Everyone knows that first impressions must be the best impressions. So what contributes to a facility user’s first impression of a facility? What they see, of course, and then, what they smell. Valencia Fernandes, Sub Editor, Clean India Journal takes an incisive view of the role of fragrancing in facility management.
Increasingly, fragrance is playing a crucial function in the domains of hospitality and healthcare. Housekeeping plays a major part in a guest’s perception of facility experience; when fragrancing is incorporated into SOPs, the positive impact of good housekeeping is heightened. A guest in a hotel or a patient in a medical setting can benefit from a calming, scented environment. This is why so many businesses and organisations invest time and money in choosing distinctive and pleasant fragrances for their facilities.
Fragrancing & cleaning
Fragrancing businesses frequently create scents that are then incorporated into a variety of other products. For instance, someone might develop a perfume that works well as an ingredient in various kinds of laundry detergents or air fresheners. Today, a lot of cleaning chemicals have their own scents, which make it easier for housekeeping staff to use cleaning products, since they leave behind a scent that is perceived as both clean and invigorating.
“The harsh smell of cleaning supplies can contribute to a negative facility experience. However, certain scents have the capacity to relax patients and visitors and create a more positive environment”, said Prathamesh Bhole, Sales, Barouliya Fragrancia Pvt Ltd. They also offer a better experience for housekeeping staff, and help them work with an energetic, fresh outlook.
Ingredients whose sole purpose is to affect the smell of a product do not contribute to or affect the cleaning efficacy of the product itself. However, fragrances can help mask the malodour of some basic ingredients which may otherwise cause facility users to complain. On the plus side, the smell left behind by a cleaning chemical reassures people that the area has been recently cleaned, and is thus being regularly cleaned.
Fragrances can be used to neutralise a wide range of offensive odours like cigarette smoke, waste bins and the typical ‘toilet’ smell.
A word of caution
Some fragrances are made from hundreds of individual compounds that are typically high in VOCs, which when inhaled can cause a variety of health problems, such as dizziness, nausea and trigger asthma, especially among vulnerable and sensitive groups. Some cleaning products contain higher concentrations of fragrances compared to others. FM heads should choose fragrances that minimise impact on health and the environment, either based on the eco-friendly formulation of the fragrance or due to the use of lower concentrations in the cleaning product, compared to other products used for the same purpose.
Corporate entities and those in the hospitality sector frequently seek out patent and signature fragrances; it is these sectors that will support the growth of the fragrance industry By associating themselves with a unique, rich fragrance that is common across all their properties, such clients create brand recall for themselves. The dual effect of serenity and pleasantness is replicated at every facility, regardless of location.
Brands use various marketing strategies; a consumer interacts with the scent industry on some level every time they see advertisements for hygiene goods or cleaning supplies. Customisation is the need of the hour.
Imagine a typical washroom. What do you expect? Either a nauseating smell, or no smell, if the washroom is well maintained. Now imagine that the moment you step in, you are greeted by the smell of your favourite flower instead. This leaves an indelible mark on the facility user, who automatically associates the facility with high standards and luxury.
The most common places where fragrance dispensers are found are hotels, shopping centers, hospitals, theatres, corporate offices, airport lounges and public entrances to buildings. Fragrancing solutions are recommended to be applied in places like lobbies, reception areas, restrooms, wardrobes, elevators, passageways, gyms, clubs, restaurants, bars, offices, conference rooms, meeting rooms and other high-traffic, end-user facing areas.
New and creative methods are being created to release scents into the environment. These have two functions: not only do they get rid of odours and repulsive smells from the area, but they also help create a pleasant atmosphere and have a significant impact on the people there.
“In a hotel room or other business space, the scent should always be released with gaps of an hour or two, at least two feet above the floor/carpet area and away from corners. It will be preferable if we use automatic fragrance dispensers”, says Mallesham Vaitla, Managing Director, Cleangem.
The latest ways in which fragrances are dispensed include an AC vent-based fragrance system, pocket-based gel air freshener, tin-based gel air freshener and cellulose-based air freshener. It is better to use automated dispensers in covered and air-conditioned areas, and sprayers in uncovered and open areas like corridors and wide halls, for maximum effect.