Scent & Sensibility: 5 Olfactory experts weigh in on choosing the right scent for your interiors

Scents are an important tool to establish a lasting impression. We can say with complete conviction that we want visitors to think of our home till long after. It’s a trigger that beckons nostalgia for places, people– and even certain incidents in life. But choosing a fragrance for an interior space as compared to personal use gets a tad bit more complicated.

The easiest investment to create an ambience is using a scented candle. With its mood-setting combination of subtle light and scent, it is not overpowering and releases its scent even off-duty (when not lit!). The question is, what scent makes a home welcoming for guests but also complements your aesthetic? Should it be heady and oriental, or a subtle whiff of floral notes? And if you find a good scent, which space would it work best in? Our resident olfactory experts have something to say about it all, giving a lowdown on some surprising aspects of using scent in an interior space that you may have never thought of!

How to pick a scent for a home environment? Can you give any tips?

Lagan Kapoor, Misa

One should choose a fragrance depending on the occasion, time of day and space. For example, relaxing fragrances such as eucalyptus, white tea, chamomile and ylang-ylang are great for bathtubs, bedside tables and spa areas while invigorating scents such as bergamot, citrus and verbena work well for entertainment rooms, home offices, and hallways as they help in uplifting our moods or boosting productivity.

Dewy Nights Candle by Misa

Gaurav Bhatia, Art-Chives India

The design dialect of your home can often determine its fragrance. The weather, too, plays an important part. In summer you wish for lighter notes, in winter you want to be caressed by heavier deeper notes. We recommend having one signature fragrance for your home for the day and one for the evening. 

Anushka Gupta, MyMuse

You want the fragrance to feel like it belongs there, like an unobtrusive enhancement. Go for fragrances that you’re innately drawn to, and that match the vibe of your space– whether that's fresh and energising, or warm and woody. 

Ishann Arora, Roci India

I believe your home says a lot about you, the first thing being how it smells. Think about the overall feeling you want to have or want others to have when walking into your home. One thing I'd like to suggest when picking a scented candle is, you can get an even and longer burn time with deeper sillage.

Himalayan Deodar Candle by Roci

Manan Gandhi, Bombay Perfumery 

The ideal route to take is to pick a bouquet of scents, a combination for each space, depending on its functionality or how much time you spend there. For the kitchen, I'd recommend using subtle scents that don't clash /contrast with the food so aqua or spicy scents work best.

How do you think scented candles can help the ambience of a place?

Lagan Kapoor, Misa

Scented candles create a welcoming and invigorating environment to help you relax and de-stress, high-quality essential oils have the power to change your moods and help you escape the humdrum of daily life. Not to forget, luxury candles enhance your decor and look lovely while entertaining guests or creating a cosy corner in the house.

Gaurav Bhatia, Art-Chives India

They are an instant pick-me-up and just set the vibe, whether it’s for an evening alone with a good book, an intimate dinner or a wild party at home. The second you walk in; the fragrance embraces you and sets the tone for the evening.  

 

Neroli Candle by Art-Chives

Ishann Arora, Roci India

It’s never less when it comes to candles for me. Sensory experience is the most decisive when it comes to rekindling an old memory or place, or calming the mind. It totally depends on what kind of ambience one wants– scented candles can absolutely create an enthralling aura. 

Manan Gandhi, Bombay Perfumery 

They are a great, non-intrusive way of scenting the home and also look very aesthetically pleasing. Candles can be used for table settings, intimate gatherings or even in personal spaces like bathrooms and bedrooms– and the best part, they are long-lasting.  

Anushka Gupta, MyMuse

To me, scented candles are a living space necessity. My evening ritual at home always includes lighting a candle, signalling to my brain and body that it’s time to wind down. 

Choose a favourite scent from your brand that you really love?

Lagan Kapoor, Misa

While it's hard to choose one, we love Mystic Dreams from our Blush Collection as it has Oud, which is one of the most prized fragrances in the world. This is a very luxurious scent, that slowly grows on you and has a very warm and exotic aroma. It works really well for the living room or as a luxurious gift.

Gaurav Bhatia, Art-Chives India

It is hard to pick a favourite and I oscillate between the Marigold and the Indian Rose. Our Marigold artisanal hand-poured soy candle captures the flower’s essence in a sharp, robust and musky scent. The notes for the Marigold are musky, vegetal, and racy. The Indian Rose takes you straight into a wild Indian garden. The notes for the Indian Rose are sensual, sweet and wicked.

Manan Gandhi, Bombay Perfumery 

My personal favourite is Moon Set– it’s a great balance of vanilla, amber, patchouli and musk. A well-rounded, subtle scent that is a good addition to any working/living space. 

Ishann Arora, Roci India

That's really tough, as I love all the scents from our collection. But if I'd still had to choose a winner from these babies, I'd pick Himalayan Deodar, as it's a scent from my favourite journey to the mountains! It helps me relive that ecstatic journey, anytime and anywhere I want! 

Anushka Gupta, MyMuse

My personal favourite from the MyMuse candle collection has to be Bergamot Mahogany. We call it 'Late Nights & Good Times’ because it’s our favourite pick for intimate evenings at home. I’m not someone who usually goes for deep, woody scents, but this one is just so well-balanced, with hints of citrus paired with deeper notes. 

To explore our entire candles collection, click here.