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photo by: Oliver Sjöström

A room should be an experience that goes far beyond the eyes and when designing it is important to engage ALL of the senses, not just visual or physical touch. Scent actually has a big impact on the ambience of a space and specifically in commercial projects like hotels, it is just as critical as lighting, furniture and color selections.

Interestingly enough, unlike our other senses, "scent" heads directly to the important areas of the brain creating strong visceral reactions as we relate smell to feelings and memories. According to Dr. Jordan Lewis with Psychology Today, odors are analyzed by the olfactory cortex, an area of the brain that is closely connected to the regions that process emotions and form lasting memories.

An easy way to start incorporating scent into your home can be through hotel travel. You may not realize that often times your favorite hotel is marked by its signature scent used throughout the entire property- the candle lit in the lobby each night, the use of room spray on the towels and linens, the branded bathroom products, and most times a small amount of the fragrance piped through the ventilation system.

By bringing these scents home and incorporating them into your spaces, the mind instantly recalls the memories of your travels; the beautiful design, the relaxed vacation vibes, the elegant & elevated feelings.

Faena Hotel, Miami

This summer, my rooms are filled with what I have dubbed the “scent of summer”: Tierra Santa Faena, the signature scent of the Faena Hotel in Miami. Equal parts zen and exotic, it is strategically used throughout the hotel to enhance & stimulate the entire experience.

I was enveloped in its relaxing aura while in the reception area of the fabulously decorated Tierra Santa Healing House.

I was welcomed to cocktail hour in The Living Room bar with multiple candles and the clean but intriguing scent that set the mood for a chic evening ahead.

The linens and furniture had a faint spritz that seemed to be refreshed each day.

So when it was time to come home I brought these “bottled up feelings” with me.

I placed a diffuser in my entry-way, the first sensory experience I have when I come home every day. I lightly spray my linens with the room spray. And to mark the end of the work day, I light the candle to usher in the evening and create ambience. The ‘scent of summer’ takes me straight back to Miami and the relaxed days and chic nights at the Faena.


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