It was Coco Chanel who once said: “no elegance is possible without perfume.” Of course, she was referring to the romance of wearing perfume on the skin, but we think the same is true of any room in your house. A home scent is the oft-overlooked finishing touch for any room, helping it accrue familiarity, comfort, freshness, and, yes, an invisible elegance.
A home scent is also a way to gift fragrance without the tricky business of skin chemistry. Giving a perfume as a gift can sometimes require an intimate knowledge of the recipient, but a home scent can be enjoyed on its own, in the receiver’s own time and space. In short — a home scent is the perfect gift for any fragrance lover!
We’ve unpacked some favourites from Etiket’s extensive home fragrance selection, and curated a list of scents perfect for any room in the house.
For the Study
In the quiet of a study or home office, we prefer rich, grounding, contemplative scents. Paul Smith’s Bookworm diffuser perfectly captures the indescribable comfort of a library filled with old books, as the fiery colour of its transparent glass vessel enhances warm, wooden shades in the room’s decor.
Want to go bolder? Indulge in crackling firewood magically softened with vanilla bean in our own house-made Au Chalet candle, or fall down a literary rabbit hole with Imaginary Authors’ Cape Heartache candle, which imagines a rugged Pacific coastal forest filled with coniferous needles and brightened by tangles of wild strawberries.
Coincidentally, the Strawberry candle by Malin + Goetz also plays up the botanical, green side of the familiar berry. Offering a lighter, but no less comforting, option for this room, it blends the garden-picked, barely-ripe fruit with sparkling pink pepper, fluffy orris root, and cozy musk.
For the Kitchen
This room can often serve as a chaotic olfactory battleground, so we think any kitchen scent must either go with the flow or cut through the noise. Arquiste’s poetic Sobremesa candle uniquely captures an afternoon digestif around a table in Mexico City, with starched table linens, desert herbs like sage and rosemary, and the wood of the table itself; all scents perfectly at home in any kitchen. Similarly, the Pasta Water candle by D.S. & Durga began as a commission for an upscale Italian restaurant in New York City. One of our most unique gifts, it echoes the warm, salty-sweet glow of pasta steam, allowing it to complement, not contradict, the food.
Other times, kitchens need to be freshened up after a meal. For a steady beam of scented sunlight, the Daydreamer diffuser by Paul Smith smells just as bright and joyful as it looks, diffusing kitchen-friendly notes of verbena and lavender. For maximum potency, a spritz of the Aramara room spray from Culti Milano electrifies the room with lifelike bitter orange. It also comes in a special edition orange coloured diffuser.
For the Living Room
Here, we can get a little creative, and set the scene with colourful accents that add fun and style. Created for the St. Regis hotel group, Arquiste’s Caroline’s Four Hundred room spray has bottled a breathtaking bouquet of American beauty roses, piled high with various dewy blossoms for a Gilded Age Society gala. Far from old-fashioned, the scent is refreshingly botanical and unbelievably luxurious.
For a more humble pleasure, Culti Milano’s Ficum Blu diffuser is a joyful kaleidoscope of juicy fig. Families with children will also love the playful Fraise & Rhubarbe candle from Montreal locals T. Lees, with its addictively jammy fragrance.
Opting for the warmer side of botanicals, Paul Smith’s Botanist diffuser adds a sophisticated base note of real earthy vetiver to the room, along with a stylish colour story to boot. Even richer is the Bread in Chestnut candle by Scents of Wood — mingling the intoxicating aroma of toasted grains with creamy tonka and sandalwood.
For those who take their interior design very seriously, Italian atelier Fornasetti offers museum-quality pieces that smell as refined as they look. We love the Peccato Originale collection, scented with mediterranean florals and rosewood, which feature a whimsical design reinterpreting the Garden of Eden. Available in a variety of sculptural shapes, including the iconic Se Poi candle, Fornasetti home scents blend form and function, becoming veritable art objects for the home.
For the Bathroom
Clean and relaxing are the goals here. For an ambient scentscape of soothing Japanese green tea, Culti Milano’s Thé diffuser is the perfect everyday companion. And for an on-demand burst of seaside freshness, the Mareminerale room spray is a bold blast of cooling ocean mist.
For a full-blown spa night, we created our own playfully titled Laisse-Moi Tranquille candle (“Leave Me Alone” in French). With fresh sage, citrus, and squeaky clean amber, it’s the perfect scent to help you tune out and recharge.
Because bathrooms are often smaller spaces, we find smaller votive candles are the perfect size for this room. The Cannabis Votive candle by Malin + Goetz doesn’t smell like someone’s been sneaking a smoke — instead, it cleverly blends citrus, spices and green-earthy notes into a fresh botanical landscape. And for a bit more to choose from, the adorable Home Hooplas Votive Candle Trio set by Penhaligon’s contains three refined, intriguing fragrances in a gorgeous wooden chest. Inside, find miniature versions of the tropical floral Comoros Pearl and green-fruity Roanoke Ivy, both lovely touches for any bathroom.
For the Bedroom
Bedrooms are sanctified spaces that beg for refinement and comfort. But that doesn’t mean a bedroom scent has to be basic. Take the whimsical but deeply soothing No. 4 Candle by inventive French house Marc-Antoine Barrois. Imagining the favourite snack of their London boutique’s mascot — a large sculpture of a blue rabbit, à la Alice & Wonderland — it blends velvety carrot seed and lush lavender into a soothing hug of scent. And speaking of lavender, we love using the Wild Brooklyn Lavender Auto Scent by D.S. & Durga as a contemporary twist on the old-school lavender bud sachet. Tuck into a drawer to delicately scent fabric or linens.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian candles make for sophisticated accents to any bedroom. Their Limoges ceramic vessels and seamless, sumptuous scents create an atmosphere of easy luxury. We love the intoxicating, smoky-sweet Oud Satin Mood candle as an opulent bedside indulgence, and their limited edition Rose des Neiges candle for the olfactory equivalent of sprinkling fresh rose petals on your pillow.
If a bedroom scent needs a touch of sensuality, our house-made Mon Amour candle is a staff favourite. The fragrance is a dance of voluptuous gardenia and purring musk, with just a cheeky hint of spiced cherry. Just be sure you gift it to the right person.
For the Holidays
There are those of us for whom the winter season demands maximum festive cheer, and whether we realize it or not, smell is a significant part of classic holiday memories. Luckily, we have a wide variety of candles offering the perfect, giftable dose of holiday scent.
Two Montreal brands produce perfect renditions of the classic Christmas candle. The Rudolph candle from Ruby Brown comes emblazoned with a contemporary antler design, and T. Lees adds a fruity twist to their holiday candle Evergreen & Champagne.
Other candles add additional layers of atmosphere, riffing on the Christmas tree tradition. Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Mon Beau Sapin is a beloved favourite, adding snowy sparkle and resinous depth to the winter wonderland. For the more irreverent of Christmas die-hards, the Portable Xmas Tree candle from D.S. & Durga adds a whole forest of evergreens and a dose of warming spice to the mix. Even more uniquely, the brand also offers a Chanukah in the Desert candle. Rustic notes of cypress and juniper float over glowing resins and spice, forming a unique alternative for holiday warmth, no matter how you celebrate.