How to differentiate a SPA emotionally and memorably with scent?

Scent Company was commissioned by one of the most prestigious hotels in Milan, the Four Seasons Hotel to manage the olfactory branding project for the hotel and its internal SPA.

For those who love luxury hotels, the Four Seasons Hotel Milano is not just a place to stay but a final destination within a destination where to find elegance, prestigious furnishings, relax and the latest developments in hospitality and interiors.

Which are the latest developments in SPAs?

Creativity and Emotions are key elements.

It is important the recovery of a narrative value for objects inside the SPA and the focus on multi-sensory experiences in order to create an emotional atmosphere in a space which is comparable to a collector’s treasure chest, like an X-ray of the soul.

The SPA remains a place where one takes care of oneself, and recovers the balance between body, mind and soul. And in particular, it is a lot about emotion, and so is scent. 

The tailored scent of the Four Seasons Hotel Milano SPA

By entering into the SPA of Four Seasons Hotel Milano, an intense, sumptuous and Parisian signature scent welcomes you. It is a precious oriental-amber accord, which fully expresses the luxurious and cosmopolitan flavour of the whole hotel.

The fragrance is an invisible embrace that accompanies guests during the entire stay in the hotel and the SPA, thanks to the professional high-tech scent diffusers hidden in the ventilation system.


Which is the process and considerations for developing an olfactory branding project like the one of the Four Seasons Hotel Milano?

Let’s read the article about scent branding or scent marketing published the 11th of April 2018 by the Harward Business Review“Inside the invisible but influential World of Scent Branding”.

Fully understand your entity’s brand DNA. Just as in visual or audio branding, the signature scent needs to convey and support the brand foundation. For this process, you will need to define your unique promise, brand personality, tone of voice, values, and the overall emotions that you’d like associated with your brand experience. Put these thoughts into a cohesive brand statement that can guide you through the next steps.

Translate your statement into a scent. Work with a scent branding strategist and a perfumer trained in ambient aroma development to create your signature scent. As in audio branding, where a marketer should avoid going directly to a musician but rather work with a strategic agency that understands the use of sound as a branding avenue, marketers should rarely go directly to a perfumer. Instead, marketers should work through a scent branding firm, as signature scent development and diffusion is an art and a science. You need the combination of a scent strategist’s skill to interpret a brand through the olfactory lens and the creativity of a specialized perfumer to create the right composition.

During this process, which is different from that of traditional fragrance creation, scents are selected to represent emotional triggers. The feeling of cleanliness and order can be transmitted, for example, through green citrus, or a sense of dynamism and energy through spicy olfactory notes

Run some tests.

Decide your points for diffusion. Look back at the statement you want to convey about your brand’s values and personality and the overall experience you want to create, and answer a few questions: Do you want the scent to act as a form of greeting, so it’s centered on main entrances? Would you like a scent that envelops your entire space or only highly trafficked areas? Would you like your scent to be at play around the clock or only during certain hours? Are you looking for scent to act as a backdrop or a more obvious and identifiable statement? Once you have your answers, you can determine the ideal location for the diffuser to suit your needs and calibrate the on/off timer and velocity units.

The results of developing and diffusing a signature scent can be increased brand loyalty, product confidence, sales volume, price/value perception, and more. Your scent might even create an opportunity for productization, giving you an additional revenue source. For example, the three 1 Hotels have shipped more than 20,000 candles infused with its signature scent, and are now expanding its offering to include two additional candle sizes and a room spray.


In an age where it’s becoming more and more difficult to stand out in a crowded market, you must differentiate your brand emotionally and memorably. Think about your brand in a new way by considering how scent can play a role in making a more powerful impression on your customers.


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