What's That Aroma at Barona?

Barona Valley Ranch and Casino is just one venue using aromas in the hopes of manipulating customers' behavior.

The casino is using what's called cedar seduction. It's pleasant, subliminal, understated and calming, but it's there, and it's meant to create an atmosphere to entice people to gamble, according to a published report. Although there aren't many studies on the direct connection between aroma and gambling, smell is strongly related to emotions, according to Terry Monar, the executive director of the Sense of Smell Institute. Yup, there actually is a global resource that connects smell to the human psyche.

At Barona, the fragrance is piped in by Mark Peltier, who's made this sort of thing a science.

"He's the one who singlehandedly scented Las Vegas," Molnar told the San Diego Union Tribune.

Peltier's company, Aromasys,  "scents" stores, museums and special events around the country. Now he focuses on high-end hotels, resorts, spas and casinos.

Research shows that the use of scents in stores and hotels indicates it makes a difference in how people behave, which is why people may stick around in places that smell pleasant, according to Pamela Dalton of the Monell chemical Sense Center in Philadelphia

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