Scent Marketing for Gyms: A Breath of Fresh Air

We all know “that smell”.

It’s distinctive, yet a mixture¬†of scents that waft through the air of one of America’s favorite hangouts.

Featuring top notes of sweat, body odor, and rancid workout clothes, a bouquet of musky colognes and citrusy perfumes, and enhanced with the character of industrial masking agents such as bleach and deodorizer; “that smell” tests the olfactory stamina of some of the healthiest men and women alive; those who workout in gyms, health clubs, and fitness centers.

For decades, “that smell” was an invisible pest to the owners and managers of workout centers, who swatted at it with impotent air fresheners and tried to exterminate it with industrial-strength chemicals. In vain, this only added to “that smell”.

But today, there’s a new weapon in the arsenal of scent marketing for gyms: cold-air diffusion scent distribution systems.

These state-of-the-art systems atomize essential oils, converting them into thin-as-air molecules and dispersing them. The secret sauce is in the essential oils chosen; oils that not only extinguish “that smell”, but eliminate air-borne bacteria, viruses and molds, and work to enhance customers’ moods as well.

Scenting Extinguishes That Smell

If you’ve ever wondered where that smell comes from, wonder no more.

  • A survey of those who worked out in gyms revealed that: 16 percent don’t wash their workout clothes and 33 percent exercise without deodorant.
  • Research has also shown that “micrococci”, an odor-causing bacteria, seem to thrive in polyester fabrics favored by many athletes over cotton because it “breathes”.
  • And then there are those stinky shoes, a result of bacteria that populate in warm, moist, dark conditions found inside a gym shoe accompanied by a sweaty foot.

Gyms are literally full of exercising stink bombs.

As strong as these reeking bacteria are, they are no match for today’s scent marketing for gyms systems, which mask unpleasant odors with ambient aromas that are pleasing, but not overpowering.

Scenting Eliminates Air-Borne Microbes

Workout enthusiasts are not only concerned about what they smell, but what they breathe as well.

Microscopic microbes fly through the air in enclosed spaces like gyms, which is why the essential oils used in scent distribution systems are vital to the health of members.

According to the Phytotherapy Research Journal, essential oils contain compounds such as phenylpropanoids and terpenese which destroy microbes like bacteria and viruses.

The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy recommends using eucalyptus, lemon and lemongrass essential oils as natural antiviral agents; as well as tea tree oil to fight bacteria. Other studies suggest that oregano, thyme, cinnamon, melissa and hyssop essential oils are strong virus fighters; while peppermint, lavender or clove oils combat everything from viruses and bacteria to fungal infections.

Clearly, essential oils used in scent distribution systems not only eliminate “that smell”, but are also proven warriors against the harmful effects of air-borne microbes.

Scenting Enhances Moods

If you’ve ever breathed in the briny scent of the ocean, smelled the freshness of a summer rain, or stepped inside a home when the aroma of chocolate chip cookies is wafting from the oven, you know that scents have the power to change your mood.

Scenting can enhance a variety of moods within your gym, from motivating members in the workout room, to increasing concentration of players on the racquetball court, to relaxing tired bodies in the sauna and whirlpool areas.

For example:

  • One gym uses a signature scent comprised of peppermint and ginger, which can have a positive effect on the respiratory system.
  • Another gym scents their steam rooms with eucalyptus to combat the effects of flu and cold.
  • Still another energizes and rejuvenates the atmosphere with scent marketing for gyms using a mixture of citrus, mint and eucalyptus, which stimulate the trigeminal nerve, waking up the reticular activating system and contributing to feelings of alertness.


Scent marketing for gyms is literally giving gyms a breath of fresh air. By eliminating detracting smells, gym enthusiasts are able to focus better on their workouts. By fighting bacteria, viruses and fungus, gym and fitness club members enjoy a cleaner, healthier environment. And the ability of scent to enhance moods improves the overall workout experience, making it more enjoyable, productive and memorable.