Monday, 30 November -0001

Essence of Home

Banish teenage pong and smelly dog with a spritz of orange blossom or blackcurrant leaves. Beth Dadswell explores the new generation of room fresheners

Written by Beth Dadswell

Dusty bowls of potpourri placed in hallways are so passé these days – so are supermarket air fresheners in the downstairs loo. Unfortunately, 'Eau' de dog, fag ends and teenage trainers linger, so how do you rid your home of those nasty whiffs before your guests arrive for the weekend? Rather than reach for the bleach, consider the new breed of home scents and room fresheners to lift your mood and add luxury to everyday living.

But first, give your home a deep clean. Chuck out post-Christmas clutter, vacuum the house and take soft furnishings to be professionally cleaned. Throw out smelly pet beds and consign old, tatty shoes to the bin. Your home should now be an odour-free zone, the perfect time to introduce subtle new scents. Kitchens and bathrooms are a good place to start. Perfumer Lyn Harris's Miller Harris range includes a pure Lavender Essence that can be added to hot water before you mop floors, wipe over kitchen worktops or freshen up a bathroom. As lavender has antibacterial properties, Lyn uses it to wipe down the inside of her fridge.

An alternative to the 'freshly baked cake' smell, favoured by estate agents, entice friends into your kitchen by burning a Juliette At Home Apple Crumble or Summer Pudding Fragranced Kitchen Candle.

If it's not too cold outside, throw open the windows and spray Miller Harris Fleurs d'Oranger on to your clean curtains, lampshades, sofas and bed linen. It is a by-product of the perfume distillation process and is produced in Grasse. It leaves rooms smelling spring-like and even doubles as a subtle cologne.

And never underestimate the sensory appeal of freshly laundered washing. Aesop, the Australian skincare brand, has collaborated with French fashion label APC to produce a Fine Fabric Care Wash that smells like a spring-time walk in the woods. The petit grain, lemon and cedarwood detergent makes hand washing a pleasure and leaves your airing cupboard or utility room smelling divine. And of course, every stylish wardrobe should have a Diptyque Baies scented oval ceramic ring hanging within. The bouquet of roses and blackcurrant leaves diffuse over a period of three months, leaving you and your clothes smelling fragrant at all times.

Home scenting needn't be confined to the interior of your house. It may be -5C outside now, but before too long, you'll be able to add a touch of the Mediterranean to al-fresco dinner parties by spritzing Jo Malone's sparkly lime infused Acqua di Limone linen spray on to napkins and tablecloths. Your guests will be transported to the Amalfi coast on a sultry summer evening (even if you are sitting in a damp courtyard in the Kent countryside). Alternatively, burn Garden Party by Floris. This contains scented oils to disguise your own horticultural shortcomings.

For a final touch, give pillows a soothing spritz of Neom's Tranquillity Organic Room Mist before bed. The brand is a favourite of The Duchess of Cambridge, who is reported to burn their candles at her dinner parties. Need we say more...

  • Aesop Fine Fabric Care Wash, £23 (500ml): 020-7409 2358,
  • Diptyque Scented Oval Ceramic Ring, £32,
  • Liberty: 020-7734 1234,
  • Floris Garden Party Scented Candle, £40 (175g): 0845-702 3239,
  • Jo Malone Acqua di Limone Linen Spray, £30 (100ml); Wild Bluebell Home Candle, £38 (200g): 0800-054 2939,
  • Juliette At Home candles, £16, Staffy B: 01462-895379,
  • Miller Harris Lavender Essence, £25 (50ml); Flower Water, from £15 (250ml): 0844-561 0992,
  • Neom Tranquillity Organic Room Mist, £15 (100ml): 0870-460 4677,

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