Scent is a powerful thing. A whiff of aftershave on the LUAS can bring back memories of an ex-boyfriend, the smell of your mum’s roast ham can instantly transport you to childhood days and, if you were a UCD student, the inimitable RDS pong can make your palms break out in pre-exam stress.
So it makes sense that having the right fragrance in your sitting room can take you from stressed-out mess to chilled-out chica in just a few minutes.
“Our sense of smell is the most complex and powerful of the human senses and is extremely sophisticated,” explains expert perfumer Lucy Hagerty of La Bougie. “Designers use home fragrance to either alter or emphasise the feel of a room, creating the atmosphere they want in an instant.”
Scent can also give you that happy holiday feeling – even if it’s pouring rain outside. “This is how I set about designing the new La Bougie Sage and Bitter Orange candle,” Lucy says. “It’s full of orange, bergamot and grapefruit; a cologne-like fragrance on a woody base, which immediately takes me to my parents’ home town in Italy, enjoying a cappuccino in the square as I watch the men shuffle in and out of Samuele’s Barbershop on a Saturday morning.”
Here are some of Lucy’s top tips for scenting your home:
- Bathrooms and kitchens benefit from clean, fresh scents. Something citrusy is always a safe bet.
- Watery, floral scents instantly evoke big open spaces, so can be useful in tiny hallways and small rooms.
- Warm spice or woody scents can turn the most open plan space into a snug and inviting area.
- Choose a light and pretty fragrance in the office, such as a delicate jasmine or a gentle rose.
- Something a little more heady works in the bedroom – perhaps lavender to help you sleep, or a spicier, floral fragrance with ylang ylang or tuberose to create an intimate atmosphere.
And here are some of our favourite candle buys:
- Max Benjamin Grapefruit and Pomelo, €19.95, available from Brown Thomas, Arnotts, Kilkenny, Avoca, Meadows & Byrne, and maxbenjamin.ie
- La Bougie Sage and Bitter Orange, €19.95, available at Arnotts and from labougie.com.
- Marie Reynolds luxury massage candle, €38.95, available from beautyemporium.ie
- La Maison de Senteurs Gardenia Rose Candle, €7, Marks & Spencer
- Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia, €50, available at Brown Thomas
- Minted by Cloon Keen Atelier, €32.95, available at cloonkeenatelier.com