May 06

How would you like to be remembered?

I have been lucky to be able to frequent the Langham hotel of Shanghai in the Xintiandi area over the recent years. It is situated in the most pretty part of the French Concession in Shanghai, within walking distance from the New Zealand Centre that our government was smart enough to position itself in, and is surrounded by the best range of all the foods that China can offer.

There are hundreds of hotels in that district in fact. However I always choose Langham while in Shanghai because of a rather unusual reason, the scent that the hotel has chosen to entice. Whether it is after a whole day of business commute between the most contrasted city and countryside of China, or coming back from the most exotic and heavy food that China can offers, the scent in the lobby reminds me I am safe, and I am back.

Travelling in China for business is hard. Most days I wonder how some people survive for in some environments which seem way too inconvenient or uncomfortable. The traffic and crowds are not something one can ever get used to, and it never stops. Despite the excitements from the client projects, I usually find myself more weary, tired and lost by the end of the day even for me who do not need to battle against the unfamiliar languages or cultures.

It has got me thinking how it could be helpful if we can at our offices also develop a scent around the spaces that we interact with clients to relax them and support them with a sense of peace. I came across a Melbourne based company that develops these scent specifically for companies that want to create brand awareness through that. There is now even a scent that can be put in the gift boxes to give people the extra boost of happiness that they have received a brand new something with the scent of brand new computer!

We have now been having our client meeting spaces scented for the several years now. It has helped me, and some clients who told me how they felt relaxed or calmed around our offices. They felt happy and liked the moment to themselves when they waited. Instead of complaining about the delay we sometimes experience between meetings, the scent has saved us and uplifted us in our relationship with our clients.

The biggest beneficiary are our team who can now working with happier clients, and in a place that feels safe, and familiar. The lifted moods are a wonderful thing, and when our minds are calm and feeling safe, they do so much more for us and those we want to help. It helps to happily pass the sniff test, and go beyond.