How To Choose A Home Fragrance Like An Expert
10 minutes read
Home fragrance is more than just an interior accessory; it’s an extension and reflection of you. Your choice of home fragrance has the power to create a visual representation of what your everyday entails: warm and cosy or uplifting and energising. In addition, 75% of people say how a home smells can leave a long-lasting impression – something to remember when your next visitors come over.
However, the real benefits of having home fragrance lie in how it positively impacts your mood, concentration, focus, energy levels and alertness. Our sense of smell is so powerful that it can shape and drive different behaviours. For example, 77% of people say their day could be improved when they surround themselves with a good scent.
“Imagine coming home from a busy day and creating a warm, cocooning feel simply by releasing a favourite aroma. Or clear your head while focusing on a tricky task in just a few (fragrant) inhalation breaths! Scents can do all this and more,” says Anne Murray, registered aromatherapist and holistic therapist with over 25 years of experience.
Beauty Daily speaks to a leading home fragrance expert about how to keep your home smelling wonderful. Then, we’ll dive deep into the world of scents, and the best ways to scent your home: from home sprays and modern potpourri to investing in an essential oil diffuser, reed diffuser or an aromatic scented candle. Read on.
What qualities to look for in a home fragrance?
There are a few key things to consider when choosing a home fragrance: not only what fragrance but how to scent your home. Experts suggest evaluating your lifestyle.
What does your daily routine look like? For example, does a lit candle impose risks on small children or animals, or are there household members that might be allergic when exposed to diffused essential oils?
Aromatherapist Murray suggests having a home fragrance checklist and deciding how to employ the scents at home.
“How safe are the scents you will release into your living spaces? How will you introduce those scents into your house – via candles, diffusers, or sprays? Are there any vulnerable babies, kids, or pets in your home? And, of course, what do you want those fragrances to do within your home?” Murray says.
Adding: “When we think about safety, there is always a balance between the fragrances we choose; the amount we use and for how long; and the sensitivity of the people or animals exposed. Some people tolerate both natural and synthetic aromas, while others are more sensitive and may react to synthetic scents with respiratory or skin symptoms. Remember, the minute particles of whatever we burn or diffuse will be released into the air and be inhaled. Therefore, I would always prefer to use natural fragrances as essential oils, but we still need to understand that there are safe limits for those too.”
Read next: How to use essential oils?
How to pick the perfect home fragrance?
The best way to pick a scent is to envision how you want to feel in a particular space and the mood you want to create.
“Scents are linked to the brain’s limbic system, which is the part of the brain responsible for our memories and emotions. So with just the simple action of inhaling a specific scent, we can profoundly change our mood within moments. The link between smell and memory is so strong, making a conscious connection between an aroma and a positive emotional state will reinforce the power of that aroma when we next use it,” says Murray.
Do you want to evoke a spa-like fresh, and uplifting experience for your bathroom? Or, for your lounge and living area, do you want a warm, welcoming vibe? For your bedroom, perhaps a calm and relaxed environment?
If you’re a beginner, Murray recommends using the citrus family of oils.
“Lemon for crisp, fresh notes; sweet orange or mandarin for warmer aromas; or bergamot for a lighter, uplifting mood boost. They are some of the safest essential oils to diffuse and can suit all areas of your home.
Lemon has a strong antibacterial effect. To build on these citrus oils, you can add clean herbal notes such as rosemary for a clean, energising feel in the kitchen or office. In comparison, sweeter florals like geranium or lavender create the mood for a calm living space. For deep relaxation, the warmer notes like patchouli and ylang-ylang are great for bedrooms.”
The Beauty Daily Edit: The best home fragrance products we love
If you’re looking for the healthiest way to fragrance your home, Murray says diffusing (well-sourced) essential oils or aromatherapy is the way to go.
It’s worth knowing that not all brands claiming to sell ‘essential oils’ have the same ingredients. So don’t add to cart the first one you see.
What makes an essential oil top grade is if it’s made with pure essential oils. Clarins Treatment Oils, for example are formulated with 100% natural plant extracts. These essential oils are obtained through the distillation of leaves, flowers, fruits and roots and contain zero synthetic chemicals or added fragrance.
Pure essential oils have therapautic properties, health benefits when diffused and inhaled as opposed to others which contain sythentic ingredients or perfume style oils.
A pro hack you can do is add a few drops of Clarins Relax Treatment Oil – Soothing/Relaxing, £43 on a cotton pad and place it near your heater. Allow the essential oil to permeate the scent throughout the room. This will allow you to enjoy the benefits of basil oil which has a warm, spicy, yet herbal aroma that reduces feelings of anxiety and chamomile oil which aids sleep.
“By diffusing essential oils, you’re certain no harmful or harsh chemicals are floating in your home. You can choose single essential oils or a blend to achieve the desired effects,” Murray says.
Adding: “The benefit of using essential oils to fragrance your home is they can change your mood in moments. Some will also have antimicrobial effects to keep your home and family healthy and protect your household against pesky bugs.”
If you’re looking for recommendations for essential oil diffusers and blends, Murray loves this sophisticated handmade Clay Volant Diffuser, £85. You can introduce yourself to the world of essential oils by trying their starter kit, Everyday Essentials Set, £62. The set has the perfect blend for you whether you need more rest, sleep, energy, or focus.
If you like to reap the benefits of aromatherapy and essential oils and want to add cosiness and warmth to your home, opt for aromatherapy candles. We recommend the Clarins Limited Edition Aromatherapy Candles.
