How to Make Your Airbnb Smell Like a Famous Hotel

One of the most common questions people ask when staying at a hotel is, “Why does it smell so good?” Your sense of smell plays a big role in how you interpret a space. If it smells good or fresh, you’ll likely enjoy yourself more. So, this in post we are going to dive into how to make your Airbnb smell good for every guest!

If it smells bad, you’re more apt to leave as soon as possible. The sense of smell is powerful, and hotels have been using it for years to enhance guests’ experiences and entice them to return.

If you own a rental or an Airbnb (Hosting Tips Here), or even if you just want your own humble abode to smell great, you can take cues from some of the most famous hotels locally and around the world as they’ve cornered the market on using scent to create pleasant ambiances for their guests.

Before we get down to the how and why hotels smell so good, let’s learn a little more about the sense of smell and its power over, well, just about everything.

Make your airbnb smell like a famous hotel

Your Sense of Smell Leads the Way

The sense of smell is the keenest of all the senses. You often smell something before you see it, which instantly gives you a positive or negative first impression. When you walk into a hotel and the first thing you notice is its pleasant smell, you’re instantly put at ease.

The same is true of an Airbnb, whose purpose is to make travelers feel at home during their stay. Warm, homey scents create a welcoming atmosphere that makes guests feel relaxed and at home. The power of scent is strong and using it in any type of rental to create a positive vibe is a must.

It may seem a bit weird to focus on scent, especially when the sole purpose of a hotel is simply providing a place for guests to rest their weary heads. But scent is tied to emotions, memories, and thoughts, which is why hotels use it to guide the customer experience. Guests may not even realize they’re smelling certain scents as they are often a background effect rather than an overpowering experience. Depending on the ambiance a hotel is trying to convey, scents can be warm, romantic, relaxing, or lively. So, even though you may not be consciously aware of the smells around you, they will have a powerful effect on your thoughts, emotions, and behavior.

Famous Hotel Scents

One of the first hotels to have a signature scent is Westin. Vanilla, white tea, and wood cedar make up its custom scent.

Another famous hotel that uses scent to enhance the guest experience is the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Spa in London. When guests enter the Mandarin, they are greeted with a delightful combination of floral jasmine, warm sandalwood, musky patchouli, and frangipani. Guests can buy candles to take home that features this signature scent.

W Hotels located all over the world treat guests to a relaxing vibe in their rooms by spraying their signature scent made of laurel, lemon blossoms, and green tea. Again, guests can purchase the spray to mimic the scent in their own homes.

famous hotel scents to use in your airbnb

Most hotels that use scent to enhance their guests’ experiences have signature scents that are custom-made to evoke specific emotions. Which scents are combined depends on the emotions a hotel is trying to elicit. For example, if the hotel is a spa retreat located in the middle of a wooded oasis, their signature scent may be something that combines natural scents that calm, relax, and lend to open air and solitude.

Now that we’ve learned a thing or two about scent and how hotels use it to create a specific kind of atmosphere, let’s take a look at how you can make your Airbnb or rental smell fresh.

How to Make Your Rental Smell Fresh

Adequately covering a hotel lobby, spa, fitness center, and guest rooms with a signature scent is no easy feat. It requires a large system to disperse the scent evenly throughout without overwhelming the senses. Most large hotels use a scent-delivery system that works with their HVAC to gently release scent throughout the premises.

Chances are, your rental isn’t as large as a hotel, so you won’t need such an elaborate system to make it smell good. Essential oil diffusers, candles, and other delivery systems are sufficient for creating the type of ambiance you desire by appealing to your guests’ sense of smell.

essential oils for airbnb

To further make your rental smell fresh, take the following steps.

  1. Deodorize – Basic deodorization is the first step to creating a fresh, inviting vibe in any rental. Previous guests may have left behind some unpleasant or stale odors, so this step is important. Open windows, Sprinkle baking soda on carpets, let it sit for 30 minutes, then vacuum. Lastly, use a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar to wipe down hard surfaces.
  2. Add Pleasant Scents – Once the place smells as fresh as possible on its own, you can add pleasant scents to create the kind of ambiance you desire. Natural scents are a great idea since they aren’t overpowering or gender-specific. Citrus scents are great as they help reduce stress while boosting mental clarity and happiness. Other positive scents to consider include cinnamon, cloves, rosemary, and pine.

Natural Ways to Make Your Rental Property Smell Good All the Time

There are many natural, effective, inexpensive ways to make your rental smell good all the time. Many of these require placing odor-absorbing ingredients around the house rather than covering unpleasant odors with scent. With that said, here are some great suggestions.

cleaning glove for airbnb

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are great for absorbing odors, especially in small spaces like refrigerators. Simply place a small bowl full of unused coffee grounds in the area where offending odors exist, and they’ll disappear quickly. For an added flair, add a few drops of vanilla extract to the grounds.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract gives off a strong, pleasant scent that most people enjoy. Add a couple of drops to a few lightbulbs in your rental to enjoy the pleasing scent every time you turn on the lights.


White or apple cider vinegar are very effective at getting rid of odors in your house. While they each have a strong odor themselves, this smell dissipates quickly. Whether in a bowl on the counter or used as a spray to clean, vinegar will absorb and eliminate odors, leaving behind a fresh, clean scent.

Baking Soda

Another odor-absorbing solution that leaves your rental smelling fresh is baking soda. We all know of its power to freshen and eliminate odors in the fridge. It works the same way when placed strategically around the house. Got a closet that smells a tad musty? Place a small bowl of baking soda on the shelf to get rid of the stale smell.

Cotton Balls with Essential Oils

To enhance the ambiance in your rental, place cotton balls saturated with your favorite essential oil scents in out-of-the-way locations. The cotton balls will continue to give off the scent for days or even weeks, making your rental smell great all the time.

Best Fragrances for a Guest Bedroom

The goal of most bedroom atmospheres is to relax and calm so that good rest is possible. There are many ways to induce a relaxing atmosphere in a guest room. From calming paint colors and relaxing sounds to comfortable bedding and even scent, you can transform your spare bedroom into a space your guests will love to sleep in.

The best, most calming scents for a guest bedroom are simple, light, and refreshing. These scents include:

  • Lavender
  • Bergamot
  • Chamomile
  • Vanilla
  • Citrus
  • Mint
  • Clean linen
  • Eucalyptus
  • Amber
  • Jasmine
  • Cedarwood
  • Sandalwood

Since your guest room is meant for sleeping, you’ll want to fill the room with scent in a safe way. Avoid burning candles as their open flame poses a fire hazard. Similarly, candle and wax warmers also pose a burn hazard. The ideal way to infuse your guest room with scent is by using an essential oil diffuser. These devices do not produce heat, and they often include an automatic shut-off when they become empty.

Other methods for adding scent to a bedroom include room sprays, scented pillows, fresh-cut flowers, and cleaning with fresh-scented cleaning products. Of course, these methods fade over time and will need to be reapplied to continue making the space smell good.

One of the best ways to impress guests and entice them to return to your Airbnb or rental is by making sure it smells good when they first enter. Scent is powerful, and it can make or break your business. Armed with the information above, you should be able to make your Airbnb smell like a famous hotel and keep your rental smelling good all the time.

What do you do to make your rental smell amazing?? Leave us a comment below!

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