Ever wondered what Kylie Minogue’s breath smells like? How about the stench of rotting flesh? Does penguin vomit tickle your fancy?
Scent experts at AromaPrime, a company dedicated to immersing visitor attraction guests with scents, have opened its 400+ strong aroma archive to come up with its top ten weird and wacky whiffs delighting guests at the UK’s most-loved theme parks and tourist attractions.
The Top Ten Weird and Wacky Smells Created for the UK’s Best-Loved Theme Parks
Topping the charts at number one is Kylie Minogue’s Breath. In 2002, AromaPrime created a breathing mechanism for Kylie Minogue's wax figure at Madame Tussauds, along with the smell of her breath - the popstar could even be heard breathing too.
At number two is Penguin Vomit, unbearably fishy, zoos use this stench as part of their learning programmes.
The number three spot goes to a smell most will agree isn’t pleasant – the Dentist. This scent is used in Halloween scare mazes to trigger personal fears.
Jaguar Urine is in at number four. Real jaguar urine and otter poo were posted to the AromaPrime lab so experts could get these scents as accurately as possible. On the subject of urine, in the run-up to a Thorpe Park scare maze, the resort invited guests to provide their own samples in pots as part of a competition for the stinkiest wee!
Travelling back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the earth for number five. Recreating the scent of the Tyrannosaurus rex was no match for the AromaPrime team who researched alongside paleontologists at The Natural History Museum for an accurate recreation of what a T-Rex might have smelt like.
Scent number six is the smell of Queen Elizabeth II which was created to accompany her Madame Tussauds figure. The aroma was based on Buckingham Palace and Her Majesty's favourite flowers.
Proving there is no scent the AromaPrime team cannot recreate, at number seven is the smell of Unicorn. To get this one right, the team studied ancient texts on the origins of unicorns and sniffed a few horses too.
Number eight goes to Burning Witch. A stink used by The London Dungeon which is fiery, fleshy, and a little bit fantastical.
One for the sports fans – the scent of Sports Changing Room is in at number nine. The steamy atmosphere of sportspeople getting changed after a sweaty game proves popular at sports museums.
Lastly in at number ten is the stench of Rotting Flesh. Interestingly the AromaPrime team says the smell of death is possibly the only pong we instinctively dislike from birth - our dislike of other smells is learned over time.
But how do tourist attractions use the sense of smell to help boost profits? Liam R. Findlay, themed smell consultant at AromaPrime, explains: “Our scent receptors are connected to the part of the brain which processes memories and emotions, which is why fragrances help experiences stick in our minds. They also make us feel different emotions, like excitement, fear, or happiness. The scent of cookies can even transport you back to your grandma's kitchen and make you peckish for a snack!
“Not only does this boost guest satisfaction, but it also boosts ticket sales, gift shop sales and food sales, which is why post-pandemic attractions are opening themselves to the potential of aroma.
“The proof is really in the pudding. An ice cream shop at Universal Orlando Resort saw a 45% boost in sales after six months of using scents for the first time. In a retail study, 84% of participants valued shoes in a scented room as being worth more money than shoes in an unscented room.
“During the COVID lockdowns, theme park fans were buying our most horrid ride stenches for their homes - Rotting Flesh even became a bestseller, all in an effort to transport themselves back to happy days out!”
Liam R. Findlay, themed smell consultant at AromaPrime
Turning 50 next year, AromaPrime has a library of over 400 themed aromas, from the delicious scent of Bubble gum used to help visitors feel relaxed at LEGOLAND to the stenches of Blood and the Dentist triggering fear in Thorpe Park's scare mazes, to Jorvik Viking Centre commissioning the historically accurate smell of a Viking toilet, there isn’t a scent AromaPrime can’t replicate.