When I first moved back to Chicago, I had very little furniture from what I had left in storage. In fact, I gave away most of what I had because it didn’t fit my life anymore. I kept my bed and that was pretty much it. For a while my apartment was pretty empty until I started to slowly add new pieces. One of the first things I purchased for the apartment was a Diptyque candle. It was something familiar from my time in Paris and it smelled so fresh and clean. Since I was starting a whole new life, I felt the Baies candle was the perfect scent to keep in my home.
It can be overwhelming standing in the Diptyque store trying to pick the perfect scent for your home. I have a few favorites and I use different candles for different times of the year. The Tuberose and the Jasmine are my other two favorites. One of my oldest and dearest friends Alexis Wintrob is a trained perfumer. We sat next to each other in French class in high school. Most recently, her job took her to Paris while I was there a few years ago. We got to explore the city and I was able to show her some of my favorite Parisian spots. Alexis and I even popped into Penhaligons (which I absolutely love for fragrance) as well as the Diptyque store. She taught me a few fun things about discovering scents, so I thought it would be great for her to share her knowledge with the Everyday Parisian community to help you find the perfect scent for your home!
Are there certain memories from Paris that you’d like to bring into your home - like the sweet aroma coming from the patisserie down the street to the blooming flowers, or fresh herbal grassy notes from your afternoons in Jardin du Luxembourg? Finding a lovely Paris-inspired fragrance for your home that combines both your personal scent preferences and memories of the quotidian French life can seem a bit daunting. But no worries, there’s a simple and fun way to approach finding a Parisian fragrance for your home that is perfect for you.
First, consider what types of fragrances you prefer.
Floral fragrances smell of fragrant blossoms such as:
- Rose: While sometimes considered an old fashioned flower, there are numerous modern roses that bring out the rich, sweet, sometimes honey-like character of a beautiful rose.
- Jasmine: This feminine white floral can have touches of creamy, milky notes.
- Lily of the Valley: Muguet is French for “lily of the valley.” This flower is traditionally associated in France for May 1st’s International Labor Day. This sheer flower is viewed as a symbol of Spring.
- Fruity notes can range from rich, sweet berries to crisp fresh citrus essences.
- Woody aromas can exude warm elegant notes like those from musks, amber, sandalwood to more intense, sensual nuances of oud.
- Herbal scents also span quite the range. From the beautiful, yet calming French lavender to lush green grass notes to refreshing mint.
- Gourmand fragrances evoke sweet, almost edible and delectable notes such as honey, chocolate, and vanilla.
Whether you’ve traveled to France or aspire to do so, consider the type of memory and/or environment you’d like to envelope yourself in when you walk into a special room of your home. Maybe you spent your days reading or studying in one of Paris’ gorgeous, lush parks. Perhaps you took a trip to Versailles and explored Marie Antoinette’s floral gardens, or you can imagine yourself wandering one of the many fruit markets on a Sunday afternoon. The best way to select a fragrance is to know the type of fragrance family you’d like to invite into your home (e.g. Floral, Fruity, Woody, Herbal, Sweet) and then pick the memory or memories you’d like to surround yourself.
The loveliest part of the world of fragrance is that you can continue to evolve and experiment with scent. Whether you want to explore the floral, herbal notes in the spring/summer months, or break out your woody, leathery, spicy notes in the heart of winter, fragrance is way you can always bring a bit of Paris into your life, no matter where you are.
French Home Fragrance Sites:
Alexis’ life has long been shaped by her passion for art, fashion, and fragrance. Her professional career began working with non-profit arts organizations before she transitioned into a corporate role focused on identifying emerging socio-cultural, color and fashion trends for one of the world’s largest beauty-care companies. Alexis also studied fashion design in Milan and traveled to Paris, Nice, and New York to complete a series of intensive trainings to be a perfumer. After almost 10 years in corporate positions, she recently opened her own trends and fragrance consultancy.
Since traveling to France in high school, Alexis has been in love with Paris, and the city continues to call her back. She is already planning for the day when she can treat her twin girls — Zoe and Anna — to their first authentic Parisian crepe.