the comfort of things
There are certain things in your home that are like old friends: they always cheer you up. We feel the love for a house filled with gorgeous, uplifting smells
”In an ideal home, floral scents waft in on a summer’s breeze”
In an ideal home, a window to the garden would always be open, allowing floral scents – honeysuckle or jasmine, perhaps – to drift in on a summer’s breeze. The kitchen would be filled with the aromas of bread baking and coffee brewing, and upstairs, bedlinen, freshly unpegged from the washing line, would be piled in airing cupboards waiting for you to bury your nose in it. Back in the real world, homes are more likely to whiff of wet dogs, unemptied bins and something indeterminate lurking beneath the floorboards. Any naturally occurring pleasant smells are often masked by fragrances more foul. The solution for a sweet-smelling home is, foremost, cleanliness. Get that tackled and you have carte blanche to introduce fresh, spirit-lifting scents of your own choosing.
The sense of smell is a powerful emotional trigger, with the ability to shift moods and prompt memories. Keep your home fragrance-free and you miss out on a sybaritic pleasure. With so many different scents to choose from and an increasing number of ways to dispense them – from the trusty scented candle to high-tech integrated systems – finding the right one can be daunting. Think of fragrance as background music, though – not too obtrusive, playing quietly and tantalisingly in earshot – and it becomes more manageable. A little spritz here and there may be all it takes.
The more adventurous could introduce different aromas into different rooms. A zesty citrus fragrance feels right wafting through a bathroom, for example, whereas a bedroom suits something more relaxing – a lavender or floral reed diffuser, say, and a work room could benefit from an invigorating boost of peppermint.
Whichever fragrance you go for, don’t be tempted to go for a cheap option. You don’t want your home to smell like a minicab or for the only memory it evokes to be your great aunt’s pine plug-in air freshener. Your nose deserves better than that.