When it comes to adding instant ambiance to your home, candles are a quick, affordable way to give your abode an instant "makeover." Simple as it seems, these timeless decor items can create a multi-sensory experience. This is especially true come autumn, as the season is ripe with bold scents that will warm up a space instantly. And while there's no wrong place to put a candle (save for safety concerns, of course), it's helpful to know the best fall scents for every space in your home to evoke distinctive moods from room to room.
"Home fragrance brands have been doing such a wonderful job providing beautifully crafted fragrances with packaging that enhances the decor of your home," point out Tami Katz and Kathryn Balcerski, principals at Serendipitee NYC, LLC. "They have given us the opportunity to have a ‘home fragrance wardrobe,' just as we have in fine fragrance. We all want something to suit every room, season, and mood."
As for of-the-moment fragrance trends, "We always watch what’s happening in the world of fine fragrance to lead the way in scents for the home. Some important olfactive themes are relevant for home scents: rich florals, gourmand/yummy scents, and woody notes. The use of gorgeous noble ingredients is also continuing, like rose, iris, vetiver, lily of the valley, sandalwood, and oud."
But first, aesthetics. Thumbtack Interior Designer Amy Joy of Amy Joy Room Styling shares her top spots to stash candles, both flame and faux. "My favorite locations to place candles for the exterior would be on the steps leading up to a house," she says. "Place the candles inside beautiful black wrought iron lanterns leading up to a home, the entryway on each side of your exterior front door, or the porch. The candles can be battery-operated for safety and look incredible for fall dinner parties when your friends and family drive up to your home ... major curb appeal."
Further, Joy adds that they can infuse elegance, even if you're limited on square footage. "Have an apartment? Add a touch of glamour with various thick, colored candles placed on large colored glass candlestick holders," she suggests. "I like to place them on a fireplace mantle, coffee table, credenza, or side table."
Ahead, fragrance gurus Katz and Balcerski give their top picks for the best candle and diffuser scents for every room inside (and outside) your home. After all, even the most beautiful home isn't welcoming unless you can breathe easy.
"It is important to create an inviting, easy, and comfortable feeling when someone walks into your home," notes Katz and Balcerski. "Scents should not be too 'in your face." They add that ‘genderless’ smells are "an important trend in the world of fine fragrance."
"We find the floral trend to be perfect for the living room; florals can feel elegant, delicate, enchanting, and natural," say Katz and Balcerski.
Looking to bring airiness to a small room? Whimsy to an eclectic hangout? Coziness to your family's favorite room? "Choose [a scent] that matches the feeling you’re going for in your living space," they recommend.
"For the bedroom, it's best to have something subtle that provides a nice ambience without feeling distracting," say Katz and Balcerski. Whether you're there for relaxation and romance, these experts recommend breathing easy with fresh scents inspired by just-washed linens or fragrant plants
"Fresh and clean notes are important in the bathroom; citrus scents are perfect," advise Katz and Balcerski. "Candles are wonderful for the bathroom, and we also love the reed diffuser for its continuous fragrance delivery."
"Classic rose is so important in fine fragrance, and we find it everywhere in home scents right now," say Katz and Balcerski. The reason for the florally fragrances? They evoke the scent of fresh-cut flowers, straight from the farmer's market.
"There are two ways to go in the kitchen depending on the feeling you want to achieve: Yummy notes or natural garden goodness," the pair says. For the room where you prepare most of your meals, they recommend aromas reminiscent of baked goods or aromatic herbs.
Patio/Sun Room/Outdoor Space
When it comes to outdoor spaces, the duo says it's best to keep things natural, even nostalgic. "Fresh green notes, pine, or smoky notes are all perfect for outdoor spaces," say Katz and Balcerski.
In your home office, consider taking an aromatherapy approach by choosing fragrances that are thought to promote stress relief and relaxation, such as lavender, frankincense, spearmint, and eucalyptus. Or, for a more sophisticated approach, the duo notes that rich scents like mahogany and leather will make you feel like a high-level exec.