|Australian Innovator - John van Roemburg|
John van Roemburg mechanical engineer by training came across an idea while listening to the radio on the drive home while he was living in the Netherlands.
In 1999 he moved to Australia and developed a range of diffusing equipment designed to deliver pleasant aromas for private homes to large corporate complexes.
He said the human sense of smell plays an important role in memory because scent receptors in the nose connect directly to the section of the brain which is responsible for memory and emotions. He felt the potential for scents in marketing and environmental enhancement is great
By 2001 he was ready. The only problem was Australia wasn't. Fortunately, though, the rest of the world was ready and waiting.
There are now distributors in Air Aroma offices throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East and Air Aroma America recently launched in the US (Mr van Roemburg is a 50 per cent shareholder). It is now the largest supplier of scent diffusion technology in the world.
Air Aroma not only provides the technology with which to diffuse the scents, its staff also work with customers to deliver the perfect smell for their needs. In the Air Aroma lab in Melbourne, staff are hard at work mixing pure essential oils for clients.
Signature blends have become much sought-after - Air Aroma mixes six to eight blends for clients to choose from, based on what their requirements are.
Cartier, for example, has a signature blend made by Air Aroma which it diffuses in all 250 of its retail outlets around the world. Lexus has done the same.
Air Aroma has also developed an anti-bacterial blend using oils from the bark and leaves of eucalyptus and melaleuca. This blend is being used in hospitals throughout Japan and one in Monaco. The idea is to help fight the spread of airborne bacteria.
Only when the company had established itself by becoming successful around the world was the time right to try again to put the company on the map here in Australia. "The concept has taken off here feels John.
The combined turnover of Air Aroma's network is $20 million a year with forecasts predicting growth of 50-75 per cent each year.