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Creating Your Home-Scent-Home

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So many of us spend time decorating our homes so that they are visually pleasing to our families and our guests, but how often do we take into consideration how our home smells?  Of all the senses, smell most readily triggers memories and can influence emotional responses and affects overall feeling.  You can have the most beautifully decorated foyer, but if the house doesn’t smell good upon entry, I guarantee the smell will be the first thing guests notice, not your gorgeous decor.

{via Bungalow Classic}
{via Bungalow Classic}


Think about a time when you might have gone to an open house.  Have you ever noticed that realtors often light candles or bake cookies?  They do this for a reason!  They are trying to create a cozy, homey environment to make visitors feel welcome and able to envision themselves living in that space.


If you bake a lot, your home might already smell like yummy childhood memories, but otherwise, in general, no one likes to walk into a space and be hit with the scent of last night’s dinner.  So take a tip from the professionals and give consideration to the relationship between how your home smells and how your guests feel.


So what does your home’s scent say about you?


Often times, we spend so much time in our own homes that we can’t distinguish any particular smells.  Unless you ask a guest {which unless it’s a close friend or relative, that would just be awkward!} or are away from home for an extended period of time, you won’t really know what your own home smells like.  If you’re lucky, your home has no particular smell, so anyone entering will be indifferent to the scent.  But for those who have kids, pets, older homes, live in damp areas, etc., chances are that your house has some sort of scent associated with it.  And I just learned this lesson the hard way!

I have a lot of pets and it wasn’t until we went away on our recent vacation and I came home that I realized just how much the scent of bird permeated through the rooms!  That’s when I knew it was time to make a change.  {Not to worry, I didn’t abandon Sparky and Lola….they’re too cute!}



If you wear scented lotions or perfumes, you probably spent a lot of time selecting a fragrance that was “you.”  Just as you take time to think about what scent is a good fit for you, also think about what scent is a good fit for your home.  For example, lavender is associated with relaxation and harmony.


Vanilla is another popular option known for relaxation.  Citrus scents, like lemon and orange, are associated with a light, fresh feeling, whereas fruity smells conjure up memories of destination vacations.  Perhaps you want your home to smell in accordance with the area where you live, like the mountains, the grasslands, or maybe the beach.

No matter what you choose, it’s important that the scent reflect your personality and also your lifestyle, so carefully consider what’s right for you and your home home.  And you can use more than one scent so long as they are complementary and don’t permeate room to room.  You might want something relaxing like lavender in your main rooms, and perhaps vanilla in the kitchen.  Go for it!

I personally like my home to smell fresh – like I just did laundry or cleaned thoroughly.  Since chances are that I didn’t actually do either of those things {let’s be honest, I’d rather decorate than clean!}, I rely on Air Wick Fresh Water Scented Oil to help me out.  I used to burn candles, but with kids who play ball in the house and a curious cat who jumps on the furniture, I almost never light them in the main areas of the house anymore.  I also tried reed diffusers, but I didn’t feel like the scent covered enough area in the house.  I also really like Febreeze for eliminating orders from sports equipment or the kids favorite spot on the couch.

Fresh Water Scented Oil


A word of caution – just as with perfume, a little goes a long way, so don’t go overboard!  You want your home to have a nice background scent, not a hit-you-in-the-face smell that lingers on your guests’ clothes even after they’ve left.

Also, while the scent of your home is important, don’t stress about it.  Life happens.  If you have fish for dinner, your home will smell like fish.  If you burn the eggs in the morning or the wet dog runs through the house, well…it is what it is.  But if you can give just a bit of thought as to how you want your home to smell and make a minor change in order to achieve that mood or feeling, then why not give your home’s scent the same amount of attention that you give its decor?  After all, you only get one chance to make a first impression!

What is your favorite scent for your home?  Please share!
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