October 31 // Home

Interior Design with Scent in Mind

Have you ever been in the middle of some everyday activity like folding clothes or cooking dinner when out of the blue, you catch a scent of something and suddenly you’re transported to another place in time? One whiff, and it’s like you’re there. Maybe it’s your grandmother’s flower garden or her kitchen on Thanksgiving morning. Maybe you vividly recall a mountain hike with a friend or you feel like a kid again, admiring the presents under the family Christmas tree. This strange feeling of deja vu caused by a smell actually has a name – it’s called “odor-evoked autobiographical memory”, and it’s the crossroads where the seemingly unrelated worlds of brain anatomy and home fragrances meet.

Interior designers are realizing the powerful impact that scent has on the mood and ambiance of interior spaces – it’s become an essential piece of their design plans, as carefully considered as paint color, lighting, and furniture placement.

According to Dr. Jordan Lewis with psychologytoday.com, odors are analyzed by the olfactory cortex, an area of the brain that’s closely connected to the regions that process emotions and form lasting memories. Sensory cues from our eyes and ears don’t pass through the olfactory cortex. Scientists think this explains why memories triggered by smells are often more detailed than those induced by our other senses. Aromas can have a profound effect on our emotions too. Certain scents can relieve anxiety, increase alertness, even fill us with a comforting sense of nostalgia.

As researchers learn more about this connection between emotion, memory, and our sense of smell, interior designers are realizing the powerful impact that scent has on the mood and ambiance of interior spaces. Scent has become an essential piece of their design plans, as carefully considered as paint color, lighting, and furniture placement. Fragrances can be added to different rooms to evoke specific moods, like using relaxing lavender in a bedroom or the refreshing scent of orange in a kitchen.

This time of year is filled with signature scents and the potential for creating vivid and lasting memories. And our collection of home fragrances – including potpourri, candles, diffusers, and sachets – can fill your home with these seasonal fragrances. As the scent of falling leaves, a distant firepit, and other natural, earthy smells fill the air in the fall, Tobacco Bark, from our Himalayan line of candles, brings these things to mind and creates a cozy sense of home. In addition to their lovely scent, the glass containers from the Himalayan candle collection are so beautiful, you’ll want to reuse them as hurricane candle holders when the original is done.

As the holidays approach – especially Thanksgiving – nothing whets the appetite more than those delicious aromas coming from the kitchen. The Spicy Apple scent from Rosy Rings and Pumpkin Spice from Aromatique will send your mind back to Grandma’s dinner table for sure. At Christmastime, we love to bake and decorate the tree, and Aromatique’s cinnamon-infused line called Smell of Christmas and the Fraser Fir collection from Thymes recall both of these important traditions. But, if you’re looking for a subtler take on the scents of the holidays, try the Holiday scent from Nest or maybe Bay Garland from Thymes. Holiday is a pleasant mix of pomegranate, pine, and mandarin orange with a touch of vanilla and amber. The Bay Garland collection includes a beautiful botanical candle – with real bay leaves, juniper, and orange slices – that reminds us of the holidays, but adds a cheerful freshness to the room through the rest of the winter season too. Whichever scent you choose, all of our fine home fragrance collections are carefully crafted with high-quality waxes, oils, and fragrant botanicals that will fill your home with pure, long-lasting fragrance.

With its combination of outdoor scents, delicious foods, family gatherings, and loving gifts, the time from harvest through the holiday season is filled with potential for creating vivid memories. What scent will suddenly transport your family back to your home one day?