How To Create The Scent of Fall

Aromatic fall crunching leaves, charred wood smoke and the last crushed sprigs from the herb garden infuse our senses as the earth begins the demise of the year and the smell of fall is intense. Scent has been a therapeutic remedy for centuries and medieval monks were fascinated by the power of scent in their private gardens. Today, the study of aromas has been bolstered by some interesting discoveries on the medicinal power of scent. A professor at the University of Arizona has revealed that the scent of spiced apples reduced blood pressure of his test subjects. At New York University Medical Center, postoperative patients reported better pain control when the smell of lavender suffused the recovery room. An Oncology Journal noted that cancer patients exhibited less distress and depression when offered massages with a variety of aromatic oils. Although these revelations are interesting, I am thinking about how scent can become another design accessory to use in our style palette to add comfort to our homes. Fall seems the perfect time to accent our living spaces with calming aromas. Let’s look at a few tricks to “spice or sweeten up” our favorite places.

Loren's World
Source: Loren’s World

Happy Herbs

Since fragrant herbs exhibit so many beneficial qualities, why not move the herb garden indoors and plant a small windowsill garden in the kitchen or wherever you have a patch of sun to keep them growing. Basil, thyme, and mint (my favorite) all help to relieve stress, reduce headaches, boost sleep and improve digestion and blood flow. Just pinch the leaves of these herbs in your hands and inhale the lovely fragrance to add an instant perk up to your morning. Find a decorative set of pots for your inside garden, or if all else fails, set up a collection of jars, and plop the fresh herbs in water. Every grocery store has a variety of herbs to create a fall bouquet that can add freshness to your cooking. Herbs are a healing, healthful and smart way to bring your fall decor to life. Design your herb garden, plain or fancy, to match your style.

Since your indoor herb garden needs plenty of sunshine, consider a motorized window blind over the kitchen windows to instantly nourish your herbs.

Source: HGTV, Carter's Kitchenion, & House Beautiful
Source: HGTV, Carter’s Kitchenion, House Beautiful
Source: Qatada

Batter Up

“Nothing says lovin’ like something from the oven!” Break out the baking pans and cook up something to fill up the kitchen with delicious smells and good cooking. Bread baking might bring up those special memories for you as all of us recall special smells that imbue our senses- maybe it is a pot roast bubbling away or blueberry buttermilk pancakes frying in a sauté pan or popcorn jumping around in hot coconut oil. I know you can remember the way your favorite food smells and how that makes you feel. Bake those intimate feelings into your home. Gingerbread muffins does it for me. Let the rich aromas from the oven spread goodness throughout the day.

Source: Rock Recipes, Mulpix, & Food Network
Source: Rock Recipes, Mulpix, Food Network

Sparkling Citrus

Who doesn’t love the clean, fresh scent of citrus and its intoxicating aroma when your grate the zest or rub your hand over the effervescent oils along its skin. I always have a bowl of fresh lemons in my kitchen, but I am pretty lucky-living in California, I can pluck them off my lemon trees most days. Not only do lemons emit a lovely zest and add brightness to any recipe, a hint of citrus in the air has shown to nudge a feeling of cleanliness. Lemons always add a “lemonliciousness” to any room. Lemon up now.

Source: Pottery Barn, Fresh Ideen, & Baking Family - WordPress
Source: Pottery Barn, Fresh Ideen, Baking Family – WordPress

Coffee Klatch

Starbucks has made a trademark of the smell of coffee. Don’t let Starbucks steal the show. Grind and brew your own special blend of coffee beans for the warming and welcoming smell of fresh dark coffee-the anticipatory wakeup call in the morning. Coffee brewing has become a cult today but let it become an art form in your home as you design your special espresso or coffee pot that fits the style of your home. Become the master of the brew and of your house.

Source: Newsweek & Apartment Therapy
Source: Newsweek, Apartment Therapy
Source: Carldrogo

Cider and Cinnamon

Nothing announces fall like a steaming pot of apple cider, spiked with cinnamon, orange peel, nutmeg and all things fragrant. If hot spiced cider is not your thing, at least make a simmering potpourri of all of these aromatics to slowly bubble on the stove all day long to lure you to your favorite couch or lounge chair to read a favorite book or binge on Netflix. Those heady, deep fall flavors will make you forget about all the scurry and hurry surrounding you. An apple a day does keep the doctor away. Just the pungent, spicy scent in the air soothes frazzled nerves. Cheers!

Source: Holiday Cooking Recipes, Food Network, & Pop Sugar
Source: Holiday Cooking Recipes, Food Network, Pop Sugar

Sacred Sage

A basket of wrapped smudge sticks is an essential fall decor piece. My favorite is white sage with its spiritual healing properties. The smell of burning sage is a Southwestern custom that translates well into any location. Sage is used to bless, cleanse and heal; so why not begin a fall tradition by burning this pungent herb to renew the spirits in your home. Sage is earthy, musky and redolent of the wide open spaces. Even though we might think the beginning of the year in January marks new beginnings, in autumn, routines are replaced; clutter is cleared out, more groceries are purchased, stricter bedtimes are enforced, goals are solidified and even marriages outpace June weddings. Establish a new custom this fall to find a place for soulful living with sage.

Source: LDBA Brooklyn, Lemon Grass Candles - WordPress, & Moody Moons
Source: LDBA Brooklyn, Lemon Grass Candles – WordPress, Moody Moons

Family Fire

What better way to feel cozy, loved and warm than sitting around a crackling fire with the smell of pinon, oak or cedar burning to embers on a crisp night. If you have an indoor fireplace, stock up on wood and, of course, marshmallows. Stacking wood has become an art form in many homes today. If you use baskets or a copper pot or you have designed a unique wood spot built into your fireplace, you are on trend. Even if you don’t like to burn wood inside, many design the opening of the fireplace in a decorative way, with cleverly arranged piles of wood, candles, plants-anything goes. Just conjuring up the smell of smoke, brings many past moments to life. At my house, we build a fire outside on many early mornings as we watch the sunrise. We have an old “chiminea” that my husband has DIYed and place on a hand truck. He moves it around the yard for his personal, portable fire pit. i would definitely not put his cobbled together chiminea in a design catalog, but it is definitely a one-of-kind invention that has attained mythic status at our home. Gather your family and friends around a toasty fire to connect in this primal, bonding experience.

Source: Jenna Sue Design, Wooden Sun, & Second-Son
Source: Jenna Sue Design, Wooden Sun, Second-Son
Source: Write Away Molly - Blogspot & Decoist
Source: Write Away Molly – Blogspot, Decoist

Scents are a powerful part of our home. Designing with “a sense of scent” can effect an impressionable comfort statement to enchant your family.

La Mano Invisible
Source: La Mano Invisible

What are some of your favorite scents?

Featured Image Source: Life In Larississippi