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The Scented Home–Participation required!

by | Sep 18, 2007 | Decorating Inspiration

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Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Jack Frost nipping at your nose…

The Scented Home--Participation required!

The scent of the holidays is definitely in the air around here! Decorations are coming out, candles are burning and thoughts are turning back inside the house! For those of you who are wondering or forgot why I am decorating for Christmas already (no worries, Winston is wondering the same thing!), it is for a magazine that comes out with our newspaper this fall. I have been asked to contribute holiday decorating ideas, using things you already have in your home. So, that is why you are seeing me tangled up in all the holiday fuss and muss! Otherwise, I’d be strictly sticking to pumpkins right now.

I love fall. Just the thought of sweet smelling cedar logs burning in the fireplace and pumpkin bread baking in the oven conjures up warm wonderful memories for me. Isn’t the sense of smell powerful?

When I went to Venice last year I was warned that it smelled really bad! I wondered how such a beautiful city could smell bad? Well, it turns out it doesn’t smell bad at all! It smells like the sea! That is part of the ambience of the whole experience! I thought it was the most enthralling city I had ever been to and I was taking in all of it through my senses. The sound of the gondolier singing his way through the canals, the water lapping at homes and docks, the smell of the sea and fish, the beauty of the ancient buildings built on the water, the textures of glass and stone and artwork everywhere…magical! Without its scent, something would definitely have been missed in the whole experience.

The Scented Home--Participation required!

I myself enjoy having my signature perfume, something that I wear all the time and people recognize as being “me”. I actually have two signature scents, ones I have worn for years. Call me predictable and boring, but I find it very romantic! Something about knowing myself and what I like gives me a feeling of confidence. I know what scents I want to smell all day and what my husband likes to snuggle up to, so I can cross that decision off my list and move on to other things! I wear Chanel Coco most of the time, and I also have Jessica McClintock. They are just ME. I may find other “me” scents and experiment now and then, but I really feel no need to change something that works for me. I usually wear Jessica in the spring and summer and Coco in the fall and winter.

I think our homes can have signature scents as well. Scents that people pleasantly associate with being in our home. Kitty litter should not be one of them. Diaper pail is another no no! Giving your home signature scents that change with the seasons give your home personality that furnishings alone can’t achieve.

The Scented Home--Participation required!

For those of you sensitive to scents, find natural ways to scent your home! Keeping things clean is a good place to start. Dust and mold not only stink but make you sick. Fresh linens always freshen a home. Bake yummy smelling bread. Boiling orange peel, ground cinnamon, vanilla, ginger and cloves. Lavender and herbs potted in your kitchen will smell yummy. Even a bowl overflowing with lemons can smell divine and make you at least imagine your home is lemon fresh!

Find your signature scents and create memories that will be triggered by those scents. You can change them with the seasons and have fun with them. Bake brownies on Friday nights and banana bread on Sunday afternoons. Make hot wassail in November. Combining traditions with scents is a sure way to create wonderful vivid memories for the future.

I really want to hear from all of you around the country and around the world! What are your favorite scents? Do you have candles that are just the best for long lasting and pleasing scent? What about those of you who are sensitive to smell, do you have ideas to keep your home free of scents but still smelling fresh and clean? What laundry soaps, hand soaps, household cleaners, fire wood, plants and other good smelling things do you recommend? Thanks for participating! Be sure to check back to see everyone’s recommendations!


  1. janet

    Thanks for the memory jog!! My two favorite scents are both from Crabtree and Evelyn. Nantucket Briar is the scent I wear and also use in my bedroom and bathroom, with room spray and essential oil in lightbulb rings. In fall and winter I use C&E Noel fragrance all around the house. I also like the Claire Burke Applejack fragrance if I find it in the fall. I can’t wait to hear what everyone has to say. Thanks for the fun game.

  2. frenchgardenhouse

    My favorite scent is pretty much the candles you have showing in your picture, by Rigaud, except the green one. And the smell of babies. no one can beat that!

  3. Esther Sunday

    Well… I feel a bit out of place here… cuz my current favorite scent is the Glade candle – Angel Whispers. I love it! It is pretty strong smelling after a while in a small room. But my craft studio constantly smells like it and I just like it. I love to burn candles. I usually go for the baking smells and vanilla. My mom also has made me several lavender sachets that hang around here and there. You just give me a squeeze from time to time and they release their scent yet again. I don’t wear any scent, but I do shower daily. Thank you.

