There’s nothing more inviting than entering someone’s home to be enveloped by a beautiful delicate fragrance. Creating a signature scent for your home will help to create a distinctive atmosphere and mood but it also defines your home’s personality. Our sense of smell is the closest link to memory and emotion and surprisingly it isn’t your nose, but rather your brain, that helps determine your reaction to a scent. Hotels often use this subliminal mental association with signature scents to help deepen your positive association with their brand. Massimo Dutti and Hollister do this really well by creating a scent in store.

So how do you go about creating a delicious, inviting fragrance that is synonymous to your home without breaking the bank? Here are 5 easy steps to get your house smelling of patchouli or apple blossom in favour of wet dog…

5 steps to creating a signature scent in your home

Step 1: Neutralise your home

Before you introduce a new fragrance to your home you need to have a neutral odour. Just because you can’t smell stale odours doesn’t mean your guests won’t. That means giving your home a really good spring clean and getting rid of any dust. Start by airing your house with open windows as often as you can and giving floors and carpets a good clean..

If you have pets make sure their bedding is regularly washed and that sofas are well vacuumed. For fridge odours pop a bowl of baking soda in and it will help absorb any nasty smells. Place a bowl of white vinegar in a room for a day or two and let it do the work of neutralising any odours. This is also a great idea if you’re cooking with pungent food like fish or spice.

Step 2: Identify the base notes of your home

You might not realise it but your home will already have natural base notes that you should identify. If you live near the ocean (we wish) it might be a salty sea smell, greenery if you have a lot of plants, oak or pine if you have wooden floors, leather if you have club chairs and sofas or books if you have walls lined with old novels.  When choosing your signature fragrance you need to be mindful that it will harmonise well. It’s probably not going to work well if you try to replicate a fresh coastal vibe if your house has a strong base note of leather and exposed brick walls.

Image copyright of Michael Edwards – Fragrance Wheel

Step 3: What atmosphere do you want to create?

Different scents have the ability to transform your mood. What feeling are you trying to achieve in your home? Is it a relaxing vibe, a scent for sleep and calm or an energised productivity boosting scent?  What smells inspire you? The ocean, a flower garden, summer zesty fruits? It’s up to you whether you want to blend your fragrances or just have one signature scent. If you opt for the former try to ensure the fragrances compliment rather than fight against each other. Space out your candles or diffusers so that they have a chance to meet in the air naturally (e.g. jasmine, vanilla, rose and citrus work well together).

Step 4: Choosing your scent

When you smell a candle or diffuser in a store get your nose right in! If there’s something cloying or unwelcoming it’s not going to dissipate or change once it’s lit or sprayed.  For a relaxing calm vibe think lavender, jasmine, rose, yang yang, verbena, bergamot, sandalwood, musky wood. If you want an energy boosting atmosphere then lemon, rosemary, peppermint, cinnamon and jasmine all work well. And for aiding sleep bergamot, lavender, sandalwood, rose and jasmine.

Step 5: What to buy

Whether you choose a room or linen spray, scented candles, reed diffusers, (essential) oil and candle burners or drawer sachets, there is so much choice available. Don’t forget to turn reed diffusers often to keep the fragrance top of mind. And for a signature scent in seconds (when you are totally tight for time) just light a candle in your hallway and kitchen about 20 mins before guests arrive and you’ll go from Eau de Dog to Eau de Fabulous in a snip. Speaking of snips you should always trim your candle wick before you use it to about 1/4 or 1/8 of it’s length. A trimmed wick will allow your candle to burn evenly (no more mushroomy uneven burning) and it will also will avoid black rings on the glass. You can use a little scissors but we love the Diptyque candle trimmers as it’s so much easier to use (see below).

To get you on your signature scent journey, we have selected some top products for your inspiration.