What’s That Smell? Luxury Hotels in New York Reveal What’s Seeping Through Their Vents

By Jacqueline Podewils

If you've ever walked by an Abercrombie and Fitch store and wondered how a brick building could smell so aftershave-y, this manly hint of air is the perfect example of a trending trick. Releasing fragrance through ventilation, this smelly situation is now being adapted to luxury hotels. Keying into the power of the nose, in the works are signature lobby scents to compliment familiar fragranced bath product upstairs.

Encompassing everything you are as a hotel into something you can't even see is an obvious risky challenge. Something as aloof as a smell as representation is something you can't even guarantee everyone will like. But behold the power of a familiar scent; whether good or bad, if it's recognizable it's like press.

A signature scent is about branding. It's all part of the guest's reference and memory. One is walking through the opened-for door; riding the elevator; showering with the "well appointed bath amenities." Thus adding one more sense to the affiliation would make brilliant sense.

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Long leader in this scenario is New York's Mondrian Hotel in Soho (Morgans Hotel Group). Before you can even see the blue mirrored walls, the white hydrangeas, the gold candled lanterns – you can smell the essence of this fantastically cool atmosphere. Although the commercial company providing this fragrance is unknown to public, the fragrance itself is "green tea lemongrass." Their Malin + Goetz bath counterparts smell nothing like it but if you're on the hunt to find something similar, search no more as the beauty brand "Kai" makes an almost identical smelling skincare line.

The Langham Hotel chain takes part in the flavor with scent: ginger flower – offered in the gift shop in bottles labeled "Flavors of Langham." Also unmatched to the bath product, their scents are all over the place. If scent is comparable to sound, it's like going from jazz to reggae to pop… it is not continuous or tied. In their Boston Hotel you'll find Molton Brown in their poolside shower; in their guest room – a house line branded for their in-house spa; and to the guests of their suites they offer Penhaligons, which is a brand from London, UK. (This is the same brand offered at the Upper East Side Plaza Athenee in New York.)

Yes, the Langham offers different product for different guests. It may be soap discrimination, however if you want the equal treatment simply call ahead and they'll graciously upgrade your supplies. Still confusing is why they would want to offer any of their guests something not as good as what they could. Unfortunately these flavors are not working in their favor.

The Fairmont is currently developing a lobby scent with company Le Labo. The brand providing every Fairmont hotel globally with its Rose 31 scent, this takes signature to a whole new level as it's not just one fond memory of one fine stay. Now any Fairmont across the globe will all smell the same. If you're a regular, you'll ideally know you're home away from home just by its air.

Hitting the nail on the head, Rose 31 is the perfect blend in that it clears the gender neutral concern. Both male and female approved, this rosy man tint gives off that European waft thus all can rest assured when checking in to a Fairmont, wherever you are, the product is reliable.

The Plaza Hotel being the one and only Fairmont to exclude themselves from the pack, this iconic New York landmark matches its in-room product to that of its world renowned spa.  Caudalie, located on its 4th floor, has replaced the once-used Plaza-labeled bottles with a fresh Fleur de Vigne – apparently due to popular guest request to "have what they had in the spa."

This fresh and easy aura is comparable to Molton Brown's Radiant Lili-Pili shampoo, conditioner and wash offered to hotel and tower guests of New York's Palace Hotel. Here there is no lobby aroma – entrance grants you water and champagne free of the bouquet. Great for those who want nothing to do with excessive odors, it's a soft, mellow hum of a top quality brand.

Back to work; the Peninsula Hotel is switching out their current provider of product "Ravi" – a skincare line from Napa of the Mondavi family name. With an original house blend on the go with Oscar de la Renta, this will soon be infusing your stay at their 5-stars.

Using namesake for reassurance, when fusing hotel with smell, the presence of both titles on the bottle is important. Recognizable name puts the guest at ease; it's the knowledge that it's safe to use, such as Bliss at the W or Miller Harris at the Crosby Street Hotel. It comforts the user in awareness that it's not a generic substance packaged in a fancy luxury-labeled container. (Even if there's a dog on front and situated next to an in-bathtub TV… #crosbystreethotel gets the stylex favorite!)

Announcing this fusion is best demonstrated by international hotel chain, the Oberoi. Voted the World's Best Hotel Brand by Travel + Leisure, their "Forest Essentials blended for the Oberoi" may have something to do with it. If luxury had a signature scent, this would be it. And the phrase on the packaging represents both hotel and product line successfully.

Luxury, after all, is about having something better than everyone else. Something specific, something special — something that isn't had by the mainstream crowd.  It would make sense to deserve the enjoyment through the nose; to have a product blended specifically for your luxury stay. Signature or not, a hotel's scent need be identifiable in their vents or in their products. A 5-star should be catering to all 5 senses.

Source: ForexTV

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