  4. Julie

    I have a tart burning right now called Autumn Wreath by Yankee Candle. It’s delicious. I love pumpkin, any manufacturer, any time. And I’ve been baking a lot lately so those smells fill my home. I have 6 cats so I’m always frantic that you will smell the boxes. I have 3 litter boxes (upstairs, downstairs and basement.) And I’m pretty thankful that you can’t smell them. I use my crockpot for scenting my home too. Apple cider, cinnamon sticks, orange slices, apple slices and whole cloves simmering away is just – AH! I have a keep warm option on my crockpot so it can simmer like that for hours and hours.

    As for body scents – I gotta go with Amber Nude Youth Dew by Estee Lauder. I have the body lotion and it has a bit of a shimmer to it. I love it and more importantly – so does my husband! Can’t wait to hear what others say and thanks for the post and suggestions.


  5. Sophiehoneysuckle

    I love lavender, cinammon, gingerbread and vanilla for the home! For myself, I wear Le Chevrefeuille by Guerlain which is french for honeysuckle!!

  6. seeeeb

    The effect of scents and smells are unbelievable,they can change my whole attitude towards people and places.
    I love fruit smells,my shower gel is candied citrus,it’s my scents.and home,i believe the entrance must have a welcoming scent,so I burn satsuma,strawberry,exotic,home fragrance oil.
    wish your life full of lovely scents.

  7. Beck

    Smells are so strong for me. I can identify a moment in time down to real specifics through my sense of smell. Something that I’m looking forward to about moving into my house (in 8 days!!!) is creating traditions and smells to take me through the seasons.
    I love vanilla in candles. It’s so homely to me. I have some dark blue candles that I bought when I was younger from Woolworths or somewhere that I’ve saved as they smell divine. If only I could find them in cream! Freshly baked bread is a fantastic smell and so is brewing coffee. I love the smell of fresh washing too.
    Personally I wear a few perfumes but some favourite faithfulls are Baby Doll or Hugo Women for Summer, Samsara or Body Shop Vanilla for winter. Arden Beauty is great for everyday, any season.
    ooooo I love this conversation and fragrance! :)

  8. Kelly

    I love using reed diffusers in my home because they keep the air smelling good all day without having to burn a candle. Often people stop by and don’t know where the scent is coming from. They just know my house smells good. My favorite is “Olive Leaf” by Hill House Naturals. The scent I use most often on myself is by Shelley Kyle. It doesn’t really have a name on it. It’s just a delicate citrus floral blend that is light and not too heavy. I don’t think people should smell you coming before they see you!

  9. Victoria

    Aroma-Mix brand candles makes A Caramel Pear I use for Fall. It is the color of parchment paper and the scent is comforting. There is nothing like the flickering of candles at dusk to create a cozy atmosphere. My mantra has always been what feelings do you want to evoke for this space/room? Scent can be a part of conveying these feelings.

  10. Counting Your Blessings

    First I have to say that your photos are just enticing! My mom and her friend spent 3 months in Europe before mom and dad got married. She said that Venice was her favorite place of all of the spots she visited. I’ve not been to Europe but hubby and I are hoping to get there in a few years. Ok, as to favorite scents… I have this candle that LOVE and I can’t find it anymore. It’s called “Dominance” by Candle Couture. The label says they have a website but, alas, it’s not there! The scent is very clean. My perfume is “Pearl” by Sage. I don’t know how to describe it but my 6 year old says it smells like a yummy white candle =) I look forward to our Winter trip into downtown Chicago every year to a place called “Apothocary” so that I can get my new bottle. I’m sure I could get it other places, but it’s becoming a tradition. Thankfully, it’s only about 2 hours from here. Blessings… Polly

  11. Becca

    I personally like to use Method brand cleaning products from Target. They smell yummy! And if I have to quickly mop the floor before guests come it doesn’t smell like it! It just smells lovely and no one is the wiser!

    I also prefer their plug-in scents because while I think candles are beautiful, I just worry my little ones will set something on fire. And the plug-ins last a looong time so I don’t have to even think about it.

