How Aromatherapy is Used to Trick Your Senses


Your only experience with aromatherapy might be utilizing something like lavender to help you sleep. You use a small diffuser sitting on the nightstand to diffuse the essential oil into the air. It works just fine for your purposes. But did you know that there is more to aromatherapy than helping you sleep? Did you know that many commercial spaces incorporate aromatherapy in order to enhance guest experience?

It’s true. Commercial spaces all over the country lean on aromatherapy to help create a certain environment. Sometimes they use aromatherapy to trick your senses. It’s all about encouraging thoughts and emotions that will generally result in a positive experience.

Skyscraper Trees and Gardens

Our country was devastated when the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001. From New York to Washington and Pennsylvania, the events of that day changed the national psyche. So it should be no surprise that the people behind the new World Trade Center would want to create a new experience.

They have done a remarkable job at One World Trade Center. Part of the experience there relies on aromatherapy. For example, take an elevator to the top floor of the tower and you’ll smell something you’re not supposed to smell inside a New York City skyscraper with windows that don’t open.

Instead of smelling stale air and body odor, you’ll smell a complex combination of scents that reflect the trees and gardens found in downstate New York. You will smell beech, maple, and mountain ash trees. Your nose will detect subtle fruity fragrances as well.

Some people don’t think the scent known as ‘One World’ accurately mimics what you would smell on a country road somewhere between Manhattan and Albany, but they still like it anyway. Of course, there are those who would prefer no aromatherapy in the building.

Making Memories at Disney

While World Trade Center management tries to enhance the visitor experience with its special One World aromatherapy blend, those who run Disneyland and Walt Disney World incorporate a virtual cornucopia of scents throughout their parks.

Walk down Main Street USA at either Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom and your nose will be exposed to a whole host of scents. That sweet smell you are convinced is emanating from the candy shop is not created exclusively by the products inside. There are building-mounted diffusers pushing the scent out into the street.

Disney imaginers use aromatherapy to evoke very specific emotions as you walk down Main Street USA. But they also use aromatherapy in other areas of the parks. Some attractions utilize aromatherapy to help tell a story. Aromatherapy is utilized in gift shops, hotel lobbies, and elsewhere.

It’s All About Diffusing

Zephyr Fresh, a Utah company that makes and distributes a whole-home essential oil diffuser, says the secret to effectively using aromatherapy in a commercial setting is to control how scents are diffused.

To create a positive affect at World Trade Center, the One World scent has to be evenly diffused throughout the entire observation deck space. It cannot smell stronger in one area than another or the effect is lost. In a Disney park, things are different.

Certain scents have to be diffused widely enough to be effective while still being confined to specific areas. If Disney failed to get it right, Main Street USA would be a confusing cacophony of multiple odors.

Aromatherapy in commercial settings is all about tricking your senses. The goal is to evoke certain thoughts and emotions that affect your experience. It works, which is why so many commercial properties rely on it.

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