Quick: What’s the first thing you notice when you walk into someone’s house? It’s not the lampshade in the corner, or the artful stack of coffee table books. It’s not even the music playing in the background. It’s, more than likely, the smell. The scent of a home typically makes not only the first impression, but also a deep one. When you walk inside, does the aroma make you feel safe, with the scent of freshly baked cookies wafting out of the kitchen? Or does it put you off because you detect a note of pine, which reminds you of the household chores you used to do as a child?
If you’re now feeling inspired to scent your home, then read on: We spoke to artist and fragrance creator Phuong Dang and perfumer Francis Kurkdjian to learn simple ways to scent your space like a pro.
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So where to begin? “I like to play around with different scents in different rooms,” says Kurkdjian, who prefers to have an emotional connection to each one. Do you have fond, snuggly memories of vanilla (as many Americans do)? Then try incorporating it into your main living space. Do lavender notes bring on the zen? Use them in your bedroom to calm your mind before sleep.
On the flip side, you can choose to have one signature scent for your home, and diffuse it differently throughout the rooms, says Kurkdjian, whose new home candle line debuts this fall (but you can check out the flames he created for The Standard Hotel now).
If you’re working to add a fragrance to a large space, like say, a public lobby, diffusers may perform better than candles, “but for the home, candles are very efficient and can create an intimate, cozy atmosphere,” says Dang, whose own candles contain a high concentration of perfume oils (and are therefore strong). If you’re diffusing a warm, woody or amber-rich scent, candles work especially well, says Kurkdjian.
Another way to go about this project is to create your own potpourri-esque blend, says Kurkdjian. “I mix clove buds, nutmeg and cinnamon powder with rosemary and thyme leaves and leave it in the bathroom.”
However you do it, remember “to open the windows and bring some fresh air inside at least once a day,” says Kurkdjian.