Case · 10 August 2017

The positive effects of scent experience in a health care center

Parnassia Noord-Holland - A prime example of health care aroma experience


Parnassia Noord-Holland is a mental health institution, offering help to psychologically troubled patients. For management and employees, the quality of care is the very first priority. The effect of scent on both patients and employees has steadily gained interest over the past few years.


Parnassia Noord-Holland’s management therefore explored the options of creating a positive atmosphere through scent experience. From experience, they already knew that there’s an important role for scent in health care when it comes to fear and stress reduction. After careful investigation, we installed several scent systems in the communal areas of the high and intensive care units – with notable results.


We spoke with Rob van der Lans (HIC Professional) and Ilse Pepping (Team Manager) about the effects of scent in health care.


What made you decide you wanted to use a scent experience in your hospital?


“In our department, we often encounter people with a background of neglect, or people with poor self-care. This often creates unpleasant smells. Often, there was a musty or even intoxicating odour in our workplace. Also, we’re very aware of the effect that scent has on the general atmosphere and patients’ perception. So we see the use of scent as a good way to reach our goal: to offer professional, expert health care that’s aimed at recovery.”


In what way does scent affect the atmosphere?


“The scent adds a nice warmth to the department. Using vanilla, combined with lemongrass, has really worked out well for us. The vanilla is often associated with freshly baked cakes, which reminds people of experiences that are almost always positive. It also calms people who are anxious. Responses to the scent vary between warmth, familiarity, and relaxation. Our patients also seem to associate the scent with a cleaner environment.”


Does the scent experience trigger much response?


“Yes, definitely. One of the best reactions we got was that of a Judge and a Registrar, who visit the ward often for court cases. They immediately noticed something had changed: the smell! They were very enthusiastic about it and told us they were sure it helped to improve the setting and care.”


How did you choose ScentAir as your scent system supplier?


“Our team made a unanimous decision with our choice for ScentAir. The scent adds an extra dimension to our care. ScentAir’s systems trump the bad smells and that makes the entire department’s experience better.”


What’s your impression of ScentAir’s service?


“Very positive. They’re very involved and have helped us decide about the right scents and dispersion method. We can always come to them with questions and they’re really committed to the agreements we made.”

That’s always good to hear.


Would you like to know more about the effect of scent in health care? Please contact us. We can tell you all about it.