Smell removal is a common question that we hear from potential and existing clients. Designing scent effects into any environment not only requires considering appropriate aroma selection, but how to get it out either midway through the experience, or at the end of the production. We’ve gathered together 4 tips to help any designer or integrator in their scent effects design to feel more confidant in smell removal.
Tip 1: An initial consideration is the exact scent placement and delivery process. Our technology is designed using “dry delivery.” What this translates to, rather simply, is air passing over an infused cartridge. This eliminates the real problem that atomized oils pose after fall-out including a general aroma hang-time, or potentially, collection of residues on expensive electrical equipment, seats or clothing. As fun as it can be to add the scent of “garbage” during a 4D theater production, or the scent of “gun powder” during a museum exhibit interactive, people don’t want to carry it home with them.
Tip 2: Timing has an enhanced effect on smell perception. Over saturating an environment with too many smells timed too close to each other not only compromises proper smell removal, but muddies what your audience will perceive. Our noses contain very sensitive processing receptors, over stimulating them just leaves your audience disappointed and confused rather than enlightened and engaged.
Tip 3: The desired effect will determine any additional add on’s you may require. Is this a background scent effect, to be perceived throughout the experience? For background scents, or what we like to call our ambiance setting effects, you can adjust the air flow within the environment in order to assist in smell removal. Depending on the size of space, simply turning on a fan to move the air around may suffice. For larger spaces, which require a higher amount of scent saturation, dealing with proper air exchange rates will eliminate those pesky, lingering aromas.
Alternatively, we could be talking about a more interactive, triggered effect that is to be perceived at a precise moment. Smell removal in these types of applications is much simpler. Usually, the amount of scent released into the environment is much smaller because of the level of intimacy. We call these “in your face” effects, and that can be taken fairly literally. Any kind of smell removal beyond that is facilitated by a simple spray of clean, non scented air, via the compressed air scent delivery systems.
For those that want precision (with a capital P) carbon filtration systems are an option for all environments. Sometimes, depending on the facility, these are already included in the HVAC system. If not, they may be purchased as an add-on or standalone system to your HVAC system.
Tip 4: Thoughtful aroma selection can assist in transitioning either between experiences or between scents. Although this isn’t literally smell removal, what we’re exploiting is the cognition and context of the scent, rather than the focusing on removal. Using non-context specific scents when your experience is closely timed can help prep the area for newcomers entering without ruining the upcoming content when you don’t have access or control over the HVAC system. Simple scents like “fresh air”, “orange” or “lemon” can offer excellent transitions between super specific scents.
We hear comments about failed attempts at introducing scenting only to find that improper delivery technologies were utilized and even less thoughtful design. Remember, with advancements in scent delivery systems, filtration, timing and thoughtful aroma selection, your smell removal hurdles can be quickly overcome and you can capture that extra dimension in experience creation for your next production.