Hotel Scents That Keep You Checking In

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. ( MainStreet) -- Frequent business travelers will often tout hotel amenities as simple as an impeccable mattress or perfect morning espresso as reasons for their hotel loyalty. Others recite a global Rolodex of hotel properties that offer bathroom toiletries with scents so unique they become synonymous with the cities themselves and without which a visit simply isn't complete.

Travelers to London will often talk of the Bamford Body toiletries found at Claridge's or Penhaligon's that grace bathrooms counters at the Brown's Hotel and Belgraves. But then there's Firmdale Hotels, which include properties such as the Charlotte Street Hotel and Dorset Hotel opening in June, offering a scent so unique a morning shower in London just isn't the same without.
Some scents are so unique to a city and hotel that a visit, no matter how nice the stay otherwise, simply isn't complete without them.

Bathrooms at all Firmdale Hotels offer a selection of Miller Harris bath products, namely a Citron Citron shampoo and shower wash that's a combination of Sicilian lemons, Spanish oranges and Jamaican lime with a tinge of cool mint and basil. The products are available at Miller Harris fragrance boutiques throughout London, including a Bruton Street location with its own tearoom.

In Paris you'll find a menagerie of scents filling the bathrooms of the city's top hotels. At the Ritz Paris you'll find a full array of products from La Prairie, while at the Plaza Athenee you'll lose yourself in the private-label products complemented by full-size facial or body lotions from the in-house Dior Institut .

Despite being owned by the Dorchester Collection, which also owns Plaza Athenee, Le Meurice offers its own unique toiletries by Penhaligon's of London that invokes the hotel's closely intertwined history with British expats such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. At swanky Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris you'll find a full armada of Bulgari Green Tea products that despite being available in abundance worldwide are a fragrant perk.

Italy is where you'll likely find Europe's most fragrant hotels, including Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan, where you'll find a showy display of Acqua di Parma so pretty you'll opt not to use shampoo until the housekeeper replaces the ones you hid in your suitcase. In Rome, the exquisite Hotel de Russie is a step ahead with REN signature bath products in all its guest rooms, while the St. Regis Rome provides a line of Laboratoire Remede shampoos and body lotions made by BlissWorld, which also make the well-known Bliss line for W Hotels and Resorts ( HOT).

In South Africa it's always a fragrant welcome at hotels such as the One&Only Cape Town and Cape Grace, which carry a wide array of South Africa's Charlotte Rhys brand and her famous Eau De Linge line of toiletries. Those looking to bring home the scent can stop by one of the perfumer's numerous storefronts, including its location on the upper level of Cape Town's V&A Waterfront. At the famous Singita Safari Lodges in Sabi Sands we were surprised to find a line of Dermalogica toiletries, an advanced line of skin care developed by The International Dermal Institute that gives a scientific edge to showers in the bush.

Closer to U.S. shores the prerequisite bottles of L'Occitane, Aveda and occasional mix of Molton Brown or Gilchrist & Soames seem to be staples at America's favorite luxury hotels from Four Seasons to Mandarin Oriental. Hotels looking for a bolder statement, perhaps even an environmental one, are opting increasingly for locally sourced and artisanal manufacturers. At California's Post Ranch Inn, bathrooms are adorned with a mix of toiletries from such companies as Santa Cruz's Bonny Doon Farm, which harvests its own line of lavender-infused products, while Utah it-resort Amangiri features a line of bathroom products by Body Bliss, a boutique purveyor from the American Southwest.

But perhaps the most fragrant hotel scent you'll find is back along Italy's Amalfi Coast at Le Sirenuse. Owned for more than a generation by the Sersale family, the hotel has been an iconic summer retreat for celebrities and artists ranging from John Steinbeck to Gwyneth Paltrow. Aside from the jaw-dropping views and architecture in vivid Amalfi colors, rooms feature an introduction to the hotel's signature line of Eau d'Italie fragrances. Owner Marina Sersale created Eau d'Italie while inspired by Positano memories of "sun on the skin, sun-warmed terra cotta, Mediterranean shrubs, salty sea breeze and incense from the church above the hotel." Best of all, the full line of Sirenuse fragrances and body products are available throughout the U.S. through Lafco NY, and that means Italy is never more than a spritz away.
Michael Martin is the managing editor of, a luxury travel and lifestyle guide based in Los Angeles and London. His work has appeared in InStyle, Blackbook, Elle, U.K.'s Red magazine and on ITV and the BBC.