Elements of Style

Sniffing Out Your Ideal Home Fragrance

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When creating a home we love, it’s easy to focus almost exclusively on how it looks, how functional the layout is, and how the furnishings feel. Of course, those are all hugely important. But so is your home’s scent. Our olfactory sense is the one most closely related to emotion; the fragrances of lavender and jasmine, for instance, have been shown to encourage relaxation and even sleep.

It stands to reason, then, that if you’ve decorated your living room in a minimalist, modern style, you’d probably prefer a diffuser with a simple, clean scent; if you favor boho chic, you might opt for candle with a spicy fragrance. Below, we’ve selected a few home fragrances that complement popular styles. Of course, what’s most important is surrounding yourself with a scent you love, regardless of whether it “matches” your decor.

Rustic Pleasures

Earthy, woody notes—pine, fir, moss—play up the down-home pleasures of weathered wood trestle tables, ladder-back chairs, hide rugs, and reed storage baskets. So do floral scents, especially when grounded with warmer, earthy tones. A few to try:

Bedford by Ralph Lauren Home. Notes of pine and juniper berries call to mind the excitement of hunting for a Christmas tree, while dashes of cypress and vetiver make it a welcoming scent outside of the holiday season too.

Val d’Isère Les Pinèdes by Voyage et Cie. Fresh and woody, with a subtle smoky base, this scent will transport you to a pine forest in the French Alps—and who wouldn’t want to be there?

• Women by Baobob Collection. Moss notes entwined with rose and magnolia keep this fragrance from coming across as too flowery. Bonus: The hand-poured candle comes in a beautifully decorated handblown glass.

Salt-Kissed Breezes

The simple silhouettes, brass and jute accents, and generous helpings of blue and white that are hallmarks of coastal style deserve an equally unfussy, breezy scent—such as…

Sea & Dune by LAFCO. The name pretty much says it all, with dashes of sweet blue lotus and beach grasses, along with a hint of ginger.

Sapphire Pearls by Baobob Collection. Notes of seaweed and myrtle create a crisp, refreshing fragrance almost certain to invigorate.

Salis by Erbario Toscano. If your ideal coast sits alongside the Mediterranean, this is the fragrance for you: a medley of seaweed and myrtle, helichrysum and thyme.

Photo by Manuel Rodriguez

Photo by Manuel Rodriguez

Classic Refinement

What would Downton Abbey, a chic apartment in Paris’s Sixth Arrondissement, or a Tuscan villa smell like? We imagine a floral scent with enough woody, spicy, and green notes to ensure an ambience of timeless sophistication. Any of these will fit the bill:

Jasmin Coco by Voyage et CieInspired by Paris’s Musée Carnavalet, this fragrance grounds a heady mélange of ylang-ylang, jasmine, and other blooms with vanilla musk.

Platinum by Baobob Collection. Amber, musk, vetiver, and grapefruit give this fragrance a one-of-a-kind luxuriance.

Chamomile Lavender by LAFCO. Bergamot, which gives Earl Grey tea its sprightly citrus undertones, is a key element of this fragrance, along with the titular chamomile, lavender, sage, eucalyptus, and for a whisper of intrigue, patchouli. The lavender makes this especially well suited for a bedroom.

Multiculti Maximalism

What goes with Moroccan lanterns, Oushak rugs, Chinese ginger jars, hand-carved teak furniture from Indonesia, and Mexican serapes? Pretty much anything, if you’re a fan of the boho look. But we think fragrances redolent of spices, woods, and flowers we’ve never seen in a local garden are most appropriate.

Watermint Agave by LAFCO. Mint and lime, jasmine and neroli, sandalwood and violet: This is olfactory alchemy at its most intriguing.

Black Pepper by Erbario Toscano. As its name indicates, the fragrance has a spicy tingle, with citrus notes adding sparkle and woody notes accentuating the pepper’s warmth.  

St Barths Amber by Voyage et Cie. The sprightliness of orange and lemon, the sweetness of vanilla, and the warmth of patchouli and musk surround a heart of spiced balsam in a scent that illustrates how the whole is often greater than the sum of its parts.

Modern Serenity

Streamlined silhouettes, muted colors, and organic textures create a contemporary oasis of calm, one that is best complemented by a clean, simple scent.

Arance di Sicilia by Erbaro Tuscano. Lemongrass and orange peel: Fragrances don’t get much simpler, or more blissful, than this.

Sanctuary by LAFCO. This scent is as serene as its name suggests, with notes of matcha, bergamot, mint leaves, and ginger giving way to relaxing clary sage and warm woody scents. 

Eden Forest by Baobob Collection. Grapefruit adds a sparkling note to the warmth of this fragrance’s green tea and ginger base.


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