Creating clean and unique experiences with Integra Fragrances

Francesca Piana explains how the company can scent and sanitise cruise ships during and post-Covid-19

Creating clean and unique experiences with Integra Fragrances
Integra Fragrances creates custom scent identities for leading retail, banking, travel, design and hospitality brands

By Richard Humphreys |

Since 2006, Integra Fragrances – based in Italy – has created custom scent identities for leading retail, banking, travel, design and hospitality brands. With the Covid-19 pandemic creating a need for sanitised environments, the company realised that its 4,000 remotely controlled HVAC-connected scent diffusers could be used to meet this demand.

“Thanks to the nebulisation of a non-toxic registered active principle through the existing HVAC ducts, we sanitise the air, the surfaces and conditioning system every day from viruses, fungi and bacteria,” says Francesca Piana, marketing manager at Integra Fragrances. “Unlike other biocides, the active substance can be safely inhaled and is non-aggressive to the most delicate and natural surfaces, including marble, wood, leather, fabrics and metals. We chose it because it was suitable for environments featuring a refined design and precious materials. It is odourless, non-flammable, travels worldwide as a non-dangerous substance, and does not accumulate in the environment.

Integra’s system is particularly suitable for the cruise industry with cruise lines already looking at the solution with great interest. “Cruise lines love it because, unlike other solutions, it can be very easily installed on the existing vessels, with no changes nor adaptations to the existing HVAC project, functioning and parameters,” says Piana. “The system is remotely controlled and requires little or no maintenance, as the sanitising solution provided on installation lasts for 10 to 12 months. It’s a very flexible solution and really not costly compared to other proposals on the market.”

Piana adds that high-efficiency particulate air filters currently only filter 0.3 microns while the coronavirus particles are 0.1 microns. “The solution proposed by Integra becomes one of the very few alternatives to bring ships back to cruising soon,” she says.

The company has tested its sanitising protocol in the lab and in various public environments. “Studies show that the microbial contamination level of the air, surfaces and air filters in highly frequented public environments is kept at the best indoor quality levels 24 hours a day,” says Piana. “Air samples show that the microbial reduction occurs noticeably after a single, overnight sanitising treatment, after which the overall index is constantly kept within the best indoor air-quality range.

“Surface samples taken from the uncleaned floor of a pharmacy visited by 250 people show that the protocol keeps the surface contamination level within the safety parameters, counteracting the peaks of contamination at peak hours. Surface samples taken from air HVAC filters of a 2,000-square-metre store before and after two weeks of sanitisation show that filters, and therefore HVAC ducts, are sanitised thanks to recirculation, moving from the medium to the lowest contaminated category.”

Each nebuliser is managed and monitored by remote control, via wi-fi, Bluetooth, local area network or an app.

“A custom software application connected to the onboard operating system allows the crew to assess the sanitisation operating data; treatments set-up times; input quantities of the active; and the cubic metres sanitised,” says Piana. “This would be hugely beneficial for cruise lines, giving them real-time access to data such as which halls, corridors, crew decks, and cabins have been sanitised on a specific date and time.”

Looking to the future, Integra has flexibly designed its solution so that the system can be used to sanitise, provide a scent, or do both.

“Its inner flexibility allows for the product’s second life,” says Piana. “A cruise line could either diffuse its custom signature scent on all common areas onboard or could decide to characterise each different environment with a fragrance that embodies the area’s personality and enhances its unique experience.

“Building a corporate scent strategy is particularly useful when a large cruise line corporation aims at differentiating the many brands in its portfolio. A corporate scent communicates the brand’s distinctive features in a more subtle, emotional and memorable way. The cruise line’s corporate scent would be smelled by guests in common areas onboard, bathroom amenities, sanitising gel, in a pillow mist spray to wish goodnight, and in thank-you cards or promotional brochures sent to the guests’ homes. The unique perfume will revive the good memories of their holidays, bringing them back onboard.”

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2020 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

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