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Scents and sensibility: 6 tips for choosing home fragrances

Even after decking out our interiors in the swankiest furnishings or wallpapers, one should agree that the scent of a house is just as important — as the aura of your home will frame your state of mind.

If you’ve been using your favourite lavender diffuser for the whole apartment, we hate to break it to you, but you’re doing it wrong. Different scents evoke different moods, so you probably don’t want to be extending the scent you use in the living room into your home office. After all, the last thing you’d want to be reminded of when you’re watching your favourite television programme, is the mountain of unfinished work waiting for you on your desk.

Profumi Fior di Lina Large Scented Candle by Fornasetti has Hydrangeas notes, perfect for the bathroom.

To get you started, we’ve put together a guide to home scenting based on tips from luxury fragrance and beauty retail concept Escentials — which is known for its range of cult fragrance brands such as Byredo, Diptyque, Le Labo and Cire Trudon. From the specific scent you need to make the perfect first impression on guests, to fragrances to use for your kitchen, here’s how you can make your apartment look and smell amazing.

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If you’re aiming to make a good first impression, there’s no better place to start than the hallway. Create a welcoming entrance by using wood-based notes such as cedarwood, oud, patchouli or even leather. Such earthy and warm scents will help you recharge and are good for relaxing your frazzled mind after a long work week.

Products: Heritage Rouge 540 Scented Candle, S$692.60, Baccarat

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Living room

Sweet and floral-based notes help create a refreshing and comfortable atmosphere — perfect for unwinding in while catching your favourite Netflix series. For larger living rooms, consider using a diffuser with stronger notes to allow the scent to reach all corners of the room.

Products: Baies Hourglass Diffuser, S$260, Diptyque. (Image credit: iStock)

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Dining room and kitchen

As the dining room and kitchen are places where food is being prepared and served, avoid overpowering fragrances that might interfere with the food aroma. Instead, choose citrus-based notes such as bergamot, lemon and orange. Citrus scents are also great in the kitchen as they cut through the savoury smells, keeping the area calm and refreshing.

Products: Ginger & Lime Fragrance Diffuser, S$138.40, Dr. Vranjes Firenze

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Fruity notes such as apricot, fig and peach can keep your bathroom smelling fresh. A scented candle can also be used to evoke the atmosphere of a spa. Additionally, keep a room spray on hand for a quick spritz to refresh the bathroom after each use.

Products: Profumi Fior di Lina Large Scented Candle, S$868.10, Fornasetti

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Create a laid-back environment in the bedroom with floral-based notes, which help relieve stress and anxiety. After all, that’s where you recharge after a long and tiring day. Alternatively, look out for woody fragrances with notes such as sandalwood and cypress to keep the bedroom smelling fresh. To amp up your overall room decor, invest in a stylish candle or diffuser bottle.

Products: Butterfly Ginkgo Candle, S$81.50, Michael Aram

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Home office

Trying to boost your productivity? Get spicy-based notes for your home office, as it will help you achieve perfect focus and keep distractions at bay. Scents with cardamon, spice, patchouli or vetiver notes are ideal. To elevate your work desk, try putting on a fragrance diffuser that adds a design element while offering fuss-free control of the fragrance in your workspace.

Products: Coffee & Cardamom Diffuser, S$40, Max Benjamin

Scents and sensibility: 6 tips for choosing home fragrances

Dewi Nurjuwita

Senior Writer

Dewi Nurjuwita is a travel and design writer who can be found exploring the streets of foreign cities with passport in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.


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