In the quest for domestic bliss, I have found that often it is prudent to just follow ones’ senses. Whether you are cooking, cleaning, or decorating, following your instinct will more often than not lead you to your destination. Many times it is the quirky vase you picked up in a vintage shop on a whim that becomes the oft-mentioned focal point of your living room. A last minute substitution to a recipe will quite often find its way to becoming a regular ingredient. Our senses guide our taste, and taste is what inevitably puts our mark on our residences, making them our homes.
It’s difficult to say which of my senses has the greatest effect on me. Since I love cooking most would assume I would choose taste, and that could be true. I do know that smell has a significant influence on me and I would say that my sense of scent could weigh a slight bit more heavily on me than even taste.
Scent is at the heart of so many memories. I’ve smelled turkeys roasting at many different times of the year, but the one in the oven on Christmas Eve always smells a little different, better somehow. It smells not only of the feast to come, but of excitement, anticipation, and joy. New pink erasers and freshly sharpened pencils (the yellow ones, made of wood) evoke September and back to school. Barbeque wafting out of someone’s yard and into the neighborhood air, even in the middle of February, makes me feel a little bit warmer.
And then there’s home. Everyone’s home smells different, but distinctive. Homes possess a signature scent that is often only discernable to its residents. Some take years to develop, and some evolve over time, but most people would know the distinctive scent of their home if they smelled it on the moon.
It’s little wonder that we spend so much on scented candles, room sprays, incense, and the like, trying to cultivate the perfectly scented home. I love my scented products but sometimes they fall a little short. It’s great to have a room that smells like fresh cookies, but if there’s nothing in the cookie jar when you need a midnight snack, the scented candle that made you crave them will suddenly lose a bit of charm. And artificial scents rarely generate the same emotional response as the genuine article (again, the Christmas turkey). Homes develop their scents from years of cooking, and cleaning, and life.
And so, if your Monday has been stressful and you are already dreaming of the weekend, consider indulging in some at-home aromatherapy. Whether you bake some cookies, sniff your scrapbook paper, or take a bubble bath, enjoy!