Making “Scents” of Home Fragrance
Every house has a scent. Whether it’s the sweet aroma of fresh baked banana bread in the home of an avid baker, the citrus smell of lemon cleanser or the wafting scent of a candle brought home from faraway travels, scent can conjure up a number of feelings such as nostalgia, calmness, joy and peace. Finding an aroma that fits into your home, whether it’s a familiar scent from your childhood or a luxury scent more exclusive to a hotel or spa, might take some trial and error to ensure it is in sync with every member of your household’s tastes. It may require some sniff tests and for you to “feel” some scents out. Remember, a scent can set a mood—it can calm or lift you but it’s not only about what scents you use but also how you execute them. Here are some ideas for bringing fragrance into your home.
Scented candles are among the most popular and simplest aromatherapy vehicles. They are available in a myriad of scents, colors and styles to match your mood and décor. There are five basic shapes of candles: container, pillar, taper, tea light, and votive. The lowest maintenance candles to use are the container and tea light. Container candles essentially come in a container they are molded too, so as they burn, the wax melts into the container—no drippy, hard wax mess to clean. Tea lights are small candles that usually have a thin metal casing—they are perfect to use decoratively such as floating in a jar filled with water. The first thing to remember for most efficient candle use is to keep the wick trimmed to about one-quarter inch. That way the candle does not burn too fast or too hot, and the flame won’t get too large. A perfect spot to place candles is in the entryway or front hall of a home so scents greet you and guests from the moment you walk in.
Incense, the smoke of a burned aromatic gum, spice or other substance is another popular tool to create a scented mood at home. Many people use incense to unwind while doing yoga or meditation but it is also ideal for overall home fragrance. Solid incense sticks are made of pure incense and give off a lighter scent, better for smaller areas like bedrooms and bathrooms. For open areas such as living spaces and kitchens, cored incense sticks, which are wooden sticks coated with incense, are more practical as they give off a richer smoky scent. Incense can also be decorative when placed in a censer—a tool to hold the stick—made of materials including wood, ceramic, and stone. You can also find censers in shapes like elephants and lotus flowers.
Essential oils are another simple and natural way to freshen up a home. The most popular and efficient way to use them is to combine a couple drops of oil—some of the most popular scents include lavender, peppermint, rosemary and eucalyptus — with some water in a spray bottle (there really isn’t a must-follow measurement, just add enough until the aroma suits you), shake it up and spray. Scents that work well for kitchens and living spaces include fresh outdoor scents like pine or silver fir. Or, combine citrus scented oils such as lemon and blood orange to give the house an overall light but fresh aroma. Scents like lavender and cucumber are calming and work well for a relaxing effect—try a drop or spritz on a bedroom pillow when it’s time to call it a night.