  12. Penny, Mosaic Artist

    I fill my home with fresh flowers every week. There is a vase in every room. I always look for flowers with subtle scents. Sometimes, when I don’t have time to bake, but I want that wonderful aroma, I put a small amount of water in a pan, add cinnamon sticks and sprinkle some nutmeg in. Turn the stove on and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and it will smell just like you are baking something wonderful in your home!

  13. Vee

    For naturally good aromas, I prefer dried eucalyptus. Cinnamon and vanilla are also two aromas that I love and use in my own stovetop brews. We do use a lot of Yankee candles here and also some from Village Candle ( But nothing beats opening the windows and allowing the good fresh air to flow in.

    For personal fragrances I prefer Estee Lauder’s White Linen and also Egyptian Goddess from Auric Blends.

    I love the way you describe a home’s being enjoyed at all levels of the senses. It comes through so beautifully in your writing.

  14. Becky

    Like Janet said, I like Nantucket Briar, too. I have used that in my home for years. Love Claire Burke, too, but buy her things as a treat to myself.

    My personal fragrance is Dolce and Gabana, Light Blue. It is a clean scent. I once wore Oscar and a friend said I smelled like bug spray. LOL!

    I burn candles in our home everyday. The clean smells are my favorite. My friend has a shop in town and I buy a lot of handmade candles from her. Right now though I am burning Banana Nut Bread and a Pumpkin cake candle. It brings the whole Fall essence to the house, however the smells make me hungry! ha.

    I agree, too, with Vee. Love the fresh crisp air to filter into our home. Each morning we open windows and doors to freshen up the place.

    Once again, thank you for a wonderful posting. I would love Venice….love the smell of the sea!


  15. Becky

    PS: Winston looks like he is making sure everything gets placed perfectly! You have given me a great idea with your candles! Thank you!!

  16. the feathered nest

    This is a fun topic! But first I want to say that Winston is soooo cute! I just love that picture of him asleep on your chair!

    As for personal scents right now I’m wearing Lauren by Ralph Lauren and Chance by Chanel. I’ve never been able to stick to just one (there are so many wonderful scents out there).

    Having a a big smelly dog I’m concerned with how my home smells LOL! Sometimes it just smells like wet dog! I like scents that aren’t too sweet. I’m not a vanilla kind of girl. I do like pumpkin candles in the fall though. I love pumpkin everything lattes, bread, pancakes, the color etc. I just like my house to smell clean and fresh not perfumed. So I’m always looking for that perfect candle that smells like that.


  17. Pat

    Aromatique home fragrances is one of my favorite lines. Smell of Christmas is my favorite, although I use others. Aromatique seems to have wonderful staying power!

    I love Henri Bendel candles. At the moment Tonka Bean is on my bathroom vanity. Another fragrance I like is a coffee scented candle or any of the spicey candles. Love that!

    I have Lampe Berger, Charleston is the fragrance. I use it now and then. Charleston has a scent that makes me think of old buildings. Not the musty smell of old buildings. This scent is pleasant..but has an old feel to it!

    All summer, I’ve used Tommy Bahama Very Cool as my personal fragrance. It’s a soft fragrance, great for summer. J has the mens fragrance Very Cool. We are fragrantly coordinated, I suppose. J has no sense of smell, poor guy. During the winter months I use Liz Claiborne Spark. It reminds me of Cinnabar, by Estee Lauder. I used that scent for years and years. It was my signature scent. I guess, Spark is my signature scent now. Both of those are a tad heavy for summer, I believe.

    We’re leaving for a little road trip tomorrow evening. I am so happy I got to participate in this, before we left!

  18. Abby from The Blissful

    What a great post! Scent is so visceral. Beck said it in her comment already, but I love how a particular scent will hurdle you through time and space and connect you to one particular moment and one particular memory.

    Some great candle scents I prefer in my own life and home are Volcano by Aspen Bay’s Capri Blue line and Sweet Almond & Blood Orange by VOTIVO. I carry both lines at the shop, because they are too good not to. :)

    For perfume, I was all about Gucci Rush 2, which has unfortunately been discontinued. I can still purchase it on eBay, but I can only find the Eau de Toilette, which doesn’t have the same impact as the Eau de Parfum did. Boy, I miss that scent.

