December 16, 2014|Trends
- n a recent blog I explored Scent Styling and why our sense of smell is the most powerful of all the senses, having the ability to instantly transform a space, creating and evoking perfume memories. As a perfume lover I have my favourite ‘go to’ home scents for every season. There is an art to scenting a room and there are a variety of ways to achieve another sensory layer of festive welcome for your guests.
The most luxurious and festive way of seasonal scent styling is through the use of candles. Simple, beautiful and effective, they add instant chic, warmth and atmosphere to a room with their fragrant glow. There is a sense of luxury, spirit and visual beauty in a candle that just cant be beaten. I like to cluster different sized candles together with the tallest at the back to create an elegant focal point, or line the porch with different sized pillar candles in hurricane vases or lanterns to create a magical effect on wintry nights.
To achieve an eclectic festive look, a mix of candle colours and textures in a grouping can look striking but effortless. Diptique have a colourful limited edition Christmas collection of three fragrances that look and smell fabulous that have been created with Qubo Gas, the collective of French artists.
If you prefer an elegant, uniform look, Jo Malone is a particular favourite of mine as their oversized luxury and deluxe candles look beautiful with their smaller home and travel-sized counterparts. Pomegranate Noir is a year round staple, however the Pine and Eucalyptus limited edition collection for this season provides the authentic fragrance of a crisp Christmas morning.
For your Christmas table the long slender shapes of tapered candles can look very elegant, however the key is to use them in large numbers, either lined up individually or displayed en masse in beautiful pots or glassware.
One of my favourite candle collections are those from Fornasetti. Each is like a miniature work of art, managing to combine the visual delight of iconic ceramics with striking fragrances. My favourite for Christmas is the Architettura Candle – with a hand illustrated neoclassical trompe-l’oeil design, which is infused with an incense-like scent that radiates confidently through the house.
The doyen of luxury home scent is Frédéric Malle, who only works with the world’s best ‘noses’ in fine fragrance, rather than those who work in the field of interior scent. I’m fascinated by the development of his signature scents through the creative collaboration of Malle and one of his represented ‘noses.’ Each fragrance he says, starts with an idea, an “olfactory sketch,” which can either take the form of a material base – the mix of two or three raw materials as though colours in an abstract painting – or of an initial sentiment- the desire to translate or convey a specific emotion. From there, the perfumers gradually build a full-scale composition, tinkering and problem-solving until a perfect balance is achieved. The limited edition Joyeux Noël created by Dominique Ropion for Christmas is a beautiful scent made of pine, amber, cinnamon and a touch of cotton candy; demonstrating that scent truly is an artistic medium.
A more subtle but delicious way to scent your home to maximum effect is by using a diffuser. My favourite diffusers are from Carthusia. I always treat myself on our annual trip to the Amalfi Coast atCarthusia in Capri. My personal favourites are Via Camerelle and Mediterraneo, however they also have a festive scent for season in Carthusia Natale, which has the cosy scent of cinnamon.
I’m also a fan of Dr. Vranjes. Their Acqua diffuser reminds me of one of my favourite hotels, The Palazzo Avino in Ravello – a wonderful perfume memory. Look out for their Christmas Tree fragrance this year,which provides a seasonal flourish of crisp winter winds scented with pinecones, notes of moss and a hint of pine tree resin.
Scent delivery systems are becoming more sophisticated at the top end of the market as fragrances are carried through heating and cooling systems and ingenious diffusers in the lighting, as well as via the more traditional discreet atomisers and diffusers for the home. There are a myriad of options for scent styling, so this year, as you muse over your seasonal palette, your glamorous table and your festive menu whilst elegantly wrapping your thoughtful gifts; don’t forget the key ingredient for a multi-sensory celebration and decorate with scent this Christmas and beyond.