How To Scent Your Home For Christmas, With Jo Malone London


Anyone who’s been into a department store recently will know how big the home scent market has become; luxury scented candles, diffusers and even perfume guns (looking at you, Frederic Malle) are now big business. Talk to anyone in the home scent world and it’s all about ‘scent strategies’ for your entire house, including scented furnishings, room-specific ambiance and home scent ‘layering’. What…you thought lighting a scented candle was all that was needed?

Jo Malone London does some of the nicest home scents we know with its well thought out Scent Surround collection, so we grabbed the brand’s global lifestyle director Debbie Wild, who knows all there is to know about strategic scenting, to ask her to make sense of this new trend and how to make our homes smell more wonderful this Christmas. Here’s what she said…

Debbie, What’s the best time to light your candles for optimum smell?
When entertaining and wanting to create a scented ambience you should light the candles approximately 30 minutes prior to your guests arrival, so they are greeted with the warm and welcoming scent of your home.

How can we make our rooms smell more festive for Christmas? 
Christmas is obviously a popular time of year for entertaining and so a warm scented Home Candle or ruby-rich Scent Surround Diffuser is a simple way to create a festive atmosphere. Use scent to welcome guests; there are infinite ways this can be done. Suffuse the air with Room Sprays and Scent Diffusers, spritz napkins, pillows and towels with Linen Sprays – the possibilities are endless! The Jo Malone London Pomegranate Noir Collection is bursting with red berries and spices, the ideal accompaniment for scented entertaining.


What are the best fragrances for scenting a dinner party or Christmas lunch? 
If you are scenting a dinner party you may want to choose candles with gourmand qualities that complement the food. You may prefer to let the food take the lead and opt for something cleaner and fresher like grapefruit. Scenting linen napkins adds a more personal touch to any supper. Choose a scent that will complement the aromas already in the air, from cooking smells to fresh winter foliage or burning candles. Pine & Eucalyptus is the scent of the season and will add depth with its verdant warmth.

What other ways can you scent your house? Can you layer smells like you can with fragrance?
Christmas is an incredible season for scents. This is time of year when you can really go over-the-top with layering decorative scents in your home, not only with candles and home fragrance. Fill jars and bowls with candied sweets and spices; line stairwells and hallways with green and woody foliage; and adorn table tops and mantelpieces with winter fruits and berries.


Do you have to have a ‘scent strategy’ for your entire house, to ensure you don’t confuse your visitors’ noses?
First think about a warm welcome for your guests. Use scented Home Candles such as Lime Basil & Mandarin to add a refreshing and aromatic scent, for a delightful welcome into your home. When serving succulent desserts or afternoon tea you may wish to introduce Nectarine Blossom & Honey Home candles to the space. This mouth-watering scent is perfect when eating sweeter dishes. For bedrooms and bathrooms try Red Roses Home Candles to give a spa like scent to the more relaxing rooms and spaces in your home.

What about seasonally scenting your house? Can you add character by using scent?
Scenting your home allows you to create an environment that engages the senses. Our sense of smell is so closely linked to our emotions that using scent in our surroundings enables you to change the ambience in your home with scent to suit your mood. For the winter months, I would recommend a warm, passionate and intense scent; fragrances from our woody or spicy families are perfect for this time of year. I love our new Mimosa & Cardamom Home Candle for a lively and spirited atmosphere.


Are there new rituals coming we should know about? What’s next after candles?
Home fragrance is the fastest growth sector as consumers are adopting a more sensorial approach to living. The category is driven mainly by diffusers, where new technologies have created new usage occasions, such as car diffusers, as well as new formats for decorating with scent, beyond the traditional candles, for example reed diffusers.

How about helping the hardworking cooks/clearer-uppers to sleep? Any tips on putting adults (or excited children) to sleep soundly? (we normally use gin for the adults, but….)
One of my favourite tips is to use the lavender scented Lino nel Vento Linen Spray spritzed onto bed linens to encourage a restful slumber. This soothes the mind and calms the senses.


Any tips for removing unpleasant cooking smells? Burnt Turkey!
Certain scents have qualities that can cut through the air, extinguishing bad smells and any cooking disasters! Scents such as Grapefruit or Lime Basil & Mandarin are perfect for refreshing the air after dinner.