Getting All Scentimental

Monday, March 21, 2016

When looking for ways to breathe life or character into a living space, most people play with colour, texture, and shape. But I think fragrance can be most persuasive. Scent is an integral part of design and expression; with it we can magnify an emotion, evoke a memory, or cultivate a sensibility. So if your space is in good visual order but doesn’t ‘feel’ quite right, get scentimental. Accent the air with aroma!

My favourites, old and new!
I gravitate towards rich, sophisticated scents. To choose one of your own, pay attention to the heart notes and the base. These are the notes that give a fragrance its depth as it develops and have the most lasting impression.

Personally, I swoon at the warmth and sensuality of spicy notes like leather and tobacco. I find myself enchanted by the earthy, woody nuances of cedarwood, oakmoss, and vetiver. One or more of these traditionally masculine notes will always form the bulk of a scent that resonates with me. They are versatile yet bold so their interplay with the rest of the fragrance creates a titillating tension that makes me go…
Olfactory orgasm, anyone?
My current favourites are a mixture of scented candles, a reed diffuser, and bakhoor. Scroll on to find out what I think about each one, how, and when I use them.

Madison - 867 Collection, Ralph Lauren Home, £75.00/ €95.00
Madison - 867 Collection Collection, Ralph Lauren Home

The ‘Madison’ Candle has a spicy, refreshing kick of cedar making it the perfect fragrance to perk up with in the mornings. Its subtle citrusy top note of mandarin orange gently uplifts and then obliges to a base of amber and vetiver musk, culminating in a sensual and relaxing scent. I am besotted with this candle and you surely will be too. Believe me. Really, I'm the plug.

Presentation: 5/5
‘Madison’ is presented in a silver tumbler with the signature ‘RL’ monogram adding an understated elegance to any space it is displayed in. The exterior packaging is a black and silver pinstriped box with a snug, black velvet insert. Ralph Lauren’s classic design and pristine cut is no less apparent in Home products, this candle would gift impressively.

Size: 9.2 oz/ 40 hours burning time

Price: 4/5
This product is well priced. I do have luxury candles from other brands that cost upwards of the £200 benchmark. I like them but they are nowhere near as satisfying as the Madison candle. Burning for half an hour every day means that this product would bill at approximately £28.00 per month, which for a luxury candle, is brilliant value.

Would I repurchase?: Yes.
Further than just repurchase, I have stockpiled it.

Available: online or by visiting a store. (Ensure that you visit a Flagship, or Department Store that carries Ralph Lauren Home.)

Joshua Tree Diffuser, Ralph Lauren Home, £50.00/ €60.00
Joshua Tree Diffuser, Ralph Lauren Home
I like to leave a reed diffuser on display as they help to maintain a continuous, gentle release of fragrance around the clock. The Joshua Tree Diffuser is an oil of sandalwood, tobacco flower, and vanilla. With herbaceous accents of patchouli, I love how together they create an inviting, comforting ambience. Despite consisting of standout notes, this scent is masterfully blended and layers with other candles harmoniously.

Presentation: 4/5
I especially adore the exquisite touch of black and gold at the neck of the glass vessel. In terms of the exterior packaging, the navy and gold box is alluring. Functionally, it’s easy to drop the glass vessel if you don’t immediately realise that the box has a base and a separate, removable cover. As you open the product make sure you set the base on a sturdy surface and gently slide the cover off.

Size: 6.5 oz./ 4-6 months diffusing time

Price: 5/5
Considering the duration of time that this product can last, it is affordable.

Would I repurchase?: Yes.
Although I may try a few other diffusers first, simply out of curiousity.

Available: online or by visiting a store. (Ensure that you visit a Flagship or Department Store that carries Ralph Lauren Home.)

Kungsholmstorg Scented Candle, & Other Stories, £17.00/ €19.00
Kungsholmstorg Scented Candle, & Other Stories

I burn this in the evenings. With birch, cedar, pine, and moss among its notes this candle transports me to a relaxing, idyllic Swedish park. Leather, incense, and nutmeg add a sensual nuance that registers with some primitive part of me. Dear Man Crush Monday, you know what to do. 

Presentation: 3.5/5
The wax is a mid grey colour and presented in a white ceramic tumbler with a decorative white string tied around it and silver lettering. It comes in a cardboard cylinder, which seems a little precarious to me and doesn’t offer much protection considering the weight of the candle. The aesthetic evokes ‘shabby-chic’ which I’m not entirely fond of, but it doesn’t offend me either. It’s still a simple, beautiful product.

Size: 6.7 oz./ 45 hours burning time

Price: 5/5
It’s very affordable, a definite bargain for the quality and burning time.

Would I repurchase?: Yes.
Again, I have stockpiled it.

Available: online or in-store at & Other Stories, 256-258 Regent Street, W1B 3AF, London

Majoon Al Shioukh, Arabian Oud
Majoon Al Shioukh, Arabian Oud

This is an old favourite that I have been using for over 3 years. The medium of the product is ‘bakhoor,’ the Arabic name for chips that have been soaked in fragrant oils. The consistency is of coarse, individual grains that are slightly damp to the touch. You burn it with coal and it produces a rich, thick smoke that smells like paradise. ‘Majoon Al Shioukh’ is definitively opulent, combining notes like attar of Taif rose, amber, musk and a mysterious, private blend that I still cannot place. It is perhaps the most enrapturing scent I have ever had the pleasure of smelling. I love burning this bakhoor whenever I come back home from travelling or if I’ve been stressed or in a rut and I need to ‘come back home’ to myself. The ceremony of it all is so inspiriting.

Presentation: 4/5
I find the exterior packaging to be garish; it’s silver with gold squares, too lurid for my liking. But the vessel itself as pictured above strikes the perfect degree of glitz with clear glass and gold accents.

Size: 100g

Price: 5/5
When I purchased it, it was the rough equivalent of £50.00 per box. (And I stockpiled it.) I am not certain if the current prices denoted online in Saudi Riyals correspond with prices in GBP in store. Whatever the case, a little goes an inconceivably long way with this product. You only need to burn about half a teaspoon every 7-10 days so it lasts a long time and is worth every penny.

Would I purchase it again?: Yes.
If I ever run out.

Available: online or in any Arabian Oud store.

This is what bakhoor looks like! (Majoon Al Shioukh, Arabian Oud)
Three general tips to get the most out of your home fragrances!

Tip #1: Place your candles inside a glass ‘hurricane’ to minimise the risk of fire spreading and to help the fragrance diffuse better.

Tip #2: If your candle is nearing the end of its life and you would like to get some extra time out of it, add salt to the wax.

Tip #3: Flip the reeds in your diffuser on a weekly basis to keep the fragrance from fading.

I hope you liked this post and found it helpful. Feel free to share your favourite home fragrances or ask questions in the comments section!

You Might Also Like


  1. I hope you liked this post and found it helpful. Feel free to share your favourite home fragrances or ask questions in the comments section!

    Esmé Xo


Become part of the community

Click this green text to keep updated on new posts and conversations happening at the Five Es. You will be one of the first recipients of our newsletter and invitations to our future events.

Stay Connected On

We Read Every Email

Click the green envelope to send us your lifestyle questions and business enquiries. We look forward to reading from you. |