Making My House Smell Like A Luxury 5-Star Hotel – Live and Let’s Fly

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One of the lasting memories of a premium hotel is the scent pumped through the ventilation. I finally bought the scents and it’s incredible the difference it makes. 

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hotel scents lm 01
Le Meridien Bangkok, home of Le Labo’s LM01

Strong Memories

Of all of our senses, the sense of smell is thought to be the strongest with ties to memories. The smell of popcorn can take someone right back to a movie theater, fresh cut grass, rain, these don’t just transport us to memories, they also establish an emotional connection.

“The sense of smell is closely linked with memory, probably more so than any of our other senses. Those with full olfactory function may be able to think of smells that evoke particular memories; the scent of an orchard in blossom conjuring up recollections of a childhood picnic, for example.” – Fifth Sense

In fact, it was a hotel scent that was the subject of my first blog post ever, Le Meridien’s LM 01 (discontinued.) Walking in from the sweltering humidity of Bangkok, the cool air conditioned lobby with LM 01 permeating everything made it clear that we had found our oasis in the city.

Luxury hotels have latched onto scent marketing to make their brand experiences memorable.

“[A] study revealed that the 100 consumers who shopped with the simple scent in the air spent an average of 20 percent more. Spangenberg said the research underscores the need to understand how scents affect customers.” – Business News Daily

As such, many of my favorite hotels (including those listed on the Michelin Hotel Guide) have their own custom scent and I, too, want the same clean scent throughout my home. It elevates my home.

Favorite Scents

The most copied scent or “inspired by” seems to be from the 1 Hotel and admittedly, it’s one of my favorites too. I started shopping a few different companies that sell both diffusers and hotel-specific scents and I have been most impressed with the Hotel Collection. I selected the following:

  • My Way (1 Hotel)
  • Cabana (Ritz-Carlton)
  • Dream On (Westin)

In a surprising twist, my favorite of the bunch was Dream On. I don’t often stay in Westin hotels, I don’t remember any of them being remarkable in the way that some of the others are, and yet it was far and away my favorite.

My Way was excellent as well. The site has a subscribe and save option (but the offering was wrong when I checked it while writing this) but assuming it’s fixed, I’ll likely continue with that going forward and likely the Dream On scent going forward.

What’s Still Missing

There’s no question that Le Labo is a premium leader in the space. This site (and many others) have made it clear that the hotels that use Le Labo for toiletries are among the best, and I always collect the little bottles before I leave. In fact, during the pandemic where we didn’t travel nearly as much, we switch to those bottles at home to briefly return to the Park Hyatt New York for example.

I’d go to great lengths for a bottle of LM 01. It’s personal. Which is exactly what scent marketing is supposed to do. It evokes an emotion. My wife and I are instantly back in Bangkok, a lovely night out, complete with a relaxing stay at the first premium hotel we ever stayed in.

More generally, Le Labo has a few notes that seem to run through all of their scents (and it’s not Santal 33) and yet, I can’t find a good comparison product for their scents. Le Labo sells oil for diffusers but it’s $109 for 9mL which I can’t justify when I am rather happy with the ones I have for about $50 per 50mL.


I love opening the door to my house and being reminded of great hotels I have stayed in. If I get serious enough, I am going to hook one up directly to the ventilation system. I haven’t bought the bedding from hotel chains I love yet, but in this little way, I can recreate some of the magic of being on vacation while at home.

What do you think? Is there a hotel scent you would put in your home? 

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