Scent scaping |

3 mins

Scent scaping

Scent is a vital element in creating a relaxing and welcoming environment for your clients, but it can be hard to know where to begin. Lollie Hancock finds out everything you need to know about scent scaping your beauty business

While scent is often thought about when it comes to products and treatments, such as aromatherapy massages, it’s important to think about the scent of your space as well.

Choosing a scent

When beginning your scenting journey, ask whether you are looking for something fresh and energising for your clients, or something that will help them to relax and wind down ahead of their treatment. Changing fragrance to suit a space, or “scent scaping” as it’s now commonly referred to, allows you to create a journey through scent as clients move through different areas of your salon or spa.

“You need to think about each space individually and what you want your customers’ journey to be,” explains Christina Salcedas, global director of education for Aromatherapy Associates. For example, Neom founder Nicola Elliot suggests, “you might want to have an energising fragrance in your reception, and a relaxation or sleep blend in your treatment rooms.”

She adds, “In aromatherapy, inhaling different scents causes your amygdala to react and set off hormonal responses in the body, so it’s important to choose blends with ingredients which react with your desired outcome.”

Salcedas recommends selecting a scent that will help your clients relax from the moment they step foot in your salon. “On arrival, you want your client to start unwinding, so ensure your aromas are warm, comforting and de-stressing,” she shares, adding that, “In the treatment rooms, if you have a diffuser, you can bespoke the scent to the massage oil you will be using.”

If you want to keep it simple with a single scent, you could have it at a different strength in different rooms, using a diffuser to customise the strength dependent on the amount of essential oil you use.

Selecting your source

With so many options, from candles and incense to essential oil diffusers and reeds, it can be hard to know what to invest in for the best scent payoff.

“There is no hard-and-fast rule – it depends on the type of room,” explains Salcedas. “If choice is limited, I would recommend a diffuser for their versatility.”

Elliot agrees, adding, “You might want to have an electric diffuser in your reception because it has the ability to scent larger spaces, and a reed diffuser in your bathrooms because there are no power sockets and it’s a smaller area.”

As for candles, they may be the right choice for within a more intimate treatment space, as Elliot explains, “Candles are lovely in all spaces but need to be attended and are best in low light, so it’s nice to have them in darker treatment rooms. However, I would avoid incense or burning anything because it can get a bit smoky, and a lot of people don’t like that.”

Using products that you also stock in your salon is a great way to get clients interested in your retail offering, as Salcedas explains, “The most important thing is that by using candles and diffusers, you can lead by example, showcasing to your clients how using essential oils in this way can quite quickly improve our moods. It’s a great way to improve retail revenue.”

Strength test

It can be hard to know when smelling a new scent for the first time if the aromas will keep their strong smell in large spaces. When it comes to formulation, Elliot believes scent is one area where making an investment is worth it.

“A lot of cheaper products have lower levels of fragrance so the scent payoff will be less,” she explains. “Typically, products don’t list the actual percentage of essential oils within the formula, but price is a good indicator,” she adds.

Team effort

When picking out a scent, remember it’s not just your clients who will be experiencing the fragrance you’ve chosen. You and your team are the ones who will be surrounded by the it, so make sure you’re all on the same page – and don’t be scared to adapt the scent to benefit them as well.

“It’s great to think about your staff, so if there is a high amount of sicknesses among your team, then using something to clear the air throughout would benefit guests and them,” says Salcedas. “Make sure all the team are aligned to the choice because they are the ones that will be in the space working, so they need to be happy with the scent.”

Elliot adds, “It’s always good to keep in mind that less is often more – you don’t want to over-fragrance.”

This article appears in June 2023

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June 2023
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