Decorating with scent


There’s no place like your Home

Atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere: this is what any interiors expert worth their mettle is out to create.  Colour, texture, lighting, materials, composition — these elements all play a large part, of course, but nothing triggers the brain and transports us quite like fragrance.  Just like Proust’s famous madeleine, scent has an immediate, overpowering and instinctual effect on our memory.  And thus, it is one of the essentials in my toolbox.  Here are a few rules to live by when it comes to creating an evocative ambiance with scent: 

1)    Plant-based wax candles tend to be better for your health as they do not contribute to indoor air pollution in the same way paraffin-based candles might.  Do read the ingredients list as many of the big name manufacturers still use toxic ingredients as a base.  

2)    It’s not about one signature scent but about many.  You don’t want your entire home smelling exactly the same.  It destroys the narrative of the journey from one room to the next. The kitchen should have a different scent to the bathroom, the dining room to the living room.  Perhaps you’d like to create a spa-like feel in the bathroom in the evenings with the scent of tuberose & jasmine; in the kitchen, the scent of fresh herbs; etc.  Think of how the room should function and choose fragrances accordingly.  Is it a place to relax?  A place to be productive?  A room in which secrets are shared? 

3)    Think of the seasons and even the time of day when choosing your scent.  It’s good to have an arsenal of “flavours” at the ready to use accordingly.  In the summer I like light fresh, natural scents like fig & citrus.  In the winter, I go for stronger, more woody scents.  The same can be said for the progression from day to night.  Each moment has its mood! 

4)    There are many ways to scent a house but there’s something to be said for the romance of candles.  As much as a diffuser might be efficient, nothing is as evocative and romantic as a lit candle.  So hide the diffusers (or dispense into an elegant piece of statement glassware) and always highlight candles.  They can be part of a coffee table display, on a shelf in a vignette with some other evocative accessories, on the mantle in a pair or a trio, etc. Think of candles as decorative accessories. 

5)    Always choose a blend.  Straight, single-element fragrances such as a rose, jasmine or tuberose scented candle can be overwhelming and boring at the same time. Lacking nuance, they don’t trigger the brain in quite the same way or evoke that sense of mystery that makes a truly memorable fragrance.

With all of this very much in mind, we’re excited to present our studio’s latest scented candle, Ebene, inspired by the rare and precious wood ebony.  As the name implies, the scent, with its woody undertones, evokes a sense of depth and mysticism.  And of course, this being an interior designer’s candle it is also an object of great beauty.  Developed in the scent capital of the world, Grasse, France, and hand poured in Normandy and housed in a diaphanous black glass container, it is made to grace the most sumptuous interiors.