By a Nose

Using the sense of smell to activate emotion at events.

LavenderPROBLEM: You want to evoke emotion at your events, but you’ve already experimented with traditional audiovisual elements, and aren’t sure what to try next.

SOLUTION: Go for the nose

Paul Van Halteren, tour director and designer for TravelXclusive, has used different scents to tease out the themes of the events he hosts. The Belgian native’s passion for scent dates back to childhood visits to Grasse, France, where many European fragrance houses harvest flowers for their colognes and perfumes.

“The U.S. is a market where people will comment on your fragrance,” Van Halteren said in an interview with Convene. “I think it’s very rewarding, because that means that you share something positive or negative.”

Van Halteren cautions would-be perfumers that in some countries, less — or none at all — is more. In Japan, you should be “extremely subtle” with fragrances, whereas in North America, citrus- and lavender-based blends are almost sure to please.

Kate Mulcrone

Kate Mulcrone is digital editor of Convene.