Fragrance: An Interior Decorating Accessory
When you put your house on the market to sell, one of the first things a realtor will try to tactfully tell you is that your house stinks. Our noses get accustomed to our household odors which are a blend of pet odors, musty basements, dusty fabrics, cooking smells, wood smoke, body odor, various lotions and potions and a general staleness from being closed up so much. We’re used to it, but a stranger coming into our home will act either positively or negatively to our household smells. You want to make sure they react positively by giving them wonderful fragrances to delight their olfactory senses.
And yet, isn’t that typical that we wait until we sell our house to make it as nice and pleasant as possible? My advice: pretend your house is going on the market soon and get to work now to make it as appealing as possible. Get in the habit of buying and using home fragrances—put them on your “staples” list. Fragrance will add a whole new level of enjoyment to your home.
Nothing is as homey as a fire in the fireplace, but that’s not available to all of us or even possible on a daily basis for those of us with fireplaces. Instead, light a candle. Place it where you can see the flame, not only for safety’s sake, but because the glow creates a cozy ambience. If you don’t have the time or inclination to burn candles, there are many other ways to fragrance your home.
I prefer oils that are especially formulated for use in fragrance diffusers such as lamp rings and reed diffusers. Add a little to a cotton ball and tuck it in out-of-the-way places (making sure the surface they touch is glass or ceramic). Make your own potpourri using garden botanicals and fragrance oils. Create your own signature fragrance by blending two or three different scented oils. Don’t be afraid to use several different fragrances in different rooms of your house. If you like both, they probably work together. The following is a guide on general classifications of fragrances and which ones create a pleasing effect when used together.
• Green These are fragrances with names such as bamboo, fresh mown lawn, hay, clover, grass, ivy, fresh herb and the like. They blend well with floral fragrances (see below).
• Floral Any flower fragrance falls into this category and these blend well with greens and cleans (see below).
• Clean Scents titled Rain, Ocean, Marine, Linen, or anything that evokes something freshly washed or laundered. These are fairly neutral and therefore mix well with florals, greens, and spicy (see below).
• Spicy Fragrances such as Cinnamon, Frankincense, Patchouli, Black Pepper and Sandalwood usually mix well with greens.
• Fruity Orange, Red Currant, Fig, Apple, and Berry can sometimes mix well with greens.
• Baking Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, Caramel, Café au Lait, and Amaretto Nog are the favorites around the winter holidays. These all blend well with vanilla.
• Vanilla is in a class all by itself. It also happens to be the all-time best selling home fragrance. If it’s not added to an overly sweet base fragrance, most people like it. And it’s rather neutral— not quite a clean or a green fragrance, a little bit spicy, sort of a floral (the vanilla bean didn’t come out of nowhere, after all), maybe even a little bit fruity. This is the fragrance I always recommend for gifts.
Most home fragrances fall into one of the above categories and all are available in candles and scented oils. Experiment to see which ones make you stop and sniff and say “ahhhh” every time you walk by. Discover which method works for you and use it on a regular basis.