Tonic Candle Trio, £25
Why do we love it? It’s a perfect way to lift you when you feel sluggish or need to boost your focus.
This candle is inspired by the invigorating and energising Clarins Tonic Range. It is formulated with pure essential oils of geranium, proven to enhance concentration; orange, which boosts optimism and self-confidence; and spearmint, which influences energy, alertness, and focus.
How we’d use it? Try it on your workspace or near the dresser. With the festive after-work, parties are just around the corner. It will help to get you in the mood and liven up.
Read next: 6 Ways On How To Get Into The Christmas Mood
Why do we love it? It lulls you to deep sleep, giving you the rest you deserve.
If you’re after a calming influence, then the Relax Candle Trio is a terrific addition to your nighttime routine. Relieve the day’s stresses and settle in your sanctuary. It has subtle notes of lavender, known for its soothing aromatic qualities proven to promote sleep. In addition, basil is known recognised for lowering symptoms of fear or nervousness and petitgrain is proven to quell anxiety and high-stress situations.
How we’d use it?If you’re looking for a bedroom candle, look no further: light up before your PM bath or nighttime routine, and blow out before you hit the sack.
Why do we love it? If you want a fresh spa-like or sophisticated hotel-smelling home, try the Eau Dynamisante Candle Trio.
It is inspired by the universally loved scent, Eau Dynamisante treatment fragrance. This candle, without a doubt, will be your new favourite. It boosts confidence and is both feel-good and uplifting.
This candle is formulated with perfectly selected essential oils of patchouli which is excellent for relieving stress. In addition, bitter orange is known for its relaxing and sedative effects that sweep away the blues. At the same time, rosemary helps to eliminate negative thoughts, and white thyme will uplift a mood.
Some experts agree that candles made from soy, coconut and beeswax are better. Not only are they more planet-friendly, they’re generally great for people with allergies and sensitives as they’re hypoallergenic.
We love OUAI Melrose Place Candle, £32. Not only is it aesthetic, but it also smells luxurious and is sustainably made from soy and coconut wax. Pretty points!
Apart from its rosey scent, it also features bergamot, lychee, cedarwood notes and white musk to add a rich, earthy edge.
Beeswax candles are also a great non-toxic candle pick and we’re a fan of the Bamford English Lavender Candle, £29. For those who wants a floral and woody home fragrance, this one’s for you. This candle is made from beeswax and rapeseed.
The rapeseed used in this candle is produced by Swedish local farmers. After producing the wax, the leftover rapeseed meal is used as animal feed to keep waste to a minimum. The green glass candle jar can also be upcycled or recycled.
However, it’s worth noting that everything you burn does release some compounds into the air and perhaps reeds diffusers are a safer option.
Reed diffusers are also a popular way to scent a space. How it works is the reeds soak up the scent and emit a pleasant aroma around your home. We love Floral Street’s Vanilla Bloom Reed Diffuser, £34.
It has an uplifting and happy blend of golden vanilla, juicy plum and crisp amber. The ultimate room enlivener! Use up to three reeds for a gentler scent or a tiny space. Use five reeds for higher intensity or for larger rooms. This reed diffuser is alcohol-free, vegan, and planet-friendly and its ingredients are sustainably sourced.
Room sprays made with synthetic fragrances, some aerosols or automatic-release gadgets will always contain additional chemicals that may increase the risk of reactions, so be wary.
If you want to keep every area of your home well-scented, spritz home mist a couple of times a day. If you want a clean, fresh scent, something like Zen Maitri’s Refreshing Room Spray, £20, would be perfect.
The key to picking home mists or sprays is to make sure they are made with non-toxic ingredients or made with essential oils.
This home spray has a citrusy, sweet, and minty scent and is made with orange blossom water, which helps to sanitise your rooms, as orange blossom water is also naturally antiseptic. In addition, it has essential oils of lemon, lemongrass, and peppermint; all are proven to uplift the mood and improve focus.
You can also use Eau Ressourcante, £39 pre-slumber. A few spritzes on your pillow and bed linens will create that relaxing ambience. It contains sleep-inducing essential oils of basil and chamomile.
Pro Tip: “Use the recommended number of drops in your diffuser – usually, just two or three. More is not always merrier. Also, be cautious with spicy oils [e.g. ginger, cinnamon, or cardamom] as they can irritate the eyes and nose if used in too high a concentration.
When diffusing oils or burning candles, you need 30 minutes to activate them, and then you can turn them off. That is enough time to allow the fragrance to flow beautifully through your chosen space without building up to excessive levels,” advises Murray.
4. Modern Potpourri
This modern Volcanic potpourri, £28 from Boostology is not only aesthetically pleasing but also a conversation starter. If someone asks about the use of volcanic rocks, tell them crystal healers use lava and obsidian stones to provide themselves with strength and positivity. That’s some pretty points for you!
Simply add six to 10 drops of essential oil (not included) to the stones. The lava stones act like a sponge, soak up the oil and then slowly release your chosen blissful aroma into your space.
Expert-approved tips on safely fragrancing your home
- Make sure never to release intense aromas around babies and young children, as they are much more sensitive.
- Always ventilate the room. Leave a window or door ajar, and ensure any pets can leave the room if they wish.
- Check the oils you have chosen are safe for your family and pets. Stick to 100% essential oils and avoid ones formulated with synthetic ingredients.
- Lastly, enjoy fragrancing your home with your choice of aromas to create the mood and feel you want anytime.