Sometimes, interior design for a home isn’t just about what you see, but what you can touch or smell. Just as the furniture and type of materials you use can influence the mood of a room, so can the smell of it. By adding certain scents to certain rooms, you can make yourself a lot more productive or relaxed — depending on what scents you use. This is known as aromatherapy.
There is plenty of science behind aromatherapy and how it works. A psychology expert from Brown University posits that due to associative learning, scents are able to evoke certain moods. For instance, our brains tie memories to certain smells, causing us to react accordingly when we come into contact with that same smell again. In the same way, the fresh scent of newly-washed linen can perk us up or how lavender bath salts can calm us down.
Candles are a great way to manipulate the smell of each of your rooms individually. Not to mention, they add a cosy vibe no matter where they are placed as well. But what are the best scents to use for each room? Read on to find out.
The bedroom is an area where all of us go to unwind at the end of a very long day. It goes without saying that it is the comfort zone for most of us. Hence, we want it to be as relaxing as possible.
The types of scented candles you should use for your bedroom should therefore consist of rich scents and delicate notes such as jasmine or eucalyptus. These are all smells that have been proven to have relaxing properties. Linen scents are also known to have an invigorating effect.
You can place candles on your bedside table or on top of your dresser for maximum effect. Both are great areas to allow the scent of the candles to diffuse throughout the rest of the room.
You can place them on top of a mirrored tray with your other accessories to help the candles blend in more naturally with the rest of your decor. Mix different sized candles for a more aestheic appearance — although be sure not to mix too many scents around!
Best scents for this room: Jasmine, sandalwood, linen, eucalyptus, vanilla. Any other of your favourite scents can also be used in the bedroom as it is rather versatile.
Most of us consider the bathroom as a very private area where we can let our walls down and be ourselves. In fact, with the right scented candles, you can mimic the spa experience right in your very own bathroom.
Place various candles around the bathtub to achieve that spa-like effect, or a few around the sink to amp up the atmosphere. In the bathroom, white candles will help to give off a sense of cleanliness and serenity which will heighten the home spa experience. Alternatively, you can match the colour of your candles to your shower curtain, rug, or other bathroom decor.
Depending on the effect you want to achieve, you can opt for lavender or vanilla to help you really soak in that relaxing mood.
If a spa experience isn’t what you’re looking for, you can opt for citrus or minty scents just to give your bathroom a fresh ambience. This is great if you want to start the day right and perk yourself up with an energy boost.
Best scents for this room: Lavender, vanilla, citrus, mint, cucumber, coconut, ocean-inspired scents.
Candles in the living room sounds off-putting and rather unnecessary, but they can actually help add that elegant finishing touch for a luxury feel. One can easily place some candles on the coffee table or mantelpiece to keep the room looking its very best. The flickering flames can add a lovely dynamic to an otherwise static space, particularly at night.
Since the living room is a versatile place for both social and relaxing functions, it would be best to use different scents according to the different times and functions.
Fresh scented candles can help ooze positive energy when you have guests visiting during the day, keeping them warm and pleased. At night, you can switch to some floral or musky scents for some alone time before you get ready for bed.
A great idea to place candles in your living room besides putting it on the coffee table or mantelpiece is to use candle wall sconces. These are a great alternative to wall lights and you will be able to put as many as you like without worrying too much about it being a fire hazard.
Best scents for this room: Cedarwood, sandalwood, floral scents, cinnamon, fruity scents
It goes without saying that the kitchen is a place where food is made and therefore food-scented candles are perfect for this area! Not only will it whet your appetite, but it will also put you and your guests in a receptive mood regardless of the food that’s served.
The best way to decorate with candles in the kitchen is to match the colour palette of your kitchen. You can place them on your countertops or kitchen islands for the best effect. Alternatively, a hanging light fixture that allows you to put candles in them goes very well in most kitchens. Use this over your kitchen table to brighten up the room.
Best scents for this room: Lemon, orange, citrus, cinnamon or any other spices, as well as food-scented candles such as vanilla, pie and cookies
The dining room is a great place to add some candles to amp up your gastronomic experience. Candles are not only able to complete the meal but are reminiscent of restaurants and fine dining, so you’ll definitely impress your guests this way.
Opt for tall candle sticks or candle holders to really get that fancy dining experience going. Alternatively, for a more casual dining table, you can switch to short cylinder candles to avoid being overly dramatic and over-the-top.
Unscented candles are the key to making your dining experience more welcoming. This is as you want the focus to be on the food rather than the scent the candles are providing. If you use scented candles, your brain will be confused as to whether to focus on the scents or on the taste, and you would not be able to enjoy your meal properly.
Best scent for this room: Unscented
Overall, candles are a versatile decor that can be placed in any room, with the added benefit of bringing about aromatherapy to your home. In fact, it is possible to enhance the smell of your rooms even without lighting any candles!
Since most scented candles are pretty strong with their scents (to overpower the burning smell of wax), just by placing these candles next to fabrics you will be able to create an elegant house aroma with time. Fabrics such as curtains and drapes are great when it comes to absorbing scents around them. As long as you keep in mind to move the candles away from these fire hazards before lighting them, you will be guaranteed a house that smells and looks amazing.