"Mmm, is that the sweet smell of... airplane?"
You may have never said it aloud, but airlines are indeed trying to make you catch their scent. Brands like Delta and Singapore Airlines already use fragrances on their planes, and now United is making waves (or is that whiffs?) with a smell of its own.
"Landing," United's new signature fragrance, smells like orange peel and fir trees. The airline is pumping it into some jet bridges and member lounges at O'Hare Airport via a discreet fan that's "about the size of a toaster," according to Mark Krolick, United's managing director of marketing.
The sweet smell also oozes from hot towels in the premium cabins on select planes.
"(The scent) is noticeable, but not in any way overpowering," Krolick told The Huffington Post. "We want to catch someone at a positive part of their experience, and then (they'll) smell this smell and think of United."
It's all part of a United branding initiative to boost the flight experience with all five senses. The airline is also testing a more "modern" style of boarding music and playing with "mood lighting" in plane cabins, Krolick said.
And they're not the only ones to do so. Delta's "Calm" scent -- a mix of chamomile and lavender -- wafts out of soap dispensers in the airplane lavatories. Delta also infuses the smell into its airport Sky Clubs and the towels in Delta One class on international flights, says spokesman Paul Skrbec.
Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines infuses towels with "Stefan Floridian Waters," a rose, lavender and citrus scent, while Turkish Airlines' "TK 1933" has hints of lemongrass.
Both United and Delta say they're looking at ways to work smells into more parts of the flight experience. United will introduce their new scent to airports beyond O'Hare after they finish preliminary testing.
Our nostrils can hardly wait.