The scented home
Lisa Moore Owner Lismoore Drapery & Interiors Member of the Window Covering Association of America (WCAA) e-mail your questions/concerns/comments to email@example.com Call 731-2133 for appointments Continue to follow us on Facebook at Lismoore Drapery & Interiors
It's October, the start of the final quarter of the year. Also, it's time to prepare for what some may call the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas. What better time than this season to experiment with different scents in your home? And what better way to get compliments from your many guests? Home fragrancing is enjoying a big comeback. Whether you opted for more natural scenting with cinanmon sticks, cloves, ginger spice and fresh flowers and pot-pouri; Or, with a variety of fragrant plug-in sprays, oils, fragrance diffusers,incense and scented candles; there is simply no excuse not to fill your home with scents. So why do it? Fragrance has the power to bring sensual pleasure into our lives, and awaken memories of gatherings past. Indulging our sense of smell has a powerful therapeutic effect.
Air conditioning, pollution, fluorescent lighting, computer screens and traffic noise are facts of modern life we must learn to accept, but restoring our spirits against these environmental attacks must become something of a priority. Picture yourself for a moment, soaking in a bath scented with your favourite essential oil on s Friday evening. This can become an oasis of calm, as you sip a glass of wine while listening to music in a room filled with scented candles or incense, relaxing and renewing your spirit. Our sense of smell is our most powerful, developed when it was the key to everyday survival, and connected directly to the seat of our emotions and memory. Without our sense of smell, food and drink would be tasteless.
Scientific research has shown just how powerful scent is in all personal relationships. We are instinctively drawn to those people whose smell we find attractive, even if this might be the very last factor we would consciously admit to! Using fragrance in all its forms to enhance the way we live has its roots in prehistory, so there is nothing revolutionary here. You might think that our noses do all the smelling, but it's our brains that tell us how to react to a scent. A chemical message is sent to our nervous systems which tells our bodies how we feel about a particular smell. Floral scents can make us feel sensual. Earthy scents can make our bodies feel refreshed. Vanilla or almond might remind us of baking.
It is no wonder that many of you might have a challenge in choosing the right scent for your home. Just as your body has a natural scent that will chemically react to a perfume or cologne, our homes have a natural odor that will react to the supplemental scents we introduce into them. Above all else a home should be a comfort and joy. Scents play a powerful, yet subtle role in the enjoyment of our home. A particularly useful aspect of a pleasantly scented home is that it results firstly from cleanliness. Some simple ways of maintaining a clean and pleasantly scented home are emptying garbage cans daily, washing them often, and by changing the water of fresh flowers regularly washing vases out with soap. I hope I have inspired and shown how simple, effective and relevant scenting your home can be.
5 WAYS OF SCENTING YOUR HOMES
Potpourri has long been a favourite. It combines colours, flowers, barks and spices with their subtle scents, and is a natural, decorative way to distribute perfume throughout your homes. The imitation is based on commercially fragranced and dyed wood shavings.
Traditionally, potpourri was based on fragrant rose, jasmine, peony, pink carnations, lavender combined with dried herbs and roughly ground spices such as cinnamon, clove, star anise, ships of sandalwood, cedar, pine needles and dried citrus peel. Remember, your combinations are limitless and essential oils will prolong the fragrance of your potpourri. Display your mixture with care and imagination. Enclosed containers will prolong the life of the fragrance, but open antique dishes makes perfect receptacles that allow you to enjoy the sight as well as the smell.
As with so much in life, simplicity is often the best rule to apply when it comes to perfuming your home. The simplest and most natural way to fill a room with fragrance is to bring in fresh flowers. Every home has its own family of scents. The smell of fresh flowers creates an aromatic picture that unfolds as we pass from room to room. Layers of fragrance are a matter of personal taste and like clothing, can be changed to suit the season or the mood. My personal favorite is sunflower, because to me, it emits joy and energy. The variety of flowers, whether tropical or otherwise are endless, and are available from your garden or florist.
Essential oils have been at the heart of perfumery from its earliest days, and while chemical imitations have begun to dominate the commercial perfume market, these powerful, fragrant condensations of plant substance open up a world of fragrancing possibilities at home. Essential oils vaporise over a heat source, which not only smells wonderful, but also purifies the air in your homes. Experiment with different combinations of oil to find what works for you and your home. Please note that these oils are highly concentrated, and should never be used on the skin if they are not diluted by either oil or water. The exception to this rule is lavender which has healing properties.
There is something reassuring in the fact that even in our high-tech homes many of us still find candles the most attractive light source. Maybe it could be a deep-seated attraction to fire and its warm soft glow; or being surrounded by flickering shadows, and the romantic ambience of candlelight. Candles, whether simple or beautifully ornate, can be chunky, thin and long, floating or floor standing; all decorative features in their own right. When using candles never leave them unattended. Impurities in the wax can sometimes result in too rapid a burn causing unexpected flare-ups. Also, flames should always be kept well away from any flammable materials.
Traditionally incense sticks are burnt and used in religious rituals. Today, the western world, incense is widely available in a range of rich aromas, and burnt to dispel unwanted smells. Lighting incense takes patience and several matches, but persevere; wait for that crackling glow to develop into a slow smoulder. It is available in a range of lovely fragrances and is highly effective in absorbing kitchen odours, mustiness, or even unpleasant animal smells.
Hopefully finding the right fragrance for your home will now be a little easier as you think of the smells that already exist in your homes and what your personal preferences are.