Sunday, November 19, 2006

It all Makes Scents to Hotels

It all makes scents to retailers and hotel chains
by Jocelyne Zablit

WASHINGTON: From the soothing aroma of mum’s apple pie to the reek of vomit or dinosaur dung, US marketers have sniffed out a new way to push their wares – fragrance.
Real estate agents are using it to sell homes, retailers are using it to entice customers, and the US military is using it for war games.

“Any place that really cares about a customer’s experience is looking into this,” said David Van Epps, chief executive officer of ScentAir, one of several firms which design aromas for retail settings or special events.

“Of all the things that influence your mood and emotion and memory, fragrance is the powerhouse, more so than any of our other senses.”

His company’s clients include Sony, the Starwood Hotels chain that owns Westin and Sheraton hotels, Bloomingdale’s department store, museums and US military contractors.
Sony sought out ScentAir last year for an aroma to woo female shoppers who may shy away from spending too much time at its electronics stores.

“We worked with them for six months and came up with a scent that has notes of mandarin origin, vanilla and cedar,” Van Epps said.

“It all blends together to create a very harmonious fragrance.”

Sony now spritzes the scent at its stores nationwide and even in its shopping bags in the hope that customers will begin identifying the smell with the brand.

Van Epps said his company had so far catalogued nearly 1,500 aromas, including “dinosaur breath and dinosaur dung”, which were created for a museum exhibit, Vomit, which was used by a theme park for a Halloween event, and “open sewers”, which is used in combat training to desensitise soldiers who may face unpleasant situations.

ScentAir has also worked with the military to create the smell of airplane fuel, burning electrical wires and gunpowder for simulation training.

Real estate companies and home builders seek out soothing and welcoming scents such as vanilla, apple pie or chocolate chip cookies to create a homey atmosphere for prospective buyers.

“It’s all about creating an experience that particular customers will remember,” Van Epps said. – AFP

News Source : STAR
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