Who would deny the allure of a beautifully scented home? Fragrance fanatic Louis XIV commissioned a perfumer to fill his chambers with a different scent every day. Estée Lauder reportedly dabbed Youth-Dew onto lightbulbs with cotton balls. Diana Vreeland injected perfume into pillows with a hypodermic needle. During domestic quarantine this year, we discovered anew ambient aroma’s transformative magic—to soothe anxiety, to transport us to longed-for places, to conjure people we love, to give shape to shapeless days.
We have come a long way from the special occasion candle, sparked only to dress our living rooms, as we would ourselves, for guests (or to conceal eau de dog). Sophisticated environment-enhancing fragrances are created with the same artistry as the fine parfums we spritz on our wrists. Now they’re desirable decor items as well, with brands improving on, or departing from, the