Home Scents: Creating your own reality with smell

The buzz of the door signaled its release. I yanked it open anxious to step in out off the street and the 90 degree heat, and into the temperate environs of the cavernous double height space. Beautiful it was, a happy hipness that welcomed you to inspect a little closer, peak around the corner, but it wasn’t the design that created the first impression, it was the scent.

7INK . Inclusive Living. National Development does it again.

I’ve long been fascinated with smell. I don’t consider myself to be a “nose”, the special beings that can detect hints of this and subtle aromas of that, but I can wrinkle my nose up with the best of those presented with a fowl smell and expand my lungs beyond what seems possible to capture just one more tiny breath of an intoxicating memory.

That’s the thing about scent. It is more closely tied to memory than any of the others – senses. It’s attached to the olfactory bulb in our brain, which in turn is connected to the amygdala and the hippocampus. If our brains were pinball machines they’d be lighting up with emotional reactions and memories, lights flashing to announced you’d scored the jackpot.

7Ink had me at the scent in the foyer. Fresh, clean, and intoxicatingly green, I felt young again, and youth being wasted on the young as it is, I wanted more of it. So much so that it got me thinking about my own home and what I want to evoke. While I cannot control what others will feel as a result of what I choose, and certainly not what memories will spring forth, there are universally agreed upon scents that people seem to love. Clorox, cut grass, laundry, lemons. If you guessed that people like aromas that invoke cleanliness, you are correct. Baked goods are high on the list of likes, presumably for their yummy nurturing quality. There are the oddballs like gasoline and tobacco. The inexplicable – licorice. Those that calm, lavender and eucalyptus. A few that energize – peppermint, rosemary and cinnamon.

Snow has a smell. It’s called wonder.

I think I want seasonal scents for my home. Spring: lilac and lemonade. Fall: Cinnamon, Anise and wood fire. Summer: Salt air and Rosa Ragusa. Winter: I’m stumped. What would you suggest. I’m open to recommendations, it’ll be here before you know it.

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