Tell me I smell good, ‘oh thanks’! Tell me my home smells good…now that’s a huge compliment! An extension of our personality, our home is the showcase to our soul, (hang on while I tidy up) …so it’s got to smell as good as it looks, right?
How about this for making an entrance? You walk in the door, and by the time your bag hits the floor, the aroma of your home has filtered through your nose, up to your brain, calling ‘I’m home’ to the rest of your body. A millisecond later you breathe out, shoulders drop… you RELAX. ‘Coz at the end of a weary day, where do we crave and yearn to be the most if not at home? Now more than ever, in our crazy, chaotic stressy lives, I truly believe we need to surround and immerse ourselves in a cocoon of contentment and security.
WHY HOME SCENT MATTERS
If there is one thing I’ve learned as a beauty journalist, the surest way to connect with our mood, especially after a long day, is through fragrance. When you bring aroma into your home it has a huge impact on the senses. Let’s start with a bunch of flowers. Visually you have colour and architecture in the petals; but even more powerful, you have the aroma: be it fresh roses, or crisp lavender intertwined with sprigs of rosemary. It’s that ‘ahh’ aroma effect. It’s just got to make you feel good.
PASSION FOR PERFUME
I’ve always had a passion for fragrance; for myself and my home. The two are inseparable. When my children were small I wore the great chypre Mitsouko by Guerlain, and they would hug me and say ‘you smell of home’. I also burn candles galore, usually with some woody hint, or spritz aromas in the air such as the sensual Bel Ami by Hermes (a men’s fragrance with vetiver, sandalwood and patchouli) or Aveda Chakra II (sandalwood, orange and geranium), around my office.
Smell is so emotional. It works that place in our brain where we process scent and store our memories. That’s why it’s the quickest way to access memory and emotion. Hence scent is always an emotional purchase. It’s not going to make you 10 years younger: nothing outwards, but inside you might, on occasions, just feel 21 again!
TURN A HOUSE INTO A HOME
Home is not about the colour on the walls, the size of your kitchen or the number of bathrooms you have: that’s a house. Your home has soul. It’s all about emotion. So whether you live alone, with a partner, kids, three generations of family, or a darling, albeit occasionally whiffy dog; home is your space, your place, to unwind, be yourself, relax, regenerate, refuel. So yeah, I think home scents matters, a lot.
“I love candlelight. It’s hypnotic, magical and downright flattering. Add in an aroma that matters to you and you turn a house into a home, a space into a zone.”
HOW TO SCENT YOUR HOME Want a peaceful, snuggly Sunday in, or having friends over for a get-together? Scent your home to suit the mood you want to recreate. Home fragrance is so important for creating an atmosphere and emotion in the home. Try something calming and relaxing in the bedroom and the bathroom, or maybe in your cozy living room. But for the kitchen and hallway areas, you need something a bit more uplifting.
- Light: Over a quarter of British homes now regularly burn a candle. It’s in our blood. Having a signature home is a way of really owning your surroundings and it is more personal than simply wearing a scent since people have to be invited into your home to experience it. Start with just one candle in your bedroom and see the difference in your mood after a great night’s sleep. At this point, I’m going to JOGB SLOJO Relaxing Candle with lavender, geranium, patchouli, and labdanum – but if you’re not after sleep perhaps you’d like to try JOGB MOJO Sensual Candle with coriander, ambrette seed, and sandalwood.
- Spray: Over bedlinen, curtains, napkins and even your tablecloth alfresco, choose a mood-enhancing essential oil-based spray, body mist or flower water that is alcohol-free over chemical-based room sprays. This way if it falls on your skin, that’s OK, and I think disinfecting in the home is overrated. I love Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist, £18, and on the duvet This Works Sleep Plus+ Pillow Spray, £26, with lavender, vetiver, and chamomile, works like a dream.
- Diffuse: Reed diffusers are a slightly more elegant and effortless version of air freshener, gently permeating a fragrance you love throughout the home. The trick is to turn the wooden sticks every five days to get the full impact. I have a soft spot for the spicy woods in Jo Malone Scent Surround Diffuser in Pomegranate Noir, £62.
- Heat: An essential oil burner is still rather a gentle way to scent a room. I use a Bodi-Tek Aroma Stone, £22, in my office with my own blend of lemongrass, eucalyptus, and frankincense essential oil that I’ve named ‘GOJO’…or check out my JOGB GOJO Uplifting Candle
- Smoke: Incense sticks, cones, and flat coils are a fabulous, traditional way to smolder aroma in your home. My all-time favourites are Nitiraj Incense in Pavarti, around £3.99 from wildeones.com, with, yep, you guessed it…sandalwood, cinnamon and patchouli; and Ila Incense Aroma of Purity and Peace, £12, with sandalwood and jasmine. I took these on holiday to Greece last year and now when I light one at home the whole family feels the vibe!
SCENT LAYERING, HOME AND ABROAD
Love perfume layering? Try layering at home. Be experimental and burn candles like a signature cocktail, choosing scents that complement each other with shared styles or some similar notes. I love to burn a different JOGB fragranced candle in every room, and they’ve been designed to complement each other so that they can burn together as a collective fragrance force for a whole new mood! Ah… JOGB In Harmony Collection) in the hallway becomes your own signature scent where all the aromas meet. Your guests can then ask ‘what is this smell’ and you can say it’s ‘home’.
A lot goes into making one small candle. I’ve learned this for myself. It’s been a fascinating process! The blend of natural waxes and oils to prevent using cheap paraffin wax that burns well but lingers in the air and is considered by most as a toxin (especially to pets and young lungs), the dimension of the wick to ensure the candles burn and don’t pool (always light a new candle for 2 hours to help prevent this) and the effort that goes into packaging! Geez!!
DID YOU KNOW?
- When lighting for the first time, always burn for 2 hours to allow the wax to pool evenly for the duration of its burn time.
- Do trim the wick before relighting to prevent blackening of the glass.
- Want to seem perfect? Try this! Light candles an hour before any guests arrive to give your home a rush of fragrance you love. Extinguish the flame and enjoy the praise.
SORRY BUT! You DO Get What You Pay For. You have only to experience an expensive candle to know why it costs more. A cheap, highly synthetic fragrance can resemble cleaning spray. Cheapen the surroundings of your home, and it’s just not as soulful. You can even give guests a headache. It’s like choosing a piece of furniture: you can do it on the cheap but it won’t have the same effect: functional over fashionable. You’ll find 8-12% fragrance (natural or synthetic) in every prestigious candle, and it’s this ‘throw’ that makes it scent a room even before it’s lit. Cheaper candles generally just have a simpler fragrance construction and contain less than 2% perfume in comparison.