The Powerful Smell Of Home


I don’t think either Jane and I are there yet, but there will come a time when we might want to downsize from our family homes to something easier to handle as we get older. Personally I have my eye on a chic little flat in The Barbican, with easy access to the fern-filled conservatory and walking distance from the St Johns restaurant, where I shall get fat on their custard filled doughnuts.

In my dreams…

At the moment our house has never been fuller, as twentysomething sons bounce back and forth, which I absolutely love. Eventually though, they will (probably…let’s stay hopeful) leave and set up their own homes. Heaven knows how they’ll ever be able to afford it, but lets leave the dilemma facing London children, born and brought up in the capital but unable to afford to stay here, for another blogpost.

We can take the ‘stuff’ with us, but it’s the intangible memories that are hard to leave behind. While doing a candle round up for WWP, I came across this video by Airwick, The Gift Of Home, which taps into this emotion because, of course, smell is a massive memory trigger. it’s a bit cheesy, but I like the idea behind it.

Imagine if you could take the smell of your family home with you when you moved, distilled into a candle that you could take with you and burn in your new home to remind you.

As I write this, our house smells of bacon, incense, old shoes, wood fires, passed its best fruit, rotting chrysanthemums, roasting chicken, bike oil, testosterone and damp washing. I’m not sure what sort of candle that would make. Airwick don’t actually offer a bespoke candle smell service, the video is used to promote its Life Scents collection, but wouldn’t it be neat if someone could do this?

In the mean time, I live happily with our aroma mash-up, then light scented candles by the dozen when visitors are due to mask any unpleasantness. Here are some of my favourites from this years burnings.

What does your house smell like? And would you want to take it with you?

1 Comment

  • I saw that ad, it is a bit cheesy, but loved it too and it really made me think about the evocative power of smell. Somebody should do it, what a great gift it would be for someone leaving the family home. You can get a candle that smells of old books on Etsy – so it can be done!

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