    Again, what a great post! Thanks, Melissa. And happy holiday decorating!

  19. Karen

    Great post idea! I love effusion lamps…I’m currently burning Lampe Berger’s Green Apple. It has a clean, crisp fragrance. Also love Trapp’s Orange Vanilla candle.

    Enjoy your holiday decorating!

  20. Elizabeth

    Yankee Candle.. Harvest Wreath. The most heavenly fall smell in the world. In the summer I put little pieces of lemon and lime peel in the garbage disposal… it smells wonderful.

  21. Elizabeth

    Yankee Candle.. Harvest Wreath. The most heavenly fall smell in the world. In the summer I put little pieces of lemon and lime peel in the garbage disposal… it smells wonderful.

  22. melissamichaels

    Wow, it smells DIVINE in here! You guys have some great ideas and I can tell we are of like minds! Thanks so much for taking a moment to be a part of this! You guys are the best! Keep the ideas coming, this is a great list!

  23. Dara

    Those moss covered stones are so beautiful!!! I love Fall and all of it’s wonderful scents, too!

  24. Sandy McTier

    I have to admit to having at least one yankee candle in every room of my house – just about.
    I also love to cute apples up when they go rotten – (I really should eat more fruit) and slice up an orange and throw them in a pot of water ~ add a cinnamon stick and my house smells like FALL. I leave it on the stove for several days and bring it to a boil and let it simmer the rest of the day! YUMMY!
    My house smells like I’ve baked an apple pie!

    Have a fabulous day.
    Sandy :)
    PS I hope you won’t mind me adding your blog to my favorites?!?!

  25. Posey

    In the winter I love the smell of cinnamon! It makes me think of Christmas. Also, hot spiced tea, I save the whole spices, add a little water, reheat and the house will smell divine!

    My husband loves the reed diffuser, Biscotti, from Pier I, makes the house smell marvelous.

    A scent that would send me back in time is Tabu! I wore that in high school, my boyfriend (now my husband) loved it!!


  26. Michelle

    Love the simplicity of the candles in the mason jars – so, so pretty! Very classy looking, I’d say.

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by and visit my blog, as well as for the sweet comment you left – please feel free to visit anytime!

    Many blessings:)

  27. cherry

    First off you are so dang cute..(your little pic). Anyways I LOVE Colefax and Fowler..sigh. I have Ann Grafton’s Interior Transformation Book. I wish I had wireless…I still am on dial up and some pictures don’t download for me. I love the candles and your dog though. I use the Yankee Candle fave is clean cotten and this past summer I got to finally find the homemade panhandle candles that Ally rec. I got Creme brulee and it is awesome. I use a lot of Bath and Body perfumes..Sensual Amber is great for this time of year. I use Eliz. Ardens Green Tea for a lighter scent and Lancome Tresor. cherry

  28. Darla

    Hi. I, too, love to burn candles or scented oil. I love clean smells the best. On occasion, I will burn baked apple scents, strawberries & cream (a Glade candle!). Most candles trigger a sneezing fit for my husband… I have to be careful that they aren’t very strong scents.
    For myself, I’ve had the most compliments when I wear Michael by Michael Kors. But I also like Vera Wang and Ralph Lauren Style.
    Great post and great blog! darla

  29. Elzie

    As I can’t have too many things that smells around me (I’m oversensitive) I prefer things that really are fresh. New baked bread is one of my favorites. Along with a clean home. Nothing smells better than a just cleaned home. I can’t use the candles that smells inside. It’s a pity but something I can live without.
    Love Elzie

  30. Elzie

    Oh, I forgot to mention the magazine you should be in. It would have been great looking into that. Hope you’re showing us “foreigners” some pages later LOL.

  31. Kari

    This is a great post! I’ve loved reading everyone’s thoughts and recommendations.

    My favorite body scent is Japanese Cherry Blossom from Bath & Body Works. The shimmer body mist smells so good and it’s not overpowering at all.

    Around my home, I love candles. My favorites are from They have a ton of scents but my two top picks are White Tea & ginger, and Country Berry Hotcakes.

