During our last buying trip to Las Vegas one of the trends we noticed in the more fashion-forward hotels was that they each seemed to have a signature scent piped throughout the public areas (and I don’t mean cigarettes and Corona). Each hotel featured an exclusive fragrance designed to coordinate with the aesthetic profile of the space: Planet Hollywood featured a bold, edgy, youthful scent; the Bellagio more refined, elegant, and subtle; the new Aria very fresh, woodsy, and Zen-like.
While likely conjured to counter the less-pleasing olfactory influences of the Sin City air, the aromas served to reinforce the positive emotional response and contribute to the rich tapestry of sensory stimulation that Vegas is known for. This same concept can be applied, on a much smaller scale, in your own spaces. Here’s how:
First, try to eliminate any negative scents that are noticeable in any of the areas of your home. Professionally clean those stale carpets, use the exhaust fan whenever you’re cooking greasy or smoky food, and keep laundry baskets, cat litter boxes, recycling bins, and garbage receptacles well out of the common areas of your home.
Next, use a fabric refresher spray (available at any supermarket or variety store) on upholstered furnishings, drapery, bedding, and any unwashable soft surfaces to eliminate any lingering odors and provide a fresh, neutral scent palette in the space. You can also use this spray on glass and mirrors (just spray it, leave it on for a few seconds, then wipe it off); the microscopic ridges will hold the fresh fragrance for several days.
If you have a particular perfume or cologne that you love, try spraying in on unlit incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs (wait until the bulb is completely cooled first, and NEVER try this on halogen bulbs). Once the perfume dries turn on the light and the fragrance will radiate throughout the room.
Fresh-cut flowers in every room are another way to convey a pleasing scent throughout your home. Buy large bouquets of the same type of flower (we buy whatever is on sale) and split them up into small cut-crystal vases placed in the kitchen, bath, foyer, great room, and bedrooms.
Fresh herbs such as lemon balm, lavender, and oregano, grown in small pots on the kitchen windowsill add an organic touch and also help to detoxify the air by absorbing smoke and carbon dioxide.
Candles and incense can also add a pleasing smell to a space, but can sometimes make the air feel heavy and stagnant. If you burn them make sure that there is adequate ventilation in the room (like an open window) to avoid having the room smell smoky and to minimize discoloration of the ceiling and fabrics.
Just like with lighting, the main objective is to keep the effect pleasing but subtle. Your guests should notice the overall effect that the scent creates, rather than the source of the scent itself.
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