Meet A Fragrance Expert

September 08, 2015
Meet A Fragrance Expert

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We spend so much thought and time planning and styling the look of our home's interiors. Carefully we consider paint colours, flooring types, fabrics, furniture, lighting and homewares but, what about the essence of the space? Smell is a powerful sense and can instantly make a person feel at ease or uneasy. Fragrance is an incredibly personal experience so when it comes to customising and personalising your space at home, scent should be a consideration. Where to begin? We thought it best to go straight to the expert and as such, we caught up with Quintescents Fragrance Account Manager, Janelle Stevenson to have home fragrances explained.

How did you get started in the fragrance business?

Having been heavily involved in the beauty industry, I was fortunate enough to have my path cross with the fragrance industry and it all started from there.

What exactly does a Fragrance Account Manager do?

My work day begins in the office and catching up on emails and paper work. From there, I’m lucky enough to work on both selecting and creating brilliant well matched fragrances for my clients. Generally, we receive detailed briefs from our clients and then I will work closely together with our senior perfumer to decide what the fragrance profile may entail. We then move to the creative phase, followed by the testing and application phase. This is the fun part as we get to test candles, diffusers and personal care products to see how they perform, you can imagine what my house smells like!

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What do you love most about your profession?

Other than a beautiful smelling home! The creative side of my job is my absolute favourite. No two days are ever the same! We are so fortunate that some of our briefs end up with us designing some amazing fragrance creations that in turn become some of the most prestigious products on the shelves in the market place.

When it comes to selecting a fragrance for your home, what would you recommend?

I don't have a golden rule for that one! Whatever you love is what will best suit your home. Home fragrance is an incredibly personal choice. I'd recommend just start smelling some of the different ranges on the shelves, a variety of different labels and you will soon fall in love with more than one scent I promise!

Can you make mistakes when selecting a fragrance for your home?

When it comes to your own home, no. If you follow what you like, and take into consideration what your partner likes, then no I don’t believe you can make any mistakes. When fragrance selection starts to get challenging it's when you think about spaces that attract large numbers of crowds like shopping centers or hotels. It's here where you could come into difficulty as you need to appeal to multiple people - not just yourself.

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So, if you can't make a mistake when selecting a fragrance for your home, what elements make a good home fragrance?

A fragrance that has wonderful depth and throw, it has to perform! When you walk into the room where the fragrance is, it will need to be smelt. Generally most of the large brands in the market place provide such strength. If the fragrance smells weak in store before purchasing it, chances are it will most likely not have the smell you desire for your home. After all, if you are buying a home fragrance you obviously want to smell it in the home!

Should we have different fragrances for different rooms in the home?

Again, this is a personal preference. The throw of some candles and diffusers will naturally travel and fragrance through several rooms. I would suggest to start with one, trial how far the scent throws and if it doesn't quite reach that particular room, indulge and purchase another!

What’s a good fragrance for the kitchen and why?

A trend for kitchen fragrance at the moment is citrus; it’s clean, fresh and naturally enlivens the space. Having said that, some delicious food types are coming back into trend at present like vanilla and spice.

What’s a good fragrance for the bathroom and why?

Citrus and fruit styles continure to be popular choices for the market at present. Generally speaking something that is sweet, possibly marine based, and fresh always helps to keep this space feeling inviting, clean and fresh.

What’s a good fragrance for the bedroom and why?

This is often a room in the home that we like to create as a retreat. A place where we feel calm and where we want to most likely create warmth. A great deal of our clients offer sensual styles in this space like a warm amber or something with a wood note.

Lavender Scent

Are there any fragrances you’d avoid recommending?

We customise all our fragrances to our clients briefs so, we don’t discount anything when it comes to fragrance! Our clients soon find out if the fragrance they have selected is popular, or not, with their customers by how quickly it sells when launched on the market.

Do you recommend different fragrances in the home for different seasons? If so, what would be the perfect scent for each of Summer, Spring, Autumn and Winter?

Great question! I would recommend beautiful fresh citrus fruit scents for Summer and in Spring, I would suggest lovely florals with fresh top notes. Autumn I would be leaning towards offering beautiful blends of warm fruits with wood bases such as a fig or olive style. As for Winter, it's always a very popular season to purchase home fragrance as we all tend to retreat inside out of the elements! Personally, I would be recommending warm creamy vanillas.

Candle vs Diffuser. What’s your preference and why?

My personal favourite is a candle given they create that extra element of ambiance with a warm, flickering flame and a wonderful fragrance filling the air. However, I’m also a working mum so my diffusers do all the work without any effort and my house has a beautiful smell without having to light a candle and rembering to blow it out. On that note, always remember to never leave a candle burning unattended.

Floral Diffuser

Is there anything you should look for, or be aware of, when purchasing a candle or diffuser?

Sure the list is enormous! Most of all though, make sure it’s a well-made product and that it presents well; if it has a strong scent when it’s on the shelf it’s most likely going to perform well at home.

What about fragrant room sprays, are they a good option for the home?

They are an instant option and they definitely have a well-earned place in the home.

This is an obscure question! What’s a good fragrance for someone who may share a home with someone who is not a huge fan of fragrances?

That’s a tricky question! Personally, I would stay away from anything strong like a gardenia. The best option here, take your partner shopping! Smell the fragrances together and that way you'll find out first hand what your partner likes! There'd be nothing worse than purchasing a beautiful fragrance only for your partner to arrive home and say "goodness, what's that smell!". Having said that, it's happened to the best of us!

Is there a "go-to" fragrance that masks a bad odour in the home disappear?

This really depends on the smell you are trying to mask.If for example it were due to having pets inside, something nice and strong like a vanilla or white floral would absolutely help mask the smell.

Lastly if you were to recommend one signature fragrance for the home, what would it be?

My all-time favourite fragrance is a fresh pomegranate; it gives me an uplifting feeling