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On the scent of success

By Li Yingxue | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-10-12 07:59

Nuo Hotel in Beijing extended a special invitation to world-renowned master perfumer, Christophe Laudamiel, to create their brand-named fragrance. CHINA DAILY

Hotel ambiance enhanced by the fragrance of alluring smells, Li Yingxue reports.

When Li Xiaojuan, her husband, and their 7-year-old son stepped into the lobby of the Bright Qi Hotels and Resort, perched precariously on an 800-meter-high cliff, an enchanting scene unfolded.

As the glass door swung open, a delicate fragrance greeted them. The natural aroma was reminiscent of the freshly mown grass they had strolled past moments before entering, yet was imbued with a distinct, unforgettable quality.

"Every facet of this hotel is in harmony, from the fragrance to the lighting, all integrating with the outdoor ambiance," Li said. "The scent gives you a first impression of the hotel, before you even enter your room."

They had chosen to spend a night there to celebrate her son's summer vacation in August, and now, as she reminisces about their experience, that captivating fragrance still lingers vividly in her memory.

When one envisions luxury hotels, one may conjure up images of opulent decor, impeccable service, and breathtaking views. However, there's an enchanting dimension to these havens of hospitality that often escapes the spotlight — their unique and tantalizing fragrance.

These are not just pleasant aromas; they are the invisible threads that weave the fabric of luxury, adding an intangible layer of indulgence to every stay.

With the increasing demands of Chinese consumers for a higher quality of life, the use of fragrances in hotels has gained significant popularity. In 2022, the Chinese hotel fragrance industry experienced an impressive 20 percent year-on-year growth in market size according to gonyn.com, an industry consulting website.

An increasing number of hotels are embracing the concept of tailor-made fragrances, with scents featuring distinct Chinese elements like tea, wood, herbal, floral, and culinary notes, emerging as the latest trend.

The fragrance that lingers vividly in Li's memory is called "the cold pines in the forest".

A cave room at the Bright Qi Hotels and Resort in Zibo, Shandong province. CHINA DAILY

The scent boasts top notes of green leaves, aquatic undertones, and bergamot. In its heart, it reveals the harmonious blend of Siberian fir, Himalayan cedar, and delicate orange blossom. As a final flourish, its base notes enchant with the rich interplay of Oakmoss, rockrose, French cypress, and the subtle allure of musk.

According to Hu Huiling, general manager of Bright Qi Hotels and Resort, this fragrance has been specially formulated for the hotel by their team after multiple adjustments.

The hotel, located in the Tanxi Mountain Geological Park in Zibo, Shandong, opened in November and is one of the province's first so-called "wild luxury" adventure and vacation lifestyle brands.

Resembling a moon set in the mountain peaks, the entire space is built clinging to cliffs, with a circular semi-enclosed architectural facade suspended on the surface of the sheer face.

"We aim for travelers to remember a city through our hotel. We view our hotel as a cultural vessel, offering more than just accommodation; it's a way of life and a bridge that connects visitors to the surroundings," Hu explains.

The hotel, she adds, was in preparation for three years before opening. "During the design, our primary goal was to engage all five senses of our guests, and fragrance played a pivotal role," Hu explains.

They collaborated with a third-party team to craft the fragrance, and it took them two months to perfect the final formula.

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