  32. mary

    Hi Melissa — thanks for visiting my blog! I have two candles that I love to use in my kitchen, especially around the holidays. One is from Kohl’s (of all places) and is called Holiday Traditions — Cinnamon Spices. Wonderful! The other is from Yankee Candle — Mistletoe. Very crisp and piney.

    In my bedroom, I use a room spray — Taylor of London’s White — Lily of the Valley. Sublime.

    Nice meeting you — please come visit again soon!

  33. Mélanie

    I wish I could wear Coco Chanel , my favorite perfume but it just doesn’t fit me !!!
    I’m so sad about that , I can recognize this perfume from far away .Well mine is Miss Dior Cherie and I love it also. I can not wait to see what your christmas decoration will be , I need inspiration

  34. Rhoda

    Hey, Melissa..I’m not much of a candle snob, but I received the Seda France Japanese Quince candle last year for a gift & I have to say, it smells wonderful!! I’m still burning it, although not all the time. It’s in our bedroom & puts out a nice pleasing aroma.

    I do like Illuminations candles too & always enjoy anything vanilla, fruity, like pomegranite or cranberry, Dolche Le Leche is a good one from Illuminations. I just don’t buy all that many scents around my house & am not one to burn candles all the time. When I had pets, I was a lot more careful to have some scents going. I do like those cinnamon, pumpkin pie scents for the holidays too…really makes a home smell wonderful!

    Hope you’ll show us what you are going to do for the photo shoot for Christmas…we wanna see!


  35. Heather

    What a great post – a hard one too. How to pick a favorite? I am very sensitive to smell, but I love Pumpkin Spice candles. I am scared to death to light them because I am so forgetful.

  36. Heather

    Shoot – I forgot to tell you how great your photos are. See, that is why I don’t light the candles.

  37. Dona Morrison

    Jars filled with white candles set amongst the mossy rocks, ahhh…transports me to the middle of the Olympic Rain Forest without leaving my chair:)

    So glad I stumbled upon your blog! I also burn lots of candles but I stick to the unscented votives for all of my holders. I always have something natural permeating the air inside. This time of year I fill a small saucepan with orange & lemon rinds, a sprinkle of cinnamon, add a little bit of water – set on low and soon the wonderful ‘fallish’ scent fills the air!

    Looking forward to more pictures!~Dona

  38. Laurab

    It’s so funny how everyone likes a different kind of smell. It’s strange but I like things people think are smelly, like curry, and garlic, and gasoline! I know, strange.

    Your blog is very cute, I’m glad you stopped by mine. Also, is that your westie in the image above? I grew up with westies my whole life, best dogs ever.

  39. vintage chanel

    Chanel has always been one of the top designers around since I was a kid. I love their new stuff, as well as the old. I would love to get my hands on a vintage chanel purse!

  40. Julie

    In 3rd grade, our teacher took us to the lunchroom and we made pumpkin bread. Now, 21 years later, I still use her recipe and make this every single year. My kids eat it all day long–pumpkin is a vegetable, right? ;) I love fall smells!

    Julies inspiring blog post..Tybee Island, our vacation

  41. Susan

    I used to wear Tatiana by Diane von Furstenburg, but hard to find now. My husband says it smells like me and he loves it. I also used to wear Laura Ashley 1, but again, hard to find anywhere.

    I like lavender, citrus and other clean scents…I have a tart burner now on my desk at work. Our home is rather weirdly set up so I just about have to have something in ever room and that gets expensive. I do want to start using the Method products also…or just restock my essential oils!

  42. EBONY

    I love scents, particularly cleaning aromas. When I’m pregnant (don’t know why) I am in love with Gain dryer sheets and Pinesol. I love it, love it, love it…so much that I would have dryers sheets in our cars, in our drawers, tucked between towels, in our pillow cases, under the sheets, etc. My husband LOVED when I was pregant (3x) because the house stayed clean all the time. So, now, 3 kids later (aged 7, 17 months, and 5 months) and absolutely no time on my hands, our house stays a wreck…oh well. :)

  43. Irene Turner

    My favorite scents are natural as well, I like tying eucalyptus branches together and putting them in the shower. When the hot water is running there is this lovely fresh smell that clears my lungs!
    .-= Irene Turner´s last blog ..OneHope Wine: A Business Model That Gives Back =-.



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