Fall is in the air, which means it’s that time of the year to feast your senses. Did we mention the holiday season is right around the corner? This all adds up to the perfect time to bust out your favorite holiday scents — and invest in some new ones. I know, we need to calm down.
As you bring the cozy outdoor smells of fall indoors, not to mention your best memories, to the surface, be sensible. Apple pie, pumpkin spice, evergreen, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme… it’s true you can have it all. But, just remember: you can have too much of a good thing. And, overwhelming the scenes could literally go to yours, and your house guests’, heads. Luckily, before you get carried away we’re here to bring you back to your senses. Here are a few important tips to help make your home smell as lovely as it looks.
Clearing the Air
I can’t think of anything worse than having the fear of attack looming around every corner. Worse, is walking into a home and being immediately greeted by a barrage of scents up in your business.
It’s important to follow certain precautions if you are looking to avoid your heavenly abode stinking to high heaven.
If I could suggest one takeaway from this article, it’s this: pick one scent per room. One. Scent. Or if you are really dedicated, one scent for your whole home. This way you’ll avoid having competing scents.
According to the experts, there are certain preferable types of scents better smelled in certain rooms. Childhood smells, such as Christmas cookies, are great for rooms where guests plan on getting comfy. This includes the family rooms, kitchens or guest rooms. Clean smells, such as pine are great for bathrooms. Fruity smells, such as orange, are great for the living rooms, hallways and offices. They are typically neutral, pleasant and help evoke positive memories.
Mix scents just the way you would perfumes—citrus with floral, fruity with spicy, etc. For example,for the living room, you could also put a candle on the coffee table or a diffuser above the fireplace on the mantle.
Gently infusing interiors with fragrance—subtle and home appropriate, as opposed to perfume-bomb intense—will invisibly but beautifully elevate the atmosphere. Light fragranced candles 15 minutes before guests arrive, so the scent is truly in the air. Make sure it is a subtly scented candle in small areas, like a powder room, when entertaining.
Also, don’t combine with food. Fragrances can interfere with the way things taste. Meaning, unless you’re a woodlands critter, a delicious apple pie doesn’t call for a side of pine cones and cedar. Plus you want to smell the food.
And, nose-blindness is an actual thing. Meaning, you can build an actual tolerance/ “get used to” your fragrant home. Make sure you “refocus” your brain by giving it breaks. When you leave your home to run errands, make sure you are more cognizant of the smell when you return. Increased blood flow also seems to help the nose start smelling those familiar scents again.
Long story short? Don’t go overboard with scented candles, potpourri, or air fresheners. Doing so can cause adverse reactions in people who suffer from chemical sensitivities or allergies.
Scents & Sensibility
The only thing worse than a bad smelling home is a toxic home. Some of the results from recent studies have given us pause about scented decor.
The use of fragrance in products is on the rise. And, so too are the number of people affected. That is, there is now scientific evidence to suggest that scented candles could actually make us quite sick. And it’s not just candles. Apparently aerosols, plug-ins, gels, and incense sticks are also bad news.
The fear comes with the chemical findings in the fragrance and wax. Some researchers say long-term use of certain scented items might lead to asthma, lung damage, or — in extreme cases — cancer.
Sometimes, you could be the one who has fallen victim and not your actual house guests.
Picture this: You walk into a friend’s home and smell freshly baked pumpkin pie. Only after you start sneezing uncontrollably and feeling dizzy, weak, and sick to your stomach do you learn she hasn’t been baking. She’s been burning a scented candle. If this sounds like you, you may be one of a growing number of people with fragrance allergies or sensitivities that can have mild to severe health consequences.
Those symptoms can range from classic “allergic” reactions, such as sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes. They can also induce headaches, inability to concentrate, and dizziness and more serious reactions such as respiratory issues, hives, and other rashes.
When in doubt, fumigate your own room. If all else fails, open a window, or find the source of the smell and stop it. Or, if you’re a guest at someone’s house, say something. Or, if you are not a fan of general confrontation, some fresh air should make you feel better.
Making ‘Scents’ of a Situation
Unfortunately, many companies stuff their products with chemicals, which is bad for your and your guest’s health and the environment. It’s time to put those aerosol cans back where you found them. Unplug, toss out the plug-ins, and toss in some common scents.
Be sure to check your products to make sure they are organic and use natural ingredients. Or, try out one of the many natural ways to make your home smell great.
Oil and water really can mix when it comes to creating your own spray. Mix about 20 drops of your favorite essential oil with about a half of a cup of water into a spray bottle. And, voila!
Potpourri doesn’t have to be only for sweet old ladies. Dried fruit, fall spices, and the right amount of floral can make for an ideal grouping of wonderful smell.
Or, when it doubt, fold down those tall turtlenecks and channel your inner Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. Witness the magic of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Get crazy with the herbs. Stash them in secret places. You can also order them in pre-made bundles. That’s sugar, spice and everything nice, baby.
Or, get nuts and roast them on an open fire—or an oven will suffice. The clean-up is just as minimal as the concocting this magical memory-inducing potion. Because, disposal means serving them up as delicious snacks. That’s a win-win, as far as I’m concerned.
Did you know wreaths are cool enough to sport year-round? With fresh pine needles, you can spruce up your front door, and the smell of your home. Because, what’s a better smell than fresh, beautiful nature?
If you aren’t up for a DIY — there’s a candle for that. While picking up ingredients for your holiday shindig, grab a vanilla candle—and soy, if they’ve got it. Sure, vanilla isn’t always the “go to” favorite. However, has stood the tests of time for a valid reason. It is not too heavy, and give off a welcoming aroma.
The Nose Knows
Have you already begun to think about which scents you want to use? You should.
Don’t believe me? Ask the experts. Studies show decor shouldn’t be the only focus of interior design.
Marcel Proust, the romantic French writer, believed that smell was the most powerful of the senses. He even went as far as to give it credit for helping us recall long-lost memories. Modern-day researchers back this belief. Modern day research prove the parts of the brain that produces emotions, memories, and scents are best friends and neighbors.
It’s time to crank up those ol’ olfactory nerves and get to sniffing. In the end, you want your home to leave a lasting impression on your guests. Not to mention, trigger your own positive emotions of coziness and luxury every time you walk through your front door.