Commercial buildings are turning to the power of smell to enhance the customer or tenant experience, matching an enticing visual space to a pleasant scent. The trend is taking hold across commercial property types—office buildings, condos, apartment units and retail stores. Even as COVID-19 cases are trending down, a “clean” smell can spark feelings of comfort and security.
Research shows pleasant scents can improve people’s mood. And smells are memorable: People recall images with about 50% accuracy after three months; but they remember smells with 65% accuracy after a year, according to the Sense of Smell Institute.
“Scent is the most impactful and memorable of the senses,” says Vanessa Brunson, CPM, senior property manager with Parkway Property Investments, a Houston-based company that owns and operates office buildings throughout the Sunbelt region. “A scent component is needed if your company wants to set itself apart from other management companies.”
So, is your brand scent more woodsy or floral? Scent consultants can help you decide and craft customized notes that will leave a lasting impression.
Parkway has partnered with Prolitec, an ambient scenting firm, to add customized scents to more than a dozen of its properties over the last five years. Guests may smell a warm, woodsy undertone mixed with crisp green apple and white floral notes—an aroma researchers have linked to luxury, sophistication and warmth. When odor remediation is necessary, like in the building gyms, Parkway uses “Mandarin Zest.”
Prominence Apartments, a luxury multifamily development in Atlanta, has scent diffusers with timers to control and distribute fragrance. The development uses “Blue Wood,” a warm, woodsy scent, in the main area and “Sparkling Lime” for odor remediation in fitness rooms and trash areas.
“People today are more conscious of the air they breathe,” says Heather Lane, vice president of commercial marketing at Prolitec. “Consequently, scents are playing a growing role in the world of property management. People expect clean, they expect welcoming, they expect luxury and they expect wellness. In short, they expect a ‘scent-sational’ experience.”