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 standard wax-and-wick of yore.
Diptyque’s next-generation Diffuser 2.0 turns like an hourglass to fill the air with perfume via an intricately patterned gold central column; Cire Trudon’s new reed diffuser is based on an 18th century ornamental ostrich egg; and fashion house Loewe’s debut home collection which will be available in September, features elegant ceramic candles inspired by 5th-century BC Greek drinking vessels and 17th-century French flambeaux.
Covetable objects they may be, but don’t resist striking a match. The botanical scents (think coriander, tomato leaf, beetroot, even marijuana) are natural wonders, making it possible to bask in the bright, herbaceous optimism of a garden without ever leaving the couch.
This story appears in the September 2020 issue of Town & Country. Subscribe Now
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