House of Wellbeing: The art of fragrance zoning

By dedicating specific scents to different parts of your home you can evoke different emotions. Follow our expert tips on how to use home scents to tap into your feelings.


Our sense of smell is intrinsically linked to our emotions and memory. Think about it, you can be walking down the street and a waft of perfume can instantly remind you of that happy feeling you felt on holiday or with a person dear to you.  


Fragrance is a powerful mood enhancer so implementing fragrance zones within our homes, depending on how we want to feel, is incredibly empowering. Fragrance zoning is the term coined for using different scents in different parts of your home or even moments of your daily life. And doing it enables you to not only create a ‘journey’ throughout your home but by allocating different scents across different ‘zones’, you can influence mood, productivity and even your emotional state.  


In her book, The Scent of Desire: Discovering Our Enigmatic Sense of Smell, Dr Rachel Hertz explains how scent has “the ability to alter our emotions and moods more than any other sensory experience" because of "the unique connection in the brain where scent, emotion, memories and associations are processed.” 


So, it's fair to say implementing layered scents within the home, when composed correctly, can play an essential role in setting the ambience whilst also boosting personal wellbeing. Here are 6 top tips from scent experts on how to fragrance zone your home, along with some specific scents to perfectly layer each zone, to make each day more intentional and mindful.   


1. Happiness in the hallway 

“The hallway signifies the start of your home and is the first zone guests smell and, perhaps more importantly, what you are faced with every day as you come and go. That’s why it’s lovely to choose a fragrance to scent the hallway that makes you feel happy to be home,” advises fragrance expert, Alice du Parcq. “Candles can be slightly impractical because wafts of air from doors opening and closing can cause them to blow out, so I recommend a combination of room sprays and fragrance sticks. Room sprays are particularly handy for instantly masking any unexpected smells like soggy pets, sweaty school PE kits, musty raincoats, and muddy shoes and radiate gorgeousness straight away, whereas diffusers will create the long-lasting scent theme for the entrance of your home.” 


2. Energise your bedroom 

The moment we wake up, our brains activate and our sense of smell is heightened. Enhance your morning routine by including an electronic diffuser set to infuse your bedroom with a cascade of scents. Opt for “zesty citrus oils like sweet orange and lemongrass oil to stimulate the brain and kickstart your day,” explains expert perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek. The Private Collection Savage Garden Perfume Cartridge is ideal as it marries sweet but citrus-based vetiver with the energetic and fresh notes of clary sage to boost your mood and energy levels for those foggy early mornings when you need a little extra stimulation and motivation.  


3. Bespoke your bathroom routine

By choosing the right scent, your bathroom can become a calming or energising space where you can balance out your emotions. If you’ve had a hard day and need a bath to unwind then a vanilla-based candle, such as the Private Collection Suede Vanilla Mini Scented Candles that are ideal for spacing out atmospheric light and exuding comfort or choose the larger size Suede Vanilla scented candle. Research studies have shown that smelling vanilla reduces stress levels and many link it to the nostalgia of childhood and the comfort that brings.  


Conversely, if you need to pep yourself up for the day ahead then the scent of your bathroom can help. Fresh uplifting scents can help you feel more alert. 


4. Bring focus to your WFH days

Our energy levels have peaks and dips throughout the day, making it essential to nurture our energy through scent. One of the great benefits of so many of us now working from home more frequently is that we have complete autonomy to scent our homes to sharpen our mind and heighten concentration levels.  


Eucalyptus oil is known for energising and boosting focus according to a 2017 study so it’s worth having a bottle of essential oil on your desk for sporadic sniffs or check out The Ritual of Hammam that includes eucalyptus as a key ingredient. “To make your fragrance zone even more effective, it is possible to layer two fragrances by lighting a candle whilst also incorporating a diffuser within a home office space,” recommends Mastenbroek. Try pairing an uplifting and energising candle such as the Private Collection Goji Berry scented candle  with the Private Collection Precious Amber fragrance sticks which will add a depth and longevity to the scent wafting through your home office to assist you in powering on through long working days with clarity of mind. 


5. Make your entertaining space memorable

Mastenbroek notes how “as humans, we subconsciously associate the scent in a room and the memories we create there. The choice of fragrance is key and is very personal”. And to compound that a study concluded that scent-triggered memories are more evocative and emotional than other sensory stimuli, such as sight or sound. That’s why the scent of the space you make memories with friends and loved ones should be positive and everlasting.  


Patchouli is the perfect olfactory note for this because it is known for calming and reducing anxiety as well as elevating the mood; exactly the scent memory you want guests to have about how they felt in your home. The Private Collection Black Oudh fragrance sticks are a show-stopper in terms of its sultry blend of black oudh and patchouli and for how they look displayed in your home. 


6. Perfume the garden

It may seem strange to add scent to outdoor space if you have it but there is logic to it. “Scent is so engrained with our memory and imagination, by using candles outside you can transport yourself to somewhere else you’d rather be, an exotic island far away for example,” says du Parcq. “It’s also a great way of highlighting exactly where you are so why not look for candles containing notes of plants and flowers that can be found in your garden? Use that scent amplification for a moment of quiet solitude and meditation, either first thing in the morning with your coffee or last thing at night to calm your mind.” And du Parcq’s biggest tip for getting the most out of your scented candle outside? “Burn it in a glass hurricane lantern. This gives the scent time to really gather up and float around your outside space.”  


This article is part of our House of Wellbeing series to help make your home a haven of wellbeing. Articles packed with expert information and practical tips designed to equip you with everything you need to know to bring serenity, calm and joy into your home.


Sarah Jane Corfield Smith

Sarah Jane Corfield Smith

Sarah-Jane is a UK beauty editor with over 15 years of experience writing for magazines, newspapers and websites including The Daily Mail, Woman & Home and Get The Gloss. There isn't a face spritz she doesn't love and always has a lip balm in her pocket.