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There’s More To Scenting Your Home Than You Think

Which is why we roped in a fragrance specialist from Escentials to answer all your burning – HAH! CANDLE PUN! – questions.

The scented candle life is the sort of life that once you get on it, you can’t ever go back. Once you light that scented candle for the first time and you realise how good your living room smells – and also how damn chic you are because you’re one of those people now – you’re on the scented candle boat forever. Let’s also not forget that candles make excellent space fillers in flatlays, so that’s killing a grand total of three metaphorical birds with one stone.

More than just a way to mask the smell of long-overdue laundry fermenting in your room or moonlighting as your next Instagram prop, candles can change the ambience of a room and hence, your mood, almost instantly. It’s a magical thing that requires no magic at all. Just a scented candle, a flame and let the fragrance do the work.

There’s a lot more to home scenting than just candles, though. What may work in the bathroom may not be the best for your bedroom. If the calming scent of a certain candle knocks you out almost instantly, probably best to skip the candle altogether. Fire hazard and all that. Or, perhaps you’re in search of the next great candle, since everyone else seems to be burning some variation of the same one. You, early adopter, you. Here, Kelvin Tay, fragrance specialist and trainer at Escentials, tells us everything you need to know to kill it at home scenting. If you’re new to the candle or diffuser life, these will set you off on the right foot. If you’re already about that life, he’s got more suggestions for you. Take it away, sir!

What are some of your favourite fragrances for a living space?
It sometimes depends on my mood and the ambience I want to create, but as a general rule of thumb, the fragrance combinations that I stick to are sweet and floral based notes for the living room to enliven space, floral or woody scene for the bedroom to create warmth, fresh and citrus scents to ventilate the bathroom, citrus scents in the kitchen to cut through lingering food smells and to refresh the space and finally, energising spicy notes for the office to help you focus.


What are some of the mistakes commonly made when choosing home fragrances?
When it comes to scent selection, I think that home fragrances are subjective and it depends on your personal preferences and the type of ambience you want to create. There is really no right or wrong when it comes to selecting fragrances as long as it appeals to you. However, depending on the size of your space and the desired ambience, the type of scent medium makes a difference. Choose the size of the candle according to the room size – use 180g to 220g for every 10 sqm. Escentials carries candles up to as large as 1.5kg, which is suitable for outdoor settings. For a fuss-free way to perfume your room, opt for a diffuser that will gradually release the aroma. It is also safe, since it does not involve lighting a flame.


What are some of the things one should take note of when shopping for home fragrances as a gift?
Do keep the type of space in mind and the type of scenting method that your gift recipient prefers. For example, if you’re buying for someone who finds it a hassle to light a candle in the house, get a reed diffuser or a room spray instead. Again, for scents, it really depends on personal preferences, though crowd favourites we’ve noticed at Escentials include Diptyque’s Baies candle, Cire Trudon’s Manon candle and Le Labo’s Santal 26 candle.


Everyone knows about Diptque and Cire Trudon. What are some of the up and coming fragrance brands you’ve got your eye on?
Carrieres Frères, Berdoues and Damselfly.


What are your current top five home fragrances?
Apotheke’s Bamboo diffuser, Damselfly’s Wake and Slay candle, Diptyque’s Baies hourglass diffuser, Cire Trudon’s Ernesto candle and Le Labo’s Palo Santo 14 candle.


What are some of the other ways to scent a living space besides candles and diffusers?
Room sprays are a great way to provide an instant, refreshing injection of fragrance to any living space. Depending on the fragrance you choose for your room spray, some fragrances are also great for neutralising bad odours in the room. Another unique fragrance object we have at Escentials are the scented ovals from Diptyque. It is perfect for perfuming small spaces and works to banish that stale wardrobe funk with a sublime fragrance. Each oval is hand-dripped, hardened scent wax encased in a white porcelain medallion done in a tasteful, luxurious style.


Good fragrances don’t come cheap. How can I help my scented candle last longer?
If you are lighting your candle for the first time, make sure that you let it burn for at least two hours to achieve an even melt. Try to trim your wick to prevent excess soot from accumulating and altering the fragrance. Another trick to prevent soot is to gently push the wick in the melted wax to coat it, and then set it upright again.


What To Read Next: Room Diaries: Irene Kim Takes Us Inside Her Studio In Seoul, 6 Foolproof Ways To Create Stunning Floral Arrangements and KULALA Weekends: We’ve Found Singapore’s Coolest Speakeasy | Main Image: John Valiant via House Design. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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