Humans have long understood the power of scent. It’s one of the most enduring markers of attraction. Last year, we spent over 7 billion dollars in the US alone. And almost two million of us spend over $500 a year on personal fragrance. But what about the home?
We all know the feeling of walking into a home for the first time and noticing a certain smell (either good, bad or just different). It’s one of the critical factors that help us form an opinion of that home and the people that live in it: Clean, sexy, stylish…cats? The fact is, how your home smells is a direct reflection of its occupants. You wouldn’t want anyone to walk into your kitchen with dirty dishes in the sink, or see your unmade bed, so it goes with Home Fragrance!
Let’s face it: A home that smells good is a nicer place to be, both for you and your guests (once social distancing is over)! During this period of “Safer At Home,” it’s an excellent opportunity to experiment and fine-tune your home’s signature scent. There are many ways of going about it, but we’ve broken it down to the basics.
Here’s what you can do:
1. First, you have to clean up. It’s no good just trying to mask bad household odors with fragrance (we’re looking at you, Febreeze). That’s like applying makeup to a dirty face. Not good. Bad smells mean bacteria are present and that something needs cleaning. Empty the litter box, do the dishes, check the laundry, and maybe open a window or two. Ah…that’s better already.
2. Scented Candles. Everybody loves a candle. It creates instant atmosphere, great lighting, and a premium scented one throws a beautiful, sophisticated scent. You can go one of two ways with candles: Either stick to one good scent and use it in multiple rooms, or layer several complimentary scents to create your own, unique signature scent at home.
3. Reed Diffusers. Diffusers go where candles cannot. Think about the nursery, closets, and even your desk at work. The beauty of diffusers is that they are super low-maintenance. You just set them and forget them. I like to get a matching diffuser to whatever candle scent we’re burning to boost the fragrance level. I also flip my reeds every 2 weeks or so to refresh the scent, but that’s about it.
4. Plants. That gorgeous burst of green doesn’t just look good. Plants literally help to clear the air. They suck in carbon dioxide and send fresh, clean oxygen right back at you. Buy a flowering variety to ramp up the fragrance quota.
5. Essential Oil Diffuser. Ultrasonic diffusers have come a long way from the tacky plastic versions on Amazon. The best ones actually look more like chic home accessories. They emit a superfine mist that can be infused with your favorite essential oil for a subtle hit of fragrance that (like plants) also helps to add moisture to the air.
6. Room Sprays. Hands down the easiest way to get an instant hit of scent anywhere you want it. Don’t cheap out and buy one at the super Marché’. If you go there, you need to commit to a good one. I like to spray a little on the curtains, the sofa, and inside my dresser drawers to keep folded things from getting too stuffy. A little spritz on the pillows and bed linens is a great way to ensure a deliciously scented sleep, too!
7. Incense/Cones. Probably the most polarizing type of Home Fragrance there is. People either love them or hate them. Personally, I could never stand them. Just the thought of burning patchouli-scented smoke in my room gave me a headache. These by Nippon Kodo are a next level, totally different experience. Worth a try, even if you don’t like traditional fragrance.
8. Potpourri. Remember those dusty dried flowers in bowls your Mom had scattered around the house in the 80s? Yeah, so do I. I suppose they work, to scent a room, but once you’ve seen your Husband actually try and eat some, it’s a deal-breaker for me.
9. Laundry Fragrance. Like flowers in the bathroom, this is a tiny bit of effort that makes a huge impact. We always dab a little of our favorite scent onto a wool dryer ball once the cycle is done. Not only does it infuse our sheets, towels, and clothes with a delicious scent, it makes the whole house smell amazing.
10. The Stove Trick. This is one that I almost hate to recommend because I almost burned the house down doing it! But if you’re actually cooking something smelly (like bacon or fish) a little pot of water simmering with cinnamon sticks, cloves, and orange peels does go a long way toward covering up those smells. Just don’t leave it on the stove while you do something else!
Like it or not, your home does actually have a smell. You might as well make it a good one!