Hav­ing a nose for home­li­ness

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - HOME - Laura Tri­este

A STRIK­ING in­te­rior style will al­ways catch our eye but what makes a house feel like a home goes well be­yond the vis­ual.

The role that all five of our senses play in cre­at­ing a homely feel­ing was re­cently ex­plored in a global sur­vey of 12,000 peo­ple.

Ikea’s an­nual Life at Home re­port found that many con­sider as­pects such as the sound of their favourite mu­sic, the touch of rough tex­tures, the dis­tinct smell of a house and the taste of a home-cooked meal to be con­tribut­ing fac­tors to their home’s ap­peal.

Ikea’s head of re­search Mikael Yd­holm says smell had the most con­nec­tion, with 40 per cent of peo­ple say­ing their homes have a dis­tinc­tive smell.

It is also the sense most strongly tied to our mem­ory.

“If you think about com­ing to­gether with friends and fam­ily, it is very much con­nected to food,” Yd­holm says.

“There’s also the smell when you have cleaned your house that gives you that nice, fresh feel­ing.”

The pow­er­ful ef­fect of a good smelling home is some­thing that scent de­signer and fra­grance jour­nal­ist Ainslie Walker knows much about.

She says get­ting the right bal­ance of smells is a much bet­ter ap­proach to adding lots of good ones.

“It’s like hav­ing bright lights ver­sus dim lights — you don’t want it scream­ing at you,” Walker says.

Whether you pre­fer can­dles, dif­fusers or room sprays, Walker says it is best to choose a scent that matches the feel you want.

“For the lounge­room it’s nice to use cosy scents like wood and cin­na­mon,” she says. “Open airy spa­ces go well with fresh, light scents.

“If it’s a fed­er­a­tion-style house with wooden floors I would make a nice wood, slightly spiced scent to en­hance that at­mos­phere.”

For peo­ple who pre­fer sub­tle scents, smoke-based prod­ucts like in­cense are the way to go.

If you have cooked fish, Walker says to use a le­mon scent to match, or rose­mary to go with a lamb roast.

“Scent and flavour is very much the same,” she says. For more scent tips, go to ainsliewalker.com

Scent de­signer and fra­grance jour­nal­ist Ainslie Walker. Picture: Tony Gough

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