Welcome to What’s That Smell?, a monthly roundup of the newest and the best in home scent solutions, from a dedicated home scent enthusiast to you.
Do you have any fun trips planned this summer? Do you have any fun trips planned this summer?? Do you have any fun trips planned this summer??? For those of us who do not, in fact, have any fun trips planned this summer, answering the question your acquaintance is asking can be difficult. (I recommend staring back dead-eyed and saying: “Summer is over.”)
But there are a lot of good reasons why one might not have any fun trips planned this summer— finances, work, children, health—and that is why the “staycation” was invented. You don’t need to travel to indulge, and you don’t need to leave your home to feel refreshed. Along with other tried-and-true staycation methods (making a fancy dinner, having a movie marathon, forcing your child to play a new game called “mommy’s spa day”) adding an interesting scent can take you out of your everyday norm, and make your home feel a bit new. Tons of candle brands offer scents specific to different vacation destinations, which serve to take you somewhere you’ve never been, or help you remember a place you love. Let’s take a look at some of those options and get you ready for the amazing staycation your acquaintance does not want to hear about.
It’s a low-cost trip to Greece
This candle smells much fancier than its price tag would lead you to believe. With notes of citrus, eucalyptus, and leathery sandalwood, it’s as if a cologne’d lemon is picking you up for a date at a restaurant overlooking the Aegean. The scent is a beautiful escape, and you can reuse the cute vessel after burning. (Maybe as a home for your lemon lover?)
It’s a walk through a Korean forest
This diffuser, a pine box containing nine red spheres made from Korean soil, is absolutely stunning and a real conversation piece. The spheres absorb scented oil and release it slowly into your room, while, according to Frama, also purifying the air. There are a few accompanying essential oil scents to choose from, but my favorite is “Deep Forest,” which the brand says is “reminiscent of the wild Abies fir woods of Korea.” It combines earthy soil with sweet, floral citrus in a way that relaxes and refreshes. A truly unique way to scent your space.
It’s the elegance of Europe (in general)
A friend once brought me back a scent from Santa Maria Novella after she took a trip to Rome, and it felt fancy and luxurious, as if I’d been on a trip to Rome, too, instead of just sitting at my computer having potato chips before unwinding with the Real Housewives for five hours. This Europa diffuser is part of their “continents” collection, which they call “a sensory journey around the Earth.” The scent might sound a bit all over the place — bergamot, citrus, florals, and woodiness are all represented — but trust when I say it’s delicate and elegant. Just like the Real Housewives.
It’s a moon-age daydream—oh yeah
For an “out of this world” option (ha-ha) (LOL) (ROFL), look to the most interesting new addition to Assouline’s line of travel candles: “Moon Paradise.” I don’t know what the moon smells like and I’m not interested in going to find out (I’ve got enough to do down here), but this scent is cold and peppery, with notes of bamboo and what Assouline calls “moon accord.” Burn it while watching 2001: A Space Odyssey with the AC on full blast.
It’s upstate (but not that far upstate)
It’s your staycation, so in my opinion you not only get to pick your faux location, but also your faux season. Maybe this August you’d like to travel to autumn in the Catskills? Take a big whiff of Brooklyn Candle Studio’s fresh and woody “Catskills” scent and let its pine, juniper, and cedar notes help you envision yourself crunching leaves beneath your feet on a hike back toward your rental cabin. You can even make yourself a pumpkin spice latte. I’m not telling. No one’s watching. Go ahead!
It’s nightfall in the Mojave desert
L’Objet’s vessels are always stunning, but this one is really special: as the candle burns, the translucent porcelain allows the flame’s light to break through, illuminating the desert scene’s night sky with a warm glow. So pretty. Plus there’s a little monster in there enjoying his time in the desert; do you see him? The scent is dry and woodsy, with notes of Guaiac wood, juniper, and cinnamon. All around a lovely piece that you don’t even have to go to a desert to enjoy, thank god.
It’s meeting you in Montauk
“Meet me in Montauk.” Remember that, from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? If not, maybe you erased it from your memory, ha-ha. (That was a joke referencing the plot of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.) Anyway, this candle has nothing to do with that. It has only to do with bringing the scent of a calming sea breeze into your home, and also the scent of cucumber—kind of like a rich cucumber is enjoying a morning surf before heading back to his large beach house to enjoy the breakfast spread his personal cucumber chef prepared. (The chef is also a cucumber, he doesn’t prepare cucumbers—that would be cannibalism.) A refreshing way to bring Montauk to you.
It’s a night in Havana
Bergamot, tobacco, and rum combine in this candle to whisk you away to a hot, boozy night in Havana. I’ve never been to Havana, but I have heard the song by Camila Cabello, and I feel like that combined with this candle pretty much gets me there. (Yes?) It’s delicious and fun, and the perfect scent to enjoy with a mojito.
It’s an overcast day at the beach
L’or de Seraphine wanted their Whitby candle to smell like a gloomy beach day that actually turns out to be quite beautiful. Isn’t that poetic? With notes of sea salt, violet, and vetiver, I’d say they basically reached their goal. The brand also offers Spotify playlists to accompany their candles, to help set the mood. Throw on the playlist, light the candle, and occasionally spray yourself in the face with salt water. Ahh, I love the beach!
We love the products we feature and hope you do, too. If you buy something through a link on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Make Your House Smell Like Food (in a Candle Way)