Tuesday, August 2, 2011

setting the mood: scent

next up in our series on "setting the mood" is SCENT. i've gone on and on about some of my favorite home fragrances, such as:

elysian garden by voluspa

tomato blossom candle from target

i needn't attempt to describe a bunch of abstract scents or scent combinations for an entire blog post--that would be about as interesting as...well...something boring.

SO here are my scent ground rules for dinner parties, events and the like!

1- your home (or venue) smells. it just does. whether you know it or not. it has A smell. wouldn't you rather decide what that smell is? rule number one is: choose a scent.

2- feel free to fill the house with scent, but when you are trying to fill a large space, pick something subtle and be consistent from room to room, with only subtle variation. vanilla is safe--people have positive scent memories with vanilla, and rarely is it too overwhelming. for that reason it can also be a little boring. fresh, natural, organic scents are always pretty safe. stick with nature. oil reed diffusers can be great for this sort of thing, because they give you a strong first "whiff" but mellow out throughout the rest of the space. avoid anything too flowery, gardenia-y or musky and you run the risk of having a few offended noses.

the only exception, in my mind, is the volcano candle from anthropologie.
anyone who doesn't like it is basically not welcome in my house. so that's that. ;)

3- be sure to place scent strategically in the...powder room. can you sense my attempt at subtlety? ;) and i'll leave that one alone.

4- NEVER--i mean NEVER--have scented candles in your dining room or around your food. it will totally throw off your guests' taste buds and they will miss out on the subtle flavors of the delectable fare you are providing. the only scent your dining room needs is that of wafting food. no one wants a nose full of gardenia when they are trying to enjoy their filet mignon.

5- get seasonal with your scent. vanilla, cinnamon and chocolate-dipped-sugar-cookie-star-munchie are all great choices for the holiday season. keep it light and fresh in the spring, a bit more fruity or tropical in the summer, and bust out the pumpkin spice in the fall. instant "feel-good" points.

6- try mixing up scent throughout your event. what if you had a nice fresh scent as people arrived, mellowed things out during the main activity, and then brought in a warm, spicy scent at the end of the event. something so subtle, but it could really subconsciously set the mood. wait, what was that? set the mood?! bingo.

okay, now spill your secrets. what are your favorite scents?

...happy sophisticating...


Anonymous said...

I never thought about keeping scents in the dining room to a minimum! My favorite is Lavender... :)

Brie Oshiro said...

See, I don't like vanilla actually. Maybe it's just the ones I've smelled, but it gives me a headache. Most scents do. I love Lavender - but not the cheap perfume fake stuff, but really strong lavender. Too fruity is gross too. Otherwise, I love cinnamon, coffee types, and pine/cedar scents. I'm the most difficult person to please LOL