Escape room introduces historical scents to combat COVID-19 challenges

Escape The Past is a brand new attraction in Edinburgh, bringing local history to life through its immersive escape room experience. Working with theme park scent company AromaPrime, Escape the Past aims ro recreate the authentic ‘pongs’ of the city’s past. As well as creating realism, the scents have been used to help fully immerse visitors in spite of COVID safety measures.

Measures such as wearing facemasks, limiting group numbers and using hand sanitiser make the experience  safe, but they also limit the sense of immersion that can be achieved. For this reason, a special odour has been developed to transport visitors back to 19th century Edinburgh.

For the attraction’s first room, The Anatomist, a striking, clinical and sinister aroma was designed by AromaPrime. For this, the scent team called upon their experience in making historical smells for the likes of the British Museum and even The Dungeons. The scent is piped into the room at relevant parts of the game. Because our scent receptors are connected to the part of the brain which processes emotions, this effect triggers strong reactions and enhances the grizzly story in a way that will be completely unexpected and unique to many guests.

The escape experience invites visitors to descend into the basement study of a 19th Century anatomist. As well as its memorable smell, a vivid sense of immersion is created using actors, props and authentic historical elements.

Chris Wood, manager at Escape The Past, said: “Escape Rooms have great potential for immersive storytelling. With ‘The Anatomist’, we’re involving multiple senses, live acting and special effects to bring the story and this period of Edinburgh’s history to life. With everyone so isolated at the moment, these kinds of activities offer a safe and exciting opportunity for a much-needed escape!”

Liam Findlay, themed scent consultant at AromaPrime, added: “AromaPrime has 47 years’ experience of creating life-like scents for attractions around the world – from T-rex breath for the Natural History Museum, to Medieval stinks for Warwick Castle. We are thrilled that Escape The Past has been getting great feedback from visitors about its new, memorable smell!”

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