UK pubs smelling of roses

Once the air has cleared after the English smoking ban, what will the average local pub smell of? How about crisp cotton, apples or roses?

by: Reuters: Jonathan Cable | 04 Jul 2007

Those are just some of the "ambient scents" being offered by Ambius, a unit of services group Rentokil to help cover up smells such as stale beer and old buildings, not to mention less hygienically conscious drinkers, that were previously masked by clouds of cigarette smoke in pubs across England.

"Most people think with all this smoke going away everything is going to be fine and dandy," Jeff Mariola, managing director of Ambius, said.

"The reality is, when you remove the odour, you are left with what you couldn't smell... it's going to hit everyone right in the face."

England went smoke-free on July 1, following Wales, which outlawed the habit in enclosed public places in April and Scotland. Ireland and other European countries have also banned smoking indoors, while some parts of Canada and a host of US states have had strict controls on public smoking for years.

The chief executive of Oceana and Liquid nightclubs owner Luminar, Stephen Thomas, said one problem of the smoking ban was that people would now smell their fellow sweaty clubbers.

Thomas said the firm had decided to pump in smells such as rose petal through the air conditioning systems.

"We are using rose at the moment but we think we can find something better and we are testing other ones to see which works best," he told reporters at the time of the group's results in May.

Ambius sees a big opportunity to market their products to pubs and Mariola said he was in talks with one major chain in the UK.

Pub chains such as Scottish & Newcastle and JD Weatherspoon have been busy constructing outdoor areas for smokers and sprucing up the interiors and say the ban has attracted new customers as well as boosting food sales.

"We had a big bang before we went no smoking with new carpet and repainting. We have an outside hut with heaters for smokers. It hasn't really affected our drinks trade as a lot of the smokers are happy with the hut," an assistant manager at the Huntsman & Hounds pub on the outskirts of London, which went smoke-free over two years ago, told Reuters

"We are cleaned every morning so we don't put any air fresheners out. Everyone comments on our cleanness, we are a lot fresher," she added.

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