Bad Smells Leave Bad Impressions

Odor control plays an important part in the jan/san product bundle, not only in restrooms but throughout the entire building. And it’s important to note that scented products used to control and eliminate malodors have dramatically changed over the past few years. 
It wasn’t that long ago that the women’s restroom was referred to as the powder room — and that’s exactly the fragrance that was used to treat odors. Today, however, cleaning and deodorizing products are following the scent trends established in the perfume industry and dictating fragrances based on gender and location. 

Fragrances fall into general categories, such as floral, citrus, spicy and earthy.  In each of these categories are a vast array of scents. With so many to choose from, what is the best-selling scent that should be recommended in the jan/san bundle? Is it lemongrass, mango, musk, lavender or something else?
While choosing an appropriate fragrance is important, jan/san suppliers agree that the No. 1 scent for commercial restrooms is clean. 

“Nothing can repel a customer faster than if the restroom doesn’t smell ‘clean’ and look ‘clean,’” says Steve Bergholtz, senior facility consultant for AmSan, Huntersville, North Carolina. “If a restroom is perceived as unclean, the entire restaurant or office building is perceived as ‘unclean’ by that patron.”
In short, bad scents are bad for business. So, how can fragrances create the impression of clean? Technically speaking, pleasant sensory experiences are connected to the brain’s limbic system. The olfactory bulb is part of the brain’s limbic system, an area closely associated with memory. Simply put by the Sense of Smell Institute: Smell has a very powerful link to memory, which in turn links to the emotional regions of the brain more directly than other senses, such as sight and touch. 
Why is it important to obtain that aura of clean? The average person visits the restroom six to eight times a day. And according to a Harris Interactive Poll, women are more sensitive to restroom issues than men. This is based on research that shows a women’s sense of smell is much stronger than a man’s sense of smell.

In addition, 94 percent of adults aged 55 and older indicated that odor contributed to their perception of a dirty restroom. In restaurants, according to the poll, unpleasant odor was the No. 2 reason that would prevent patrons from returning to the establishment despite cleanliness in other areas.

“Impressions are important and keeping restrooms odor free makes a great impression,” says Bergholtz.

Proper cleaning and scent selection will help prevent restrooms visits from becoming an offensive experience.