It’s important to know the difference between products that mask an odor and those that eliminate the odor, says Laura Haupert, director of research and development for Freshwave IAQ. Products that mask an odor work by the odor molecule absorbing to a fragrance droplet. The fragrance droplet can’t hold onto the odor molecule, resulting in the release of the odor molecule. 

“This is why with masking agents you smell both the odor and the fragrance, and why these products aren’t effective at eliminating smoke and other odors,” says Haupert.

Facilities have to find something that gets rid of the smell of marijuana or else they run the risk of losing business. The smell of smoke can affect a customer’s first impression and linger in the memory of their experience of the location. Bad smells can damage a reputation, even when other services are exceptional. 

“We recently worked with a large hotel in Las Vegas, which was faced with daily complaints both in person and online regarding marijuana smoke in rooms and hallways,” says Coffey. “The odors had a significant impact on the bottom line of the hotel as rooms either could not be let out until the odor was gone, or complaints led to refunds and reflected negatively on the hotel brand.”

Why are odors so important? Anything humans smell is first processed by the olfactory bulb, which starts inside the nose and has a direct connection to two areas of the brain strongly associated with emotion and memory. 

“Odor has a powerful, immediate impact on the way we perceive our environment. In a commercial facility, odor communicates the quality and cleanliness of that space to consumers and can have a significant effect on a business’ bottom line,” says Dr. Lori Strazdas, MPH, a public health liaison with Clorox Pro’s clinical and scientific affairs department. 


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