Janice Nath started her career at Ambius, a global leader in creating enhanced commercial spaces with features like living walls and scenting solutions, more than 20 years ago. With her architecture and design background, she was also soon intrigued by scent. Research shows that three out of four people are drawn into a store by smell, and 77% of consumers said a pleasant hotel smell would have a positive impact on them, according to an International Monetary Fund report. Nath attests to this firsthand. She talked with us about how scent can affect a business and make a lasting memory—for better or worse.
First impressions are everything. When I walk into a space, I may think it’s beautiful, but with a compelling scent, it’s even more memorable. Take the smell of wood, for example. I love woodworking, and when a space has that smell, it draws me in. I love sharing my passion for fragrance, especially when I see the positive emotions that the right scent in the right space can create. I want to help create positive, happy memories—and 75% of emotions are triggered by smell.
At Ambius, we provide scent solutions to take experiences to the next level. When a guest walks into a scented hotel lobby for the first time, their sense of arrival is triggered by scent more than decor. At work? An office space with hints of citrus increases employee productivity, as citrus scents show an increase in people being alert and focused. Beyond offering a warm welcome, scent marketing can also include using scented zones, or areas that may increase time spent in a specific place. This concept uses scenting to draw patrons on a certain path—perhaps toward a spa or restaurant, for example.
When I design I consider a space’s size, colors, demographics, clientele, and what we want to achieve. Are we trying to reduce anxiety in a doctors’ office? Do we want to increase productivity in an office? Are we after the best first impression at a hotel? When I met with a hotel manager about adding plants to the lobby to improve guest experience, the hotel team knew something was lacking and assumed greenery was the solution. Their decor was stainless steel, black, red, and mascline; they were missing a scent to go with it. I asked if I could install a scent demo while we talked. Halfway through our meeting, the manager smelled the scent and agreed—they needed ambient scenting. Two years later he still raves about the difference the scent made.