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Monday, June 15

What smells so good?

What does your house smell like?
Why do they all smell different?
Do you think that a great smelling interior makes you love the interior even more? Can it make you hate an interior or have a bad reaction? Why are smells so powerful? Why is that I think of my grandmother at her dressing table every time I smell Chanel No. 5? Roses and freshly cut grass make me think of my fathers garden.

If you don't like the smell something- does that have a direct relation to your visual experience? To me personally I think that it is all related...

The power of smell.

Some interesting facts:

People who cannot smell have a condition called Anosmia.

As you get older, your sense of smell gets worse.

Smell, like taste, is a chemical sense detected by sensory cells called chemoreceptors.

Dogs in general have a nose approximately a hundred thousand to a million times more sensitive than a human's.

Smell, more so than any other sense, is also intimately linked to the parts of the brain that process emotion and associative learning.

A smell can bring on a flood of memories, influence people's moods and even affect their work performance

House sellers set fresh pie or cookies on counter tops to make a house seem comfy and livable.

Here are a few of my favorite smells around my house:
I adore Santa Maria Novella and just picked up a ton more in Italy last month.
I also love Diptique candles- a few favorites include: Figuier and Baies
Last year in Paris I discovered the Hermes d'Orange Verte scent and I found it just intoxicating. The smell is made up of bergamot, lemon, mandarin, mint, jasmine, orange blossom, moss and cedar. (I even bought 10 bars of the soap on ebay when I got back home- I do anything to make my shower experience better- as I just hate mornings. It helps-it really does!) I also think that that Verbena is a great smell for the house as well. I don't really wear much fragrance myself- but I have been mad for Jill Sander for Men for at least 5 years (It is so sad that they don't make it anymore- but thanks to ebay again- I have a drawer full of it on reserve!)

These are just my personal tastes for my own place. They are a big earthy for some- but they make me happy.

So what does your place smell like?


Anonymous said...

Pot-pourri from Santa Maria Novella. It's a combination of herbs and flowers from the Tuscan hills surrounding Florence and the fragrance is fantastic.
I've had my last sachet for at least 5 years and it's still fragrant. Difficult to describe the scent: a combination of rose, orange, patchouli, moss...
All I know is that it's enveloping and warm and I'm addicted to it.

Pigtown-Design said...

Grant... I am madly in love with I Coloniali soaps. I wrote about it here. Several readers kindly sent me bars of the soap when I couldn't find it, and I keep a bar stashed here and there, so both my office and house smell like I Coloniali.

Chic Coles (Cole Design) said...

My apartment in New Orleans smells like: French Tulip- Seda France room spray..its my new favorite!

ps. its so true what they say about scent and memory...smells brings back really vivid memories for me.

Michael Hampton said...


What a coincidence. I literally just used of the last of my Santa Maria Novella pot pourri last night. Every time I smell it I am transported back to Rome and Florence. I love it's exotic and mysterious fragrance. It is one of my all time favorites.Now it is time to order more!


annechovie said...

When I first moved in, my place smelled a little of stale cigarette smoke, but I think I've purged it all now. I agree with you, scents can make or break a visual experience. Lovely blog, Grant!

mamacita said...

I'm crazy about the lavender-lemongrass stuff by Method. Anything lavender, really, as long as it's a true lavender and not sickly sweet.

But honestly, when the cleaning lady comes, I want her to use the traditional stuff with all the bleach, etc. To me, that's what clean smells like. (I'm kind of a philistine, I know.)

katiedid said...

Sometimes the house smells likes the Desserts my daughters make. I used to have a spray made from simple ornage oil that I loved....but I cannot find it anymore. I may have to find your suggestions!
PS....hope to see you in SF this week!

Valerie Wills Interiors said...

My home smells of Jo Malone's jasmine and mint candles.... they are sheer bliss. If you are ever in London stop by her store on Sloane Street. Her packaging is gorgeous too - black ribbons and cream packaging. Just gorgeous.

Keri said...

Me and my home in a nutshell:

Cire Trudon candles - Abd el Kader. I don't know if you are familiar with this company, but their candles have the most wonderful scent names and explanations. For Abd El Kader: " A wind of freedom coming all at once from the Mascara coast and down from the mountains bringing in its foolish race the green scents of mint, the rashness of fights, the hot and peppered air of ginger and the perfume of tea and tobacco from the Ouled Nail tribe..."

A beautiful, light eau de toilette from the south of France - spicy vanilla, lavendar, patchouli and sandalwood.

Verbena scented soap from Fresh.

Style Redux 2 said...

Grant-I am a big fan of Seda France-Their diffusers are wonderful and last a long time and their toile pagoda candles are great with gorgeous packaging. I especially love French Tulip like Chic Coles mentioned and Japanese Quince. I think the Japanese Quince is quite unisex and works for a man's apartment. As for men's colognes, less is more, but love Irish Tweed by Creed and Narciso Rodriguez for Him.

Sanity Fair said...

I just love Henri Bendel candles - they used to be available (shocker) in smell-factories like bath and body works... now they're just on the HB website (if you're not in NY), but well worth ordering.

Alicia said...

Right now lemons & pancakes....I making lemon ricotta ones with fresh blueberry compote for dinner.
Summetime means citrus & cucumer scents...fresh & delightful to beat the Scottsdale heat.
This time of year I spray Philosophies Pure Grace...smells clean & fresh ever so gently but I'm coveting Chanel's the Eau de Cologne..neroli & bergamot.

Ideezine said...

After I cook, and clean up the kitchen, I light pumpkin spice candles. They take out the food smell and even on a summer day it is a lovely invite to be in.

I agree with the power of smell, I came across a perfume I wore in middle school and for a brief moment I was 13 again...Good lord the flash back moment.

Music has the same effect too!


Things That Inspire said...

Someone once told me that everyone has a dominant sense. Smell as a dominant sense is rare, but my daughter seems to have it...she is constantly commenting on smells and what they remind her of. I don't think it is my dominant ssense, but I do have strong association with smells...smells that remind me of my childhood or my grandmother.

I seem to have developed asthma recently, and I am so bummed because I can no longer tolerate my favorite perfume - Bulgari eau de blanc. I am afraid that I may react badly to my favorite candles too! That would be a terrible thing.

Messi said...

I appreciate the labour you have put in developing this blog. Nice and informative.

The Peak of Chic said...

I've got to try that potpourri from Santa Maria Novella. I'm so intrigued!

Habitually Chic said...

I knew we were kindred spirits. My two favorite Diptyque candles are Figuier and Baies. I went to the Diptyque sample today and they were out of both. I would have gotten there earlier if it hadn't been pouring! I did buy myself the cologne that smells like Baies though. I'll have to rotate it between Calypso Mimosa for summer and Narcisco Rodriguez for nights and winter.

Maman de trois petit rois said...

mmm Charlotte Moss Virginia candle in the Spring & Summer and Diptyque Feu de bois in the Fall 7 Winter.


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