Yes, “scent branding” — it's a thing. Home cold-air diffusion machines from companies like Air Esscentials and Air Aroma debuted in hotels and shops with the intention of creating a luxurious — and proprietary — vibe. But, as much as we love the idea of our custom fig-peppercorn-cypress scent wafting through our HVAC system — it's not going to happen. We don't even have central air. The solution? Just create your own DIY scent system yourself.
The key is layering your fragrances using varied delivery systems, such as sprays, candles, scented pebbles, and those reedy diffusers — all at the same time. “Planning this layered approach of fragrances that work well together allows you to dial in and out with the desired impact you want to deliver at various times of day and different occasions,” says New York-based interior designer Elaine Griffin. You can pour on extra power where you need it (um, near the dirty-clothes basket) or be more subtle elsewhere (a bedside diffuser smelling of lavender and vanilla will get you both in the mood...to sleep, or whatever).
The danger with multiple scents? Olfactory overload. “The secret to not having your house smelling like the perfume counter at Bloomingdale's is to combine fragrances as they might be found in nature,” says Griffin. Some good mash-ups: “Multiple trees in a forest; a tree and a flower in the field; driftwood on the beach; multiple white flowers; or lavender, rosemary, lemon, and olive in a field in Provence."
According to Kat Burki of Kat Burki Fragrance and Skincare, you should keep earthy scents (herbs, like sage and rosemary) with exotic ones (sandalwood or oud) and citrus with floral. “Fragrance, like color, really comes alive when matched well,” she says. However, she encourages experimentation. You may find that the exception to the rule is what makes your nostrils happy. Ahead, we've picked — like flowers from a hillside — nine great options to set you on your scented path.