We love all forms of home fragrance — candles, reed diffusers, even those little satchels of potpourri for our lingerie drawers — but we can't think of the last time we pegged one as innovative. Relaxing and indulgent? Absolutely. However, ask us to think back to a time when any detail beyond the scent surprised us and we come up short. But there's a new device hitting the market that's making the entire olfactory experience a hell of a lot smarter, and the technology behind it is really cool. The system is called Aera, and with its super-sleek, white exterior, you might mistake it for a next-gen iPod dock. But the circular nodule on one end is actually a fragrance capsule, which lowers at the push of a finger — not dissimilar to inserting a CD (remember those days?) — and quickly transforms the liquid-scent droplets of your choice into billions of teensy molecules that blend with ambient air. (Each capsule lasts for up to 60 days, or about 1,400 hours.) Told you it was rad. You can also adjust the aroma level by pressing one of two buttons on the device if you're around — or on the AeraForHome app if you're not. And since you can schedule, monitor, or change the scent of your machine from afar, you'll never have to worry about unexpected house guests walking into a rank-smelling living room again. Not only that, but the minds behind Aera set out to fix that annoying at-home fragrance problem of getting a highly concentrated whiff when you're standing nearby, versus virtually no scent from a room away. "Scent diffusion hasn't changed much in 50 years, and people are still using the traditional methods of heating, burning, or spraying fragrance, which produce uneven coverage," says Richard Weening, CEO of Aera-owned company Prolitec. That's the magic of this technology, he says: "[It] gives you control over the number of droplets released."
Scent-wise, there are plenty of options, too: Aera tapped some of the world's best perfumers (one being Raymond Matts, the man behind Clinique's Happy, a cult favorite) to blend six different cocktails — from a spicy oriental to a crisp citrus, and more. And starting tomorrow, the brand will introduce two limited-edition holiday aromas to the lineup (Celebrations, shown here, is a classic cinnamon-and-clove concoction; Snowfall is your fresh, Christmas tree-inspired blend). We're excited to see the fragrance-meets-tech movement make its way into our homes. (Because as we've said, you should care about how it smells.) Thanks to this device, there's never been an easier way to have the best-smelling house (or tiny studio apartment) on the block. Aera Starter Set Device & Capsule, $189, available at Aera for Home; individual capsules are $47.