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6 Sublime Signature Hotel Scents

KATE SPRINGER sniffs out a budding trend as more hotels in Asia design their own signature fragrances.

Published on Dec 14, 2016


IF A WHIFF OF JASMINE instantly takes you back to a special night in Phuket or slicing into an orange conjures cocktails in the Maldives, then you're already in tune with your most powerful sense. Smell is a potent tool that more hotels are tapping to ensure a memorable guest experience. Now travelers can create the same olfactory escape in their own homes. To keep the vacation going year-round, turn to all-powerful aromas to revisit those favorite travel experiences. "Smell is crucial to memory," says award-winning master perfumer Christophe Laudamiel. "You don't remember the song that was playing, but you will remember the smell." Here are a few hotels offering scents you can savor as a souvenir.



Vanguards of hotel scenting in Asia, the properties have a bouquet that's reminiscent of white flowers, sandalwood, musk, vanilla, tea and a touch of talcum powder. "It's a polished and refined fragrance that makes perfect sense for that brand," says John Paulo, chief fragrance specialist at Hong Kong-based bespoke perfumery Artisenses (perfumes from HK$499), whom we enlisted to analyze hotel perfumes. "In cities, we tend to use more heavy floral fragrances and more wood," Paulo says, "because they're sophisticated ingredients that work in a fast-paced urban environment."; room spray from Shangri-La's Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, Taipei, NT$1,280.

From left: Courtesy of Shangri-La; Courtesy of Shangri -La's Far Eastern Plaza Hotel,Taipei.



The Ritz-Carlton circulates a rich, woody "Ritz-Carlton Black Orchid" aroma through the regal corridors of all its properties. The setting of the Ritz-Carlton Macau is perfectly in sync with the aristocratic aroma. Bring a bottle back with you to visualize the soaring views from The Ritz-Carlton Bar, where you cozied up for a few romantic cocktails and a live jazz performance on your last visit.; room spray and candle will be available for purchase later year 2016.



Their signature scent is inspired by founder Caroline Astor and the VIP guests who attended her high-society balls. The regal "Caroline's Four Hundred," with notes of American Beauty roses (her favorite flower), crisp quince and cherry blossoms, will conjure the clinking of crystal flutes filled with champagne.; scented candles US$80.

St. Regis
From left: Courtesy of St. Regis; Courtesy of St. Regis Bali.



Formerly Langham Place, this stalwart property is treating guests to the fresh "Sparkling Mint" essence designed by Laudamiel. "There's complexity from the back with the wood, and on the top it's like fresh air with citrus and hidden mint," the perfumer says.; candle, room spray and reed diffuser will be available for purchase later year 2016 from the hotel.



"Location is really important," Paulo says. "If you're at the beach, you want to produce something that's relaxing and perhaps even fruity—because it's associated with cocktails and vacations." Indigo Pearl resort in Phuket sells incense sticks of its tropical magnolia champaka oil, designed by the resort's owner, for an exotic, romantic effect.; champaka candle Bt250.

Indigo Pearl
Courtesy of Indigo Pearl, Phuket (2).



Cheval Blanc's "Island Chic" fragrance, created by the brain behind Dior perfumes, is used at all of its resorts, but perhaps at none more successfully than Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives, where it is infused in everything from lotions to wooden combs. Blending with the sea breeze, hints of rose and cardamom, tea, cedar and tonka beans combine to offer an almost meditative calm. Consistency is the key to a successfully rendered aromatic ambience. "The hotels that let fragrance play a major role in the whole experience," Paulo says, "are able to create a level of sophistication and lifelong connection with travelers."; products from US$14-$40.


Some of our favorite hotels are pampering guests with the specialty soaps.

Banyan Tree
Courtesy of Banyan Tree.

+ Grand Mercure Phuket Patong Resort & Villas is now producing its own line of amenities, under the brand name Ryn, available for purchase on site and at Bangkok malls Siam Paragon, Emporium and Emquartier.; Bt790-1,550.
+ Spa specialist Banyan Tree introduced the Night Queen Collection, a line of moisturizing products that make use of the exotic namesake flower.; S$16-$29.



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Courtesy of Indigo Pearl, Phuket.
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