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If you’ve ever taken a blissful inhalation of fresh-smelling, beautifully laundered sheets in a hotel, or zoned out in a spa to a relaxing scent, then you’ll know that the best interiors are an all-round sensory experience – not something that merely looks good.

Top hospitality brands definitely know that scent is one of the details that matter, styling their hotels and restaurants with signature fragrances that are like a unique fingerprint, leaving their mark on guests long after they’ve departed.

“Scent is extremely personal…”

But scent is extremely personal: what one person finds rich and heady, another can find sickly. Smell is also closely linked with memory, and can trigger long-forgotten thoughts of indelible past experiences, which all plays a part in shaping our likes and dislikes. It can be helpful to work out which scent ‘families’ you prefer – be it woody oriental or floral – to help narrow down the choices.Gorgeous packaging may pull you into buying a certain brand of home fragrance, but trying to match the décor shouldn’t be your starting point. Begin with how attracted you are to the scent itself, bearing in mind how and where you intend to use it. Just as certain colours, textures and patterns in interiors can stimulate or relax, so can different fragrances. Real attention to detail means different scents for different rooms or circumstances, whether you want to achieve deep calm, intense focus or just have something light and delicate in the background.

Try herbal-tinged fragrances for the kitchen to stimulate appetite, such as Jo Loves’ Lemongrass – a “sweet, sparkling citrus scent” inspired by Thai ingredients – or Bamford’s Rosemary candle, which also includes thyme and lemon. For relaxation in the bathroom or bedroom, lavender and sandalwood have been shown to be calming. Your signature scent can also change with the seasons, from heady rose for high summer to wintry woody scents for the colder months. These details will help make your environment feel more in tune with nature.

“Make your environment feel more in tune with nature…”

Candles, diffusers or room sprays are the primary products for releasing aromas. Sometimes it’s more practical to use one above the other – candles might not be suitable for homes with young children, for example, while not everyone likes the visual clutter of a diffuser. If you want a particular scent to truly surround you, look for ranges that also encompass products such as soaps and linen sprays.Want to go a bit left-field? Sniff out some of the more unusual scented candles on the market. Malin + Goetz makes a neroli-fragranced candle (with top notes of bitter orange and lemon), while Daylesford’s Vine Tomato is a best-seller.  

Just make sure that, whatever you choose, it’s true to you.