Casinos have always tried to create a completely immersive experience for their players so they can really get lost in their games. But things in Vegas may have gone from over-the-top to just plain bizarre in Vegas of late with casinos trying to engage the one thing that traditionally escaped their sensory assaults – our sense of smell. Just like celebrities who sell branded fragrances meant to capture their essence, casinos all over Vegas and beyond are now purveying signature scents in perfumes, scented candles, and other smelly items to their players.
Actually, the casino business has been working at stimulating our olfactory senses for years. It’s just that most of us did not know about it. Don’t think that the smell of the air freshener in a glamorous resort hotel and casino like the Bellagio was chosen at random. Casinos go through an intensive process, involving sample tests and other indicators, to create the fragrance that will have the most favourable affect possible on players.
Because our sense of smell is so closely linked with our emotions and our memories, casinos pay good money to find the smells that make people feel happy, comfortable and confident when spinning the reels of slots or taking to the tables. In other words – scents that will make people want to linger where they can smell them.
And casinos aren’t the only entities in the business of subliminal scents. Coffee shops and even drive-through restaurants often use air conditioning that smells like coffee to attract customers and make them feel at home. Some establishments even have fragrances that simulate the smell of bacon or fried chicken to get people’s mouths watering!
MGM Grand in a Bottle
However odd this obsession with scent may seem to us, many players really like the way their favourite casinos smell. They like it so much, in fact, that they are willing to pay to take it home with them… and now they can!
Just about every gift shop in every casino on the Strip now stocks perfumes, room sprays and candles (and just about anything else to which a smell can be attached) scented with their signature fragrances. Part of the appeal of the Mandalay Bay, for example, is the cocoa butter scent that wafts over its floor.
Not everyone gets this right, though. The MGM Grand is one casino that should perhaps have steered clear of this trend. All that effort put into creating a signature scent, only to have players complaining that it reeked of desperation!