People spend so much time and money on the look and feel of their houses that they forget one of the most important senses: smell. A good or bad smell can make just as much of an impact on any visitors as a good floor plan, pretty throw pillows or a colour scheme, so it only makes sense to give it the importance it deserves.
So which scents should a scent-conscious home designer opt for to please the noses of the most guests? Here is a list of some of the best fancy fragrances for any odorous architect.
Sometimes the classics are the best. As connoisseurs Japan Craft recount, traditional Japanese incense dates back thousands of years in its native land, and it has been used for everything from the meditation of Buddhists to the feasts of peasants.
For many, the fragrant, warm odours of incense will be enough to justify using it in their home, but there are more upsides to Japanese incense than aroma alone. Depending on the kind of wood, Japanese incense has a variety of smells. What they have in common though is a rich warmth with strong woody tones.
Psychology Today has has hailed incense as “the sustenance of happiness and wellbeing” in a post on its many psychological benefits. Science Daily even goes as far as to suggest incense could act as a new form of antidepressant.
With such profound effects on the mood, Japanese incense has to be the fragrance of choice for those who want to create a blanket of nasal comfort for themselves, and for anyone visiting their home.
Vanilla is sometimes used as a synonym for bland or boring, but when it comes to olfactory architecture, it is anything but.
It is actually one of the world’s most popular fragrances, and vanilla brings a welcoming sense of familiarity to your home. It is also said to have other psychological benefits. Studies of humans and animals have shown that vanilla can have a calming effect, vastly reducing the ‘startle reflex’ and lowering stress and anxiety.
You can infuse your home with a vanilla scent by using an air freshener, but some find this method sterile. A better way to create a vanilla aroma is to use a diffuser or a scented candle, which are generally considered more natural ways to scent your home.
The scents of citrus are another favourite fragrance for many. As one smell expert told the Reader’s Digest, citrus is the perfect odour for a kitchen as it masks the smell of cooking. Like vanilla and incense, citrus has been linked to mood, with one study suggesting smelling lemons and similar citrus fruits can relieve the symptoms of depression.
To create a citrus smell you could once again use a scented candle, or you could take a more creative approach and cook up the scent yourself. To do this, simply make a mixture of fruits and herbs (eg. lemon & mint, orange & cinnamon) and put them in a pan of boiling water. Cook them together and store them in a jar and you will have your very own natural citrus fragrance.
Lavender is a popular scent for bedrooms and bathrooms. Described as ‘romantic’ by Reader’s Digest’s smells expert, lavender is said to ‘promote sleep and relaxation’, hence its popularity in the bedroom.
Lavender Fanatic have an article dedicated to helping you bring lavender smell to every room in the house. Methods include spraying lavender mist around the house, using lavender scented pillows at night and investing in dried lavender buds to place in nooks and crannies around a room.
Perhaps a little more unusual, but not less beneficial to the smell of your home, recreating the smell of a local bakery is a brilliant way to bring joy to the noses of visitors. If you don’t want to bake fresh buns every morning there are other ways you can achieve this smell.
This home bakery smell guide from Snap Guide shows you how to make your home smell like a delicious bakery with just cinnamon, vanilla extract and boiling water. The only downside to this fragrance is that it is known to induce hunger.