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The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE - With edi­tor Robyn Wil­lis robyn.wil­lis@news.com.au

Com­mon scents and other smells

We all get so se­duced by im­ages of beau­ti­ful homes that it is some­times easy to for­get the other senses.

For me, smell is one of the most pow­er­ful senses, es­pe­cially for evok­ing long for­got­ten mem­o­ries.

Not long af­ter we moved into our house, I re­alised that the fur­ni­ture pol­ish used on our fire sur­round was the same as that used on the floor­boards in the hall where I had dance lessons as a girl.

One deep breath and I was back with my beau­ti­ful dance teacher run­ning through bal­let po­si­tions.

Al­though it was a fairly com­mon pol­ish when I was grow­ing up, I had not smelled it for years, giv­ing me a real blast from the past.

The smell of wood fires — par­tic­u­larly out­doors — tends to have the same ef­fect, re­mind­ing me of fam­ily camp­ing hol­i­days or nights in the coun­try.

Just as you can’t re­ally smell your own per­fume af­ter a while, I think most of us don’t re­alise that our homes give off their own scent.

Hope­fully, it’s not the smell of ris­ing damp, cig­a­rette smoke or pets that are not quite house trained.

But if the grow­ing scented can­dle mar­ket is any­thing to go by, more of us are pay­ing at­ten­tion to whether we want our homes to smell of gar­de­nia, cu­cum­ber or burnt fig.

I went through a stage where I dabbed es­sen­tial oil on cot­ton wool and then vac­u­umed it up so that the air was scented while I per­formed my least favourite clean­ing task.

While I en­joy the aroma of a scented can­dle strate­gi­cally po­si­tioned in the hall­way to catch the breeze, noth­ing beats the smell of fresh flow­ers or some­thing good cook­ing in the oven.

Find­ing the scent for you can be as per­sonal as choos­ing per­fume so go with what pleases you most. Es­pe­cially if you get stuck with the vac­u­um­ing.

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