Thursday, July 3, 2014

Create a Scentsational Home

Photos (top L, clockwise) courtesy hurley.k e, THOR, Nic McPhee, Junhao
Just as colors and decor help to create an atmosphere in a space, so does scent. Certain scents help to energize, while others have a calming effect. So what are the basics of fragrance notes and where should you use them? This article from Style at Home gives you the rundown.

Fragrance: Florals
There’s a reason that the gift of fresh flowers is a tradition that has endured over the centuries. Once placed in a vase, the blooms are not only gorgeous, they perfume your home beautifully, memorably and entirely naturally. Though not all flowers are fragrant (notably tulips, daffodils and orchids don’t have much scent), consider the flowers that do. Rose, gardenia, lily of the valley, freesia and peony are instantly recognizable classics. Any of these floral fragrances will create a strong association for people who smell them in your home and tend to be the most memorable. If you use a peony or lilac scent in your bedroom, for instance, your kids are likely to always associate it with you. Aside from fresh flowers, a few drops of a top-quality home-fragrance oil is one of the most authentic ways to replicate floral smells in your home, which can be added to potpourri or a diffuser.

Where to use this home fragrance: Florals are timeless, traditional and highly memorable. They’re great for bedrooms and entryways.

Fragrance: Spices
Thyme, cinnamon, lavender (often assumed to be a floral but is actually a part of the mint family), ginger, and vanilla evoke the warmth of baking. These spice-cupboard fragrances are often reminiscent of the winter months, especially cinnamon. And peppermint, in fact, has been associated with curbing overeating and boosting your mood. These spicy smells are a natural fit in the kitchen but are just as lovely for any room in the home. They are usually more suitable than florals for the dining room because they don’t clash with food smells. Candles tend to do a great job of replicating spicy smells like cinnamon and thyme. Reed diffusers are wonderful if you lean toward lavender, minty, and vanilla scents as they perfume the air with just the right amount of tingly scent.

Where to use this home fragrance: Spicy fragrances create a warm, cozy atmosphere and work well in the kitchen and dining room.

Fragrance: Citrus
Citrus fruit fragrances, like lemon, orange, bergamot and grapefruit have one thing in common: they are energizing and crisp. (It’s not a coincidence that lemon is a typical scent for household cleansers and detergents; it smells clean and fresh). A citrus aroma is sunny and bright, it’s ideal for lifting up your mood and reminding you of a subtropical or Mediterranean vacation. The smell of orange, for instance, has been shown in a study to reduce stress. Citrus is also ideal for entertaining in the morning and early afternoon when it’s a little too early for heavy floras or heady spices. Room sprays, the kind you spritz like a perfume, tend to smell fantastic and zingy in citrus notes.

Where to use this home fragrance: Citrus aromas are fresh, clean and sunny. Use them anywhere in the home when you want to add an energizing mood and reduce stress.

Fragrance: Woodsy
Sandalwood, oud (also known as agarwood), cedar and pine are age-old, ever-popular scents for the home. Cedar wood has long been prized for its clean, outdoorsy fragrance, durability and moth-repelling qualities, and pine reminds us of Christmas trees and the holiday season, but also of camping and mid-summer. Sandalwood and oud are dark, mysterious and exotic. All of these resinous, woodsy scents are earthy, intricate and sensual and they can be used to create an inviting ambience in your home. Incense is an ancient way of bringing smells of a woodsy garden into the home, but candles are a more modern way to introduce these scents. They perfume the air intensely when lit, and gently when they are not.

Where to use this home fragrance: Woodsy home fragrances are earthy and can be used anywhere indoors or out, to set a mood that’s either clean and outdoorsy (pine, cedar) or exotic and sultry (sandalwood, oud).


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