While helping his parents financially, Marcelo Zelicovich became a player in the burgeoning scent marketing business. In the early 1990s, he found a living installing scent dispensers in bathrooms in his native Argentina. When a supermarket client had a problem with the bathroom smelling good but the store reeking of the creek next door, he realized air conditioning could act as a propeller for scents—and his business.
When he came to the United States, Zelicovich teamed up with Rolando Epstein through a mutual friend to open Doctor Aromas in 2007. Today, from their North Miami headquarters, they scent the spaces of more than 60,000 customers with a variety of products, including AC scent dispensers.
The Smell of Happiness
“The AC unit filter works as a flower petal, and we pump the AC filter with the fragrance. As the AC is passing through the filter, it’s taking the fragrance the same way [it happens in nature with flowers]. The way we distribute the fragrance, it’s similar to going to a field of flowers, and you have a moment of happiness. It’s the best way to have nature coming to your home.”
Scenting South Florida
Doctor Aromas scents enhance the ambience of more than 700 buildings in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, including mixed-use project Aventura ParkSquare, which uses three different scents. In fact, Doctor Aromas bills its best-seller, Hope, as “the scent of Miami,” with notes of lime, ginger and tea tree. Other scents include Success (grapefruit and lemongrass) and Caribbean Breeze (tangerine and mint).
“This is the concept: Why don’t you bring the same high-end quality of the perfume you use on yourself to your home? … Why don’t we use that to enhance where you live, where you work, where you spend most of your time.”
The company, which plans to open a manufacturing plant and showroom in Fort Lauderdale in January, also impacts the community with a scholarship competition for high schoolers. Held through the Doctor Aromas Foundation, the competition challenges students to create artwork inspired by scent and has distributed $18,000 over four years.
“Working with the students is a good thing because they don’t have limits [on their thinking] yet to come up with ideas that can revolutionize this blend between art and scent,” Zelicovich says.
Featured image by Eduardo Schneider