Thursday, October 26, 2006

Making sense of scents.

Scents for that personal touch

Those who possess the skill of choosing just the right scents to enhance their sense of smell, seem to carry a certain flair for “scent loveliness” by their personal chosen selections with regards to perfumes and body lotions, or specialty items for use in and around their home environments, which others are either ultimately drawn to, or completely turned off by. In the end, it’s purely a discreet and individual preference, a highly personal one at best to select lovely smelly and odorous items to either bless others with, or just to satisfy self pleasures in the privacy of their own space.

We are also easily drawn to the smells around us which offer emotional or physical well being, with special remembrance to often correlate specific smells to the inside rooms of people’s homes or personhoods.

With so many scents, sometimes there are also allergy sensitivities, becoming a factor in the work place, or public places, with establishments such as hospitals and churches requesting visitors or parishioners (please) not wear any scent inside for the sole benefit of others around who cannot handle odors of any kind. In our home, we have some family members who have experienced many episodes of allergy induced medical issues over the years, simply by having the wrong type of scent floating around in the air, resulting in immediate reactions to fling open all windows and doors hoping to rid the scent away, never to be welcomed again because of the reactions.

Oh how we love our sense of smell though! Our daily rituals for smells enter every facet of our movement, from showering with specially selected shampoo and soaps, ladies and their makeup or men and their toiletries, interior scents of our homes, and even sniffing natural outdoor wonders environmentally or in the garden. We continue to be ever drawn with our sense of smell, seeking out those perfume counters, bath and kitchen shops, aromatherapy, candle or smelly gift stores, happily being led around by our noses, appreciating and seeking something special for use as a gift or for our own homes.

And while on the topic, let us not forget our vehicles too. I love to place a drop or two of some scented finery on a cotton ball, then jam it in between two of the air vents, switching on the fan to blow it's scent all around the inside of the vehicle filling the air with its aroma. Even the children love it when I do this, or hubby does it in his vehicle, as it is a delightful sense of smell, and so very welcoming and soothing!

Like you, I'm sure I can think of many items offering a blessing to my sense of smell. Off the top of my head, the loveliness of aromas I love pointing my nose heavenward are selections below;


- The blissful smell that a mere drop or two of lavender essential oil provides the bed linens swishing around in the washing machine with, then heated in the dryer cycle afterwards, filling the air with its incredible aroma. Oh so lovely!

- Fresh lemon or white vinegar scent floating in the air after a good house cleaning work bee.

A squirt of lemon

- Adoring and sniffing a brand new baby! Nuzzle, nuzzle...

- The most delicious and mouth watering scent offered by our daughter’s homemade hot and fresh buns just removed from the oven, or her signature cinnamon buns made fresh for breakfast.

- A seafood platter with large plump shrimp and cocktail sauce at the forefront.

Fishy shrimps

- Hot spicy sushi rolls freshly delivered with shaved ginger piles at the edge of the presented glass tray.

- Bath additives freshly cracked open from my stashed favorite basket filled with scented selections.

Bath lovelies

- A hot stew bubbling in the crock-pot, or a fresh batch of homemade soup simmering on the stove for dinner.

- Cinnamon and apples cooking on the stove.

- A scented candle burning or an essential oil diffusing through the air.

Diffuser of scent

- Hot apple cider or wassail punch heated in the crock-pot at Christmas time.

- A brand new Christmas tree brought in from outdoors and decorated providing not only a lovely aroma but a real ambiance with its twinkling lights turned on.

- My hubby’s after shave lotion and cologne. *smile*

Adoring the rose

- Fresh florals gracing the table as a mealtime centerpiece, especially a single lovely rose or beautiful tropical orchid permeating their scent through the house (if it doesn’t bother anyone’s allergies).

- A spritzer splash or a misty spray of essential oil to freshen up stale odors. Name your scent, I know I have many here myself. How about a burst or orange peel scent?

- Peppermint essential oil freshly applied to someone’s neck and/or forehead to offer relief from a headache.

Peppermint candy

- And of course…. The personalized smell of my culinary creation for making my fresh Caesar salad dressing, chopping up many garlic cloves with freshly squeezed lemon juice blending their flavors together. The long lingering smell last for hours, and sometimes creeps up the next day, both with smell in the air and on the breath of those eating the salad. *snicker*

Garlic the bulb

- And, need I mention a freshly sliced onion, or a steeping pot of green tea?

A slice of sweet onion anyone?

Using scented embellishments around our homes offers a contented ritual of home life for settling us down within our cozy dens, creating a special homey environment. The good old simplistic trick of boiling up a saucepan of water, adding a wee tiny pinch of cinnamon into it, so its spicy scent drifts around each room, either allowing others to think there is something special cooking in the oven, or dinner is just about ready to be served. I used to laugh at women who did this little sneaky pre-mealtime trick, also having the dinner table all set, so when their husbands returned home from a long day at work, they would think their tummies would be filled very soon with the swell home cooked meal scent floating in the air, allowing for relaxation and unwinding before it was truly fully prepared.

Fresh buns from the oven

Before purchasing our home here in the east when previewing it or photos were taken to send to us via emails, the previous owner always had an immaculate kitchen, with either fresh pies from the oven out on hot pads, or a large pot of something simmering on the stove to ensure that homey feeling and lived in look for potential viewers. One of our morning visits offered the scent of fresh cornmeal muffins fresh from the oven. Ooh la la!

Orange squeeze

A huge plethora of perfumed scents exist on the consumer market today providing bewildered customers too many selections for searching or successfully finding just the right signature scent to purchase at their counters and call their own. As consumers, we can’t help but enter a large department store and discover the lingering scents, many times becoming attracted to the lovely aroma all around. I love spraying a sample card to take home and slip into a drawer someone after I’ve had time to enjoy the scent once it wears off a bit, but at the store itself, my nose bother me after too many sniffs and whiffs.

Bottles and scents

Some aromas assist us with bringing memories of days gone back to the heart of the moment, evoking sudden thoughts of yearly special occasions or feast days. Last month, I read an article about candles with the promise of providing an autumn scent to linger in the air, by use of a “pumpkin spice” aroma candle. It sounded so wonderful to me along with my savoring taste bud these days for a pumpkin spice latte, so I wondered where one could find such specific item. Lo and behold, I recently visited a unique gift store locally when I saw the sign outside its establishment announcing it was open.

My new scents for fall

This little shop has no set hours for customers to stop and browse through, rather when the open sign is out, it’s open, and otherwise it’s obviously closed. A hit and miss type of seasonal business, crazy to me for thinking of some financial gain, though making perfect sense within smaller communities such as the ones surrounding our new home. Thus is the reason why I mention “explore” often in my writings, though it is utterly undeniable that it’s a bit charming when able to get through the front door to settle personal curiosities for the question of the day; What is so intriguing and unique about this little place, and why is so popular with the locals only opening up on a whim when suddenly available to the public?

So folks, here are my special new “scents of loveliness” for our home during this season of autumn; pumpkin spiced candles! I got a bit carried away and also purchased cranberry smelling candles for Advent fast approaching.

Let’s welcome autumn into our lives by getting the apple cider warming up on the stove, light our candles on a blustery cool day, have the warmth of the fireplace glowing in our favorite room, then settle in with a great read in hand to relax and recover from life's busyness. This is what I love to do, making sense of those scents around our homes to provide immediate benefits for my family, and create a memory making moment.

Pumpkin spice and Cranberry scented candles ready to burn