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How to Layer Fragrance to Create Your Signature Interior Design Style


Written by Zander Olivier

Signature style is something most people within the design world are familiar with. It’s that special touch or final stamp that distinguishes your aesthetic from others’. For some, it may be a signature colour palate; for others, a modern twist on a design era of old. But, few consider the impact of fragrance on setting a mood, telling a story, and adding to your signature style.

That’s right, by considering the fragrance profile, layering notes, and picking vessels that tie in with your design aesthetic, you can add one more unique signifier to your style signature. Below, we’ve outlined how to incorporate fragrance, notes and vessels into your designs for an undeniable edge.

Layer Notes Like You’d Layer Colours, Patterns Or Textures

Most fragrances worth their weight are composed of various notes: top, middle and base. Each note, or layer, will consist of different scents or fragrances, combining to form a unique blend of aromas that give a fragrance its unique profile. Understanding how to utilise fragrance notes to your advantage can change the game for your interior design signature.

Top notes tend to fade faster as they are usually associated with freshness in a fragrance. This would be one of the first aromas you can recognise when using a fragrance. Think of this note as the foyer or entryway to your design space. Think about the first impression you want to make, and select top notes that share this vision.

Mid notes can be seen as the core of a fragrance. This is the aroma you’d usually associate with the fragrance as a whole, as the base notes act as the bridge between the base and top notes. Almost like the wide-angle view of your space; the overall impression. Pick mid notes that align with the broader design style you’re aiming for.

Base notes are the lasting impression of a fragrance; the aromas that linger long after the others have faded away. Think of this as that special touch of your design that people remember when longing to return to it. Therefore, pick base notes that tie in with how you want your space to make people feel.

Pair Complementary or Contrasting Fragrance Families

Now that you have a better sense of how aromas are layered in a fragrance, much like design elements are layered in a space, let’s take a closer look at the types of aromas to utilise in your signature scent.

Floral notes are some of the most popular. They remind us of freshly cut flowers or powdery floral residue. These notes can range from sweet and fresh to soft and somewhat spicy. Some of the most common floral notes include jasmine, rose and orange blossom.

Oriental notes are known for being rich and spicy. Think fresh herbs and spices or the distinct smell of powderiness in dried spices. These notes are often described as opulent and seductive. Common oriental notes include myrrh and vanilla.

Fresh notes are characterised as clean and bright. Often tart in aroma, fresh notes are popularly paired with woody notes to form bold aromas. Think clean water, zest and lawns. Popular notes from the fresh family are sage, grapefruit and bergamot.

Woody notes are distinctly warm and comforting. Often bitter, these notes are combined with fresh or floral notes to tone down the sometimes overbearing warmth and richness. Think of aromas like sandalwood, amber and leather.

Present Your Signature Scent In A Stunning Vessel

Once you’ve spent time on notes and fragrance families to either create or select your signature scent, it’s time to seamlessly incorporate it into your space in a vessel just as gorgeous as your design elements.

Diffusers are of the more well-known and popular fragrance products as they tend to last quite some time. Most diffusers employ a concentrated fragrance liquid (often using fragrance or essential oils and stabilisers to dilute it) and an absorbent element such as wooden reeds, wooden block tops or charcoal, which soaks up the fragrance and casts the aroma across the space.

Scented candles utilise similar fragrance or essential oils as diffusers, except the material that casts the aroma is molten wax. Scented candles are popular because they not only add an aromatic element to your space, but also bring warmth and ambience.

Burner oils are often the most concentrated of the fragrance products, meaning they’re often also more expensive to use in the long run. However, the effect is undeniable. Burners are usually ceramic and have two bunkbed-style hollows: one for the burner oil and one for the tealight candle. Once the candle heats up the ceramic vessel, the essential oil also heats up to cast a strong aroma across your space. Burners are popular because of the fragrance intensity as well as the wide variety of styles and designs you can apply to the ceramic vessel/

Room mists are a classic in the fragrance family. Like perfume, room mists are liquid fragrances sold in spray bottles to spritz a bit of your signature scent around the room as and when desired. The quality of your fragrance will determine how long the aroma lasts. This is a popular option because it’s often more affordable and since it’s more use-as-you-need, there is always the option of stowing it away until needed. However, with many brands offering their room mists in gorgeous bottles, you might not necessarily want to hide it.

Now that you know a bit more about the world of fragrance, you can start the journey of either finding or crafting your own signature scent. Choosing an existing fragrance that tells your unique design story might be a tall order, so crafting your own may be the best route. This doesn’t necessarily mean making your own fragrance; it could be as simple as using different vessels, different notes and different fragrance families to layer aromas in such a way that’s uniquely you!


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