Our sense of smell is our most evocative sense, yet far too often, it’s the last sense that we think about pampering. We collect new pillows, sheets and doonas to appeal to our sense of touch. We get large screen TVs to cater to our sense of sight. We spring for the lobster dinner to satisfy our sense of taste. But our sense of smell, olfactory, is almost always the last sense that we consider indulging.
My home is my sanctuary, filled with the décor that brings me joy but also the fragrances that stir and create an atmosphere and ambience of peace, calm and happiness. And if I need to its not just one fragrance—but several. By choosing the right scents, then layering them or combining them in new ways, I try to create an atmosphere to match the personality, the mood or an occasion. Think of it as a fragrance wardrobe for my home where you will find a collection of various scents in a range of formulations, from candles to potpourri, reed diffusers to room sprays. The goal is to mix and match different scents from within these collections to provide a customized, couture scent for your home—to create your home’s signature fragrance.
There are so many lovely fragrances out there, it can become overwhelming to choose just one. Ask yourself first what type of scent you typically gravitate towards. There is a fragrance for every type of scent you can imagine. Love the smell of citrus? Try fragrances with essence of orange, lemon or other fruits. Prefer floral scents? Look for products that include lavender, gardenia, rose or any other flowers in their composition. Perhaps sultry notes are more for you. In that case, reach for fragrances with vanilla or amber in the name. Woody fragrances like sandalwood, cedar and pine are popular, as are herbal notes such as rosemary and basil. Try to narrow in on the scent that feels most like home to you, or mix a few different aromas to create a unique smell that’s just right. For instance, I am a floral person, but I love the freshness of the citrus! So as soon as I clean my home I may burn an incense of Oudh, a lemon candle or pine or potpourri but for an evening with friends I trust the calm of sandalwood, lavender or jasmine.
The next question is what is the best method to spread scent best for your home? With myriad options on the market for home fragrances, it’s important to consider the best method of diffusing a scent in your home. Candles are wonderful for providing not only an appealing smell but also a flickering glow. However, for homes with small children it can be dangerous to have an open flame within easy reach. Reed oil diffusers in that case are a nice alternative. The oils dissipate slowly, leaving a subtle smell throughout the home that can last for a long time. It maybe handy to remember though, that leaving a diffuser out can be dangerous, as they often come in glass jars with oil inside, and could lead to a mess if knocked over.
You could kill two birds with one stone by using cleaning supplies that also leave an appealing aroma in their wake. Not only will your house look great, it will smell amazing too. Newer lines on the market make use of natural oils for scents that are less bracing than their predecessors and instead are subtle and sophisticated. Look for natural scents such as rosemary, basil, lavender or lemon for a crisp, clean scent around the home.
Last but not least, consider stashing a little fragrance around the home. Sachets are great for infusing a space with an appealing smell. I remember my grandmom putting a few neem leaves and a cinnamon stick in her drawer to keep those small pieces of clothing insect/germ free and smelling nice. Camphor cubes could be just as helpful. There are fragrance balls available in shops now which can be dipped in essential oil and left in a pouch in corner of a room or a cupboard for slow and long lasting release. Fragrances like lavender or cedar do double-duty in closets by naturally deterring moths from making their homes in your clothes.
Bathrooms can be kept smelling nice longer by rolling a fragrance ball in your favourite oil, placing it in a tissue and leaving in a corner. Just a tealight burning with cinnamon or cardamom can do wonders too and can last as long as the candle does. Scented drawer liners in your dresser can also leave a subtle perfume on clothes, sheets, or bath linens stored within. Line bins with blotting paper dipped in pine or cologne to keep the smell of decayed food at bay. Peppermint or chamomile teabags in pillows aid sleep. A twig of rosemary placed on top of a globe in a table lamp can diffuse the bedroom into a slumber zone. Lavender essential oil mixed in water and placed in a spray bottle, sprayed on pillow just before sleep can aid a restful slumber.
Of course, this is just scratching the surface for products that help spread a perfume-like aroma. The possibilities are enormous. If you let the imagination run wild you can think of various ways to keep the home smelling lovely. So go ahead try something new. Make it different! Your house does not need to smell like a hospital ward just because its clean or like gym because you have three sweaty men living there 🙂