“The team at Fairmont inspired us with their vision of bringing fine perfumery under the shower with our award-winning Rose 31,” notes Penot. “It was a challenge, as you don’t expect the same thing from a shower gel or a lotion as you do from an eau de parfum. But together with Fairmont, we succeeded to create this line of amenities that adds that ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the guest experience and makes it very special.”
Even smaller boutique chains are scenting. Hotel ZaZa, which has properties in Dallas and Houston and a third in Austin under construction, turned to Dallas-based fragrance designer Niven Morgan to create a signature candle with notes of amber, sandalwood, lemon, mandarin, and bergamot. The candle burns in the lobby, elevator banks, and at the spa.
For many properties, the scent experience began with amenities and in the spa and then organically evolved to encompass rooms, linens, and lobby-cum-lounge areas. Sonoma County-based Sumbody got its start as a skin care line, producing all-natural goat’s milk, lavender, and avocado soaps, sugar scrubs, and bath salts galore. Soon enough, clients were requesting room sprays and linen sprays.
Sumbody’s clients include the Farmhouse Inn in Sonoma; The Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina; Solage Calistoga; and the Cass House Inn, which is located in the sleepy beach town of Cayucos, along California’s Central Coast. Though each property’s scent profile is unique, Sumbody CEO and founder Deborah Burnes is particular about using high-quality, natural ingredients whether they be citrus essential oils, herbs such as rosemary, or floral notes inspired by the region such as honeysuckle, which is prevalent all over Palmetto Bluff.
In Peru, the sustainable-minded chain Inkaterra uses natural and indigenous ingredients in its hotel scents and amenities such as helitrope, a shrub native to the Andes, to reinforce a sense of place. At Inkaterra La Casona, an 11-suite manor in Cusco, the signature scent is meant to be evocative of the colonial churches in Cusco; meanwhile, the company’s Machu Picchu property uses a Mountain Lemon scent throughout the property that’s typical of the cloud forest.