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September 2019

Odour Remediation vs Scenting: is there a difference?

Written by Nathalie Leblond
Hygiene Specialists

Smell is the most powerful of our five senses and it is thought that up to 75% of the emotions we generate on a daily basis are affected by smell.  We’ve written about the emotional and psychological power of smell, and about how smelly toilets can negatively affect productivity and your mood and behaviour, as well as what might actually be causing your bathroom to smell.

As the experts in hygiene, odour - especially malodour - is something we take very seriously. Because where there’s malodour, it’s usually caused by bacteria, and bacteria are what we want to eliminate.  Our bathroom deep cleaning treatments and antibacterial fogging are a great way to tackle the underlying cause of bad odour in a bathroom by eliminating bacteria. 

And we frequently use terms like “odour remediation” and “scenting” - sometimes even interchangeably -  but do our customers understand the difference between these 2 terms, and should they even care?

Odour remediation: 

Let’s start with odour remediation.  Remediation - in the dictionary sense of the word - means to remedy or fix something and to “reverse or stop the damage caused by something”.  

Combined with the word “odour” it’s clear that odour remediation solutions are products and solutions designed specifically to fix the problem of bad smells in the bathroom.  

Once persistent odours have been tackled (read our blog on the 5 things that are making your bathroom smell to understand what these underlying factors can be), investing in an air care solution reassures users that the bathroom is clean and cared for, and encourages return visits and positive feedback. 

The simplest way to do this is with the use of strategically placed automatic air fresheners. Air fresheners are best used in low traffic environments, as the fragrance can only go so far in “masking” smells.  They provide a simple and effective air care solution which treats transient bathroom odours, helping to create a welcoming and fresh smelling environment.

For high traffic bathrooms with difficult to solve malodour problems, Initial offers Genie. A single Genie can replace up to 10 traditional bathroom air fresheners, and the unit is programmable to match the size of the room, producing a scent effect which eliminates odours but is never overwhelming.

Genie uses Prolitec’s patented AirQ™ technology to erase unwanted odours in much the same way as a premium headset cancels unwanted noise. Genie cancels the human perception of the bad odour and replaces it with a very pleasant, subtle scent. It provides coverage of up to 15,000 ft (425 m) in interior spaces.  There are four odour neutralising fragrances that can be used exclusively with the Genie unit.


Scenting solutions, on the other hand, are not a fix for a smelly bathroom. Scenting is designed to enhance the working environment and to drive certain behaviours through the power of smell. 

Research has shown that using the positive power of fragrance can benefit both customers and businesses. We think that customers need to understand the difference between these two approaches to get the best out of them. Putting an air freshener unit in your reception area is not going to drive the same changes in behaviour as you would see with a premium scenting solution. 

Experiential scenting helps businesses to emotionally engage with their customers, enhance their experience and create a deep, emotional connection that strengthens brand loyalty. This helps foster long-term and profitable customer relationships. For example, hotel chains or retail outlets might use the same fragrance at their locations globally to create immersive, memorable experiences linked to their brand so that customers associate positive emotions with the familiar smell.

For shoppers, a brand-resonant scent can encourage them to spend up to 20% more time in-store, which improves brand perception and builds customer loyalty. Having loyal customers who enjoy the shopping experience means they’re likely to come back time and again.

Initial can offer the perfect Premium Scent to match a company’s brand. To identify the perfect scent, a scenting expert from Initial will work closely with the business to choose a  scent which reflects their brand image. They will survey the premises to find the best diffusion solution; testing airflow, measuring space and paying attention to any air handling solutions currently in place. Initial uses a unique diagnostic tool to decide on the most suitable unit, scent setting levels and programme times. Once a scent has been chosen, a customised scenting program will be tailor-made for the premise to enhance the brand to its greatest potential.

Reach out to the air quality professionals: 

We believe that these two concepts - whilst different in approach -  work together within your business. Solutions to bathroom malodour and for workplace scenting can be applied successfully to any business, large or small. Contact the experts at Initial today for your free survey and quote.

Get a Quote

Nathalie Leblond

Nathalie Leblond

Nathalie is the Category Manager at Rentokil Initial, and has worked in the hygiene and pest control industry for 12 years. Although after 12 years cockroaches still have the power to terrify her, she has learnt countless ways to defeat germs both in the workplace and at home. She is a passionate advocate for Global Handwash Day and the health benefits that can be derived from regular handwashing and hygiene practices. When not contributing to the Initial blog, Nathalie is writing press releases for sister businesses, Rentokil and Ambius. You can find her on LinkedIn.

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