How amazing is it to walk into your home and instantly smell that comforting familiar scent? A fresh smelling home not only makes it feel cleaner (even if you haven't run the hoover around for a week) but it has been said that a good smelling home can help us de-stress.
There's something about a fresh smelling home that feels like heaven, a bit like the power of clean bedlinen, but the artificial scents out there don't always cut the mustard. Thankfully there are much less harsh ways of scenting your home naturally with many household items readily available. Aromatherapy has been used for centuries to promote a calm mind, and the essential oils such as lavender, rose, orange, bergamot and sandlewood to name a few have been shown to relieve anxiety, stress and depression. Hence when it comes to scenting my home my first go to is a candle. Like many of us I love the glow and ambience the glimmering light provides.
They come in all shapes and sizes with differing price tags depending on your budget. The cheaper candles certainly have their place, I bulk buy tea lights for this reason, pop them in a little votive or a simple jam jar, and you've got instant mood enhancers. But if you are looking to scent the house to high heaven then its the candles that are made naturally with beeswax and soy with added essential oils are the ones to lift your senses and offer benefits to your health and help to protect the environment too. With longer, cleaner burning times than the more common paraffin wax alternatives, they also offer better value for money.
Here are some of my favourite high end scents that could be on your next birthday list!
Rachel Vosper is one of the UK's leading Candle Chandlers with a boutique based in the heart of London. The boutique offers a unique candle collection which has been designed and made exclusively by Rachel and her team. The collection is ever changing throughout the season and new and inspiring designs and scents are frequently added.
They even offer a bespoke candle service where you can choose from the extensive library of scents and vessels in which to mould your candle. Better still take a course and make your own. Held in the heart of Belgravia the taster candle making course will give you the basic skills to create a candle in an etched glass container along with a selection of fragranced decorations; all of which you will be able to take with you at the end of the course. Otherwise candles start at £36 and £24 for a refill for a 2 wick candle in a glass jar.
Good old Jo Malone. Match your home scent with your perfume. I love the fact that these candles smell exactly the same as the perfume scent. Whether they are in candle form, room diffuser or room and linen spray. The cohesive collection can be layered just as your perfume can be to create that personal scent for your space. Choose something uplifting like Grapefruit for the Kitchen and Pomegranate Noir for cosy nights. With over 20 candles currently available on line from the original to the intense range and the newly added range that includes Lavender and Lovage, there is sure to be something that takes your fancy. These are also high end and start at £39.
Daylesford candles are always a favourite. They make great gifts as they're not overly priced for the quality and the smells linger long after the lid has been replaced. A lifestyle stored based in Kingham Gloucestershire. I bought a candle when I first visited and have been hooked ever since. They are available in the two sizes but in my opinion the larger is better value for money. Whilst I would drive the hour and a half to enjoy the fabulous restaurant and farm shop, the complete foodie that I am, that doesn't happen often so I buy mine from Ocado where they often have the larger size on offer for £18. This link offers £15 off your first shop and free delivery.
But they don't always have to cost the earth. Tk Maxx often have a great selection of naturally made candles. Parks is one of my favourite brands from them and i'm currently burning the Wild Fig, Cassis and Orange Blossom. You can of course buy these on line from Parks London and at full price they are £30 for a 1 wick candle, but I always pick mine up for £6.99. Tk Maxx has also launched online so take a peek (by clicking on the link above) you may be able to pick up a bargain there too.
St Eval are a luxury candle company based in Cornwall. In a nutshell their candles are unique, beautifully fragranced and inspired by nature. Based on a traditional working farm (the farm is mixed arable and livestock), environmental issues are equally important to them. These candles are more reasonably priced but its the story that appeals to me. My absolute favourite is the Bay and Rosemary. I buy these in both the tins and tea lights. Starting at £5.30 for a pack of 9 tea lights. The scent even from a little tealight lingers and smells utterly divine.
Moving away from candles, something that I was introduced to a few years ago on a day with Abigail Ahern. It was a brilliant Design Masterclass that she holds regularly at her house. This is incidentally where my love for dark interiors went full throttle and I soon became a total dark side convert! Throughout the day she will impart her knowledge gained from being in the biz as she calls it and is super generous with her hints and tips, plus a tour of her beautiful pad - I loved it so much I would go again, so if you've heard of it and fancy it I couldn't recommend it more. Whilst I was there she told us about Santa Maria Novella.
Santa Maria Novella was established in 1612 and is one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. They produce not only beauty products but the most intense Pot Pourri, room fragrances and scents for wardrobes and drawers.
The Pot Pourri has been produced in their workshops for over three centuries. The mixture of buds, leaves and flower petals collected from the florentine hills is soaked in essence and aged in large terracotta pots. When poured at home the mixture is still wet and wonderfully pungent. It will still smell up to a year later in that very pot! I purchased mine over the phone from the store in Piccadilly Arcade, London. I did pay a fair bit for delivery so it was worth buying two bags, but despite giving a large wrapped jar to someone as a moving in gift I still have 3/4 of a bag left two years on. I'm off to Florence next month so am definitely planning on visiting the store to stock up, its infectiously good.
Alternatively using my store cupboard from time to time allows me to scent my rooms, quickly and cheaply....
- Bring to simmering point a small pan of water, add cinnamon sticks and orange slices. Leave to cool and the smell will emanate throughout your kitchen and downstairs. I use this if i've cooked something particularly pungent!
- Add a few drops of essential oils to some water and decant to a small spray bottle. You can then use this as a room freshener, linen spray or pillow spray, particularly if you use lavender - my version of This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray!
- A friend has also recommended room fresheners using baking soda and essential oils. Simply pierce a few holes into the lid of a mason jar. Fill will 1/2 cup of bicarbonate of soda and few drops of an essential oil. Secure the lid and place the jar anywhere you want to refresh.
Lastly a bunch of flowers can lift a space and your spirits, I just love a bunch and if you follow me on Instagram you will see that I regularly buy them for myself, in fact they are part of the weekly food shop! If you buy in season they can always be a very reasonable, but better still if you have green fingers and can pick them from your garden I have total admiration!
Do you have any tips to scent your home, or any products that you want to tell me about?