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Clearing the air

More and more companies are employing scents in their buildings, opening 
the door for a new revenue stream for HVAC companies, says Pete Turpel

HVAC companies go about their business of installing, repairing, and maintaining units for virtually all industries but often, their services are infrequently requested by clients.

Since their business is to provide thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality, why not enhance the customer experience and pick up some additional income at the same time using fragrances that can create formal, warm or vibrant environments for their clients?

Everyone wants to work in and visit buildings, stores, factories and other venues that smell good.

In fact, scent has been shown to improve moods, enhance performance and memory, and can cause consumers to stay longer, return more often, and even spend more.

There are hundreds of hypoallergenic fragrances from which to choose, which can be easily changed and are generally run through air conditioning units.

A programmable, micro-particle, dry distribution system allows the adjustment of scent duration and intensity to be set automatically.

This advanced diffusion technology is ideal for larger-scale environments, such as convention sites, hotels, assisted living homes, airports, restaurants, lounges, attractions, casinos, schools, arenas, theatres, exhibit halls, country clubs and just about any other type of facility.

Some companies view scenting as merely a housekeeping service, but using fragrance to build brand recognition and enhance customer experiences is an entirely new level in marketing that is proving successful in virtually any industry for any company, large or small.

Look at scent as a unique and powerful way for your HVAC customers to create a special environment for their customers, while you reap financial benefits to help supplement your business.

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts employs Welcoming Warmth, a mix of fig, jasmine, and freesia. Westin Hotel & Resorts disperses White Tea, which attempts to provide the indefinable “Zen-retreat” experience. (Despite its abstraction, the line was successful enough to inspire Westin’s 2009 line of White Tea candles.)

Marriott offers different smells for its airport, suburban and resort properties.

The Mandarin Oriental Miami sprays Meeting Sense in conference rooms in an effort, it claims, to enhance productivity. In the mornings, the scent combines orange blossom and “tangy effervescent zest”.

Scent branding is becoming just as prevalent in retail.

Researchers believe that ambient scenting allows consumers to make a deeper brand connection and data has led many other non-scent-related companies to join the fray.

Recently, a fragrance designed for Samsung’s stores by Gaurin has been cited throughout the industry as a milestone in scent as design.

He claims the research, which IFF declined to provide on account of contractual agreements, showed that not only did customers under the subtle influence of his creation spend an average of 20 to 30 per cent more time mingling among the electronics, but they also identified the scent – and by extension, the brand – with characteristics such as innovation and excellence.

Although independent research remains scant, the number of companies testing the waters is indicative of a broadening phenomenon.

Perfumer Coty’s upcoming release of a new Guess fragrance, which will also be used for in-store “spot scenting”, is intuitive enough.

But Credit Suisse, De Beers and Sony have all been experimenting with ambient scenting in their retail spaces, too. This month US grocery store Bloom made history by erecting the first-ever scented billboard, which sprays a charbroiled smell over a highway via a giant fan.

Allergy reactions to cosmetic, fragrance and personal care products are very rare. The frequency is considered in the magnitude of one in many million product uses according to findings reported by scientists and doctors.

Such reactions can occur with both synthetic and natural substances. In general, the concentration of any particular ingredient likely to cause a reaction in a cosmetic/fragrance product is very low and therefore minimises the chance of allergy.

All our aromas used in commercial scent diffusion comply with the highest level of safety and regulatory governance.

These aromas are purchased from world renowned flavour and fragrance houses. These fragrance suppliers are members of the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) and comply with the IFRA Code of Practice.

The IFRA Standards form the basis for the globally recognised risk management system for the safe use of fragrance ingredients and are part of the IFRA Code of Practice. This is the self-regulating system of the industry, based on risk assessments carried out by an independent expert panel.

The Expert Panel is made up of renowned independent experts from the fields such as dermatology, toxicology, pathology and environmental sciences.

Their role is to evaluate the data on a fragrance to see if it supports the current use level, to make sure that there is no risk for the consumer. In cases where the safety assessment does not support the current use, the panel instructs IFRA to issue a standard either restricting or banning a material.

Pete Turpel is president of fifthscent.com

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