Its at this time of the year that most people start to either look forward to or yearn for a good holiday (Icelandic volcanos permitting of course!). I’m looking forward to a break next week, it’s my annual family jaunt down south – in this case it’s going to be Dorset. I haven’t been there before as we usually head towards Cornwall and occasionally Devon, so i’m really looking forward it. I just hope the predicted heatwave arrives in time otherwise we’ll be the ones sat on the beach in Poole, hoods up, eating fish n chips, shivering and teeth chattering but determined to have our chippy tea outdoors in true British spirit – ‘because it is our holidays!’
So we have been having a chat in the office about holidays, and holiday memories, and whether certain places can be remembered by a specific scent.
Both Anne-Marie and Linda have said their main olfactory memory for Tunisia and Spain is the beautifully fragranced Jasmine, and for Greece the main flower memory would be Geraniums. Name any one of the seaside resorts around the UK, and you’ll remember the smell of hot sugary doughnuts, battered fish and chips complete with salt and vinegar and the smell of the sea and the ozone as you walk along the promenade. The smell of freshly cut grass reminds Aimi of all her summer dog shows and camping trips.
Mr Chris cant smell a fragrance by the name of Seychelles without remembering his holidays in North Wales. Its a scent that reminds him of walks along by the sea with the smell of ozone in the air. For Miss Chris, its the smell of that first smattering of rain as the heavens open after a long dusty dry spell, that reminds her of her festival days – one in particular actually, Billy Idol at last years Download festival who took to the stage just as the heatwave broke.
Any beach in the world usually has a lingering aroma of coconut suncream that you just cant escape. Companies such as Thompson and First Choice have utilised this information, and as you walk into one of their stores to book your annual summer holiday you will be blasted with the scent of suntan lotion as you walk in the door. Apparently this puts you in the mood for a holiday before you’ve even picked out your brochure, and therefore gives them the edge when it comes to securing a deposit from you before you leave the store.
They aren’t the only big companies using scent to put you in a feel good holiday mood. Fred Olsen apparently rubs coconut oil into the backs of their seats to promote caribbean cruise sales. The big hotel chains cottoned on to the fact that their customers associate holidays with certain scents years ago. Chains such as the Shangri-La, Le Meridien, The Dorchester and Mandarin Oriental to name but a few, have all decided to make an impression through scent. Of course a comfortable lobby, beds and high quality service are essential, but among the more subtle cues, fragrance plays a big part. Data has shown that the subtle use of fragrance creates memories and drives loyalty to the brand.
You can even take a bottle of the signature scent home with you to remind you of your week in the sun.
Due to the global recession still being in full flow, even the budget hotels such as Travelodge and Holiday Inn have started trialling scented bedlinen in an effort to relax their guests. Aromas such as freshly mown grass, to remind you of summer, or sweet apple pie to remind you of home.
So i’ll keep all my senses on heightened alert next week to see what scent memories I can bring back from the hopefully sunny Dorset coast – unhurried mornings, restful afternoons and leisurely evenings. Let me know if there are any fragrances that particularly remind you of your holidays…….