses through taste and sight have long been the territory of wise hoteliers, but lately some brands have been latching onto the other senses, too.

Most notably, hotels are exploring the world of scent. Westin was at the forefront of the concept delivering its white tea scent through diffusers in all of its hotel public spaces. The same fragrance is also found in guest room toiletries, leaving travelers with the familiarity of a pleasant hotel experience long after they check out.

But no brand has made such a strong investment as Andaz with its new collaboration with The Society of Scent, an “olfactory collective” known for crafting distinctive scents. In fact, its owners have developed fragrances for a variety of well-known brands like Givenchy, Joe Malone, and Vera Wang. Jean Claude Delville of The Society of Scent says that his scents are designed to “transport guests back,” in what he calls “a true souvenir” of the travel experience.

The Society of Scent was enlisted to create bespoke fragrances for each of the 20 Andaz hotels around the world. This isn’t a function of picking a generic smell to remind you of the brand in general, but rather carefully choosing scents that bring back memories of a particular destination.

The way Andaz is approaching the experience is different from other hotel brands; it is sending experts to each hotel to meet with onsite chefs, spa directors and concierges to see what guides the senses in each destination. This means that each property will have a fragrance that reminds guests of that specific locale.

While each property will be different, plans are in place to unveil scent reminders through various modes from elevator diffusers to candles in public spaces. Travelers will even be able to purchase products that bear the same scent for a pleasant reminder of their experience – what Andaz is calling each hotel’s “scent story.”

What do these stories mean exactly? Well, it depends on where you are. The Andaz Mayakoba’s fragrance will offer the “smokiness of ancient copal (once used by the Mayans as an energy cleanser) and the fresh scent of sabila (aloe vera, known for its regenerating powers).” These may help travelers recall the flavors of a favorite cocktail enjoyed on property or perhaps a specific menu item.

Andaz Delhi incorporates notes of mango and citrus timur pepper into its new scent while guests of the Andaz Costa Rica Papagayo will note essences of the rainforest and lemongrass in its soon-to-launch property fragrance.

Delville says it’s more than just diffusers in the lobby. His team is looking for creative ways to surprise guests and provide pleasant reminders of their stay. It could come in many forms from infusing pillows with a hotel’s fragrance to toiletries in the bath.

Andaz is looking to target all five senses in this new partnership. The hope is that people will be able to appreciate the memories of their stay long after they check out.

And that’s what we call hospitality.