Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Scenting Your Home For Success!

I know that the name is kind of cheesy but I couldn't really think of another name for this post.
I'm basically going to be talking about how you can use different candles to create productivity zones in your home. It sounds kind of silly but, I swear that it works wonders!
Of course, you don't have to use candles. Any scent item will work. Wax warmers, wall plug-ins, oil burners, even those little scent pods or a room/linen spray. I particularly use candles so, that's what I will be discussing.

I sort of stumbled across doing this in early 2011 when I started to really get back into candles. I have always kind of liked the way that they look around the house as a decorative accent. Of course they make your house smell good too but, you can really use different scents around your house to create different moods. 

A scent is one of the easiest ways to trigger a specific memory. Like how the smell of a roast turkey will instantly make you think of Thanksgiving dinner or  your grandmothers cookie recipe will make you think of her (just examples of course). So why not train your brain to associate a specific scent with a certain task?

(little story, you can skip if you want)
I first noticed this with a candle I bought for my desk. It was a sweet floral scent (not the type of scent that I normally go for but, I'll touch more on this later) that I didn't really know where to put. I ended up lighting it one day while I was working on a quite productive blog post. The next time that I was working on a blog, I lit it & found that I seemed to be more focused then normal & that writing came easier. Then I didn't light it & I seemed unable to concentrate or work for more then a few minutes at a time. Of course I didn't really think about it too much until I noticed that this trend kept repeating. Candle lit, major productive focused me! Not lit, scatter brained & unable to work for more then a short amount of time. It wasn't long before I realized that my brain associated that particular scent with being focused on work.

Now you can do this with a ton of different areas of your house.
Below I am going to list my tips for how I use scents in different rooms & how I pick scents for each individual room. Of course, alter this to your scent tastes & individual needs or wants in each area. I give examples of the scents I use in each area but, everyone will be different in what scents they like & what will work for them.

Bedroom: Now, I know that there are a million & one candles devoted to this room. Tons of candles directed at relaxing or helping you sleep but, everyone has a different pre-bed routine. While I enjoy the scent of lavender & chamomile I never found them to help me sleep when I burned candles with this scent. This just shows that you need to find what works for you. My personal favorite is Tropical Spice from Bath & Body works (unfortunately this is a summer seasonal scent & I don't know if they carry it at all anymore). I light this after I have completely gotten ready for bed (face washed, teeth brushed, anything else needed done, so I don't need to get out of bed) & then I read my book before going to sleep. Anything that makes you feel at peace works for this area. I think far too often people try to look for relaxing candles for this area & it doesn't really work for them. I find this to be because your thoughts are catching up from the day & working on everything that is going to happen the next day. So, while you are relaxed, your mind is still working. If you look for something that makes you feel happy & peaceful it will help settle your mind more, therefor you will sleep easier. I like scents that are slightly fruity with some warmth behind them but, everyone will be different on this. PS- Do Not leave candles burning while you are asleep!

Bathroom: I am defiantly one of those people that drag ass in the morning. I have no desire to be up most of the time & really need something to kickstart my day. I go for scents that are very citrus based, as this reminds me of summer. I currently am using Pink Grapefruit & Lilly from Walmart. I smell that bright grapefruit & I instantly think of being outside in the sun, & this gives me that little boost I need. I try to keep this scent very bright, nothing spicy or warm (woods & herbs scents) as I don't want to feel snugly but like the sun is shining just on me & I can take on the world. This gives me the little pep I need & start my day off right. Look for scents that make you feel happy, fresh, energized, & perky. (I know it sound like a lot of different things but, trust me, you'll know it when you smell it!)

Makeup Area  (or wherever you get ready. If you get ready in your bathroom, just change the scent): I keep this scent something that is a little luxurious & feels special only to me. Something that reminds me that this is a special time just for me to focus on myself. I go with a scent that makes me feel slightly relaxed but happy. I currently have Coral Hibiscus from Target but, I do change this scent every time the candle burns out. I don't normally burn this candle during my daily routine of getting ready. I save it for getting ready for special events or going to the club. That way it makes that time feel a little more special & glamorous.

Office Area:  I find that this scent is the hardest to find. You need something that gives you energy but, makes you feel calm & focused at the same time. I absolutely love my cherry blossom candle from Walmart. It has a sharp fresh note on top with a deep floral note that lingers. You want to find something that makes you want to do something (ok, that didn't really make sense). I really wish that I could explain this better but, unfortunately you will have to find it on your own. You may even have to try a few different scents before you find the perfect one. I also think that this is one of the most personal of the specified scents. Some people work best with a lot going on & that is reflected in their desk area. Therefor it will also reflect the scent that makes them work best. Some people keep things streamlined & minimal. Of course this will make their work area completely different & the scent that works for them will be much more streamline & minimal as well. I personally like my desk area to feel like slightly luxurious with a lot of creative elements around me but still very organized & clean. Therefor, this is reflected in the scent that works best for me. 

General Living Area: I change out this candle all the time. I try to focus it on how my house is feeling that day. If we are cleaning, I burn something with a clean, fresh scent. During relaxing times I burn warm scents (apples in summer, spices or woods in winter) that make us feel like snuggling together. During the winter I keep things very warm & spicy to distract from the snow outside. During the summer I keep it super bright & fruity to keep us energized for everything we are doing. The scent in my living-room can change up to 5 times a day depending on what I'm doing. I also like to use different mixes of scents. Since I typically burn warm scents in winter & fruity scents in summer, I like to mix them up to keep us from getting too stagnant in the current season. I will burn a candle with heavy fruit & subtle woods scents when we start getting cabin fever during the winter. The fruit reminds us of the bright sun of summer & the woods warms it up so it doesn't feel completely out of place. In the summer I will occasionally burn a deeper fruit scent with a little bit of a spicy note, such as apples & cinnamon. This makes us feel like staying in & snuggling on the couch.

I personally do not put candles in my kitchen or dinning area. If you want to put a candle here I would suggest a fresh or clean scent (such as linen) for a just cleaned smell or a citrus scent to get rid of cooking odors or maybe even possibly a herb style one.

Additional tips:

  • Do not burn your specified scents during other times. If I burned my special desk/work candle every time I was perusing the Internet; I would start to associate that smell with being at my desk & not specifically to being focused & working. The same goes for all your other specified scents. You want to create a signature  with that specific activity. This way you get into the appropriate mood whenever you smell that scent.
  • When shopping for candles, it is best to do it when you are in a good mood. When you smell something that you like, close your eyes, smell it again, & picture your house. Where does it feel like it would fit? Does it make you think of a specific room or area? These are the scents that you are going to want to use as your specified area scents.
  • Try to make your scents to each area a little different. If you want to use all fruity scents, go ahead, but try to make each room have a different type of fruity smell. Such as the warmth from apple based scents, or the bright energy of citrus scents, things like that. While they will all be in the same family, they will still provide different feelings.
  • Make the scent in your most difficult area unlike any of the others. Mine is my desk area. It is so hard to try & work on something when there's a new video up or cute shoes I want to look at. There for, the scent at my desk is unique to the rest of the house. It is a floral based scent & the rest of my house is fruit & spice based scents. Of course, arrange this to your needs. If you are a troubled sleeper, make the rest of your house light & fruity while your bedroom is deep & spicy; or whatever works for you. Just keep it in a different note then the rest of your house, to make that area a little more special when you smell it.
  • Also, keep the same scent in your troubled area. In some of my other areas, I change the candle when it runs out & just keep it with in the same family. In these areas you always want it to be the exact same scent. This way that specific scent makes you want to work (or sleep or whatever your troubled area is) the second you smell it. Unfortunately this also means that you will have to acclimate yourself to a new scent if it becomes discontinued.

I know that this blog post was incredibly long & that I had a hard time explaining some things. I hope that it was still a little helpful. If you have any questions about something or need any additional tips, just comment below & let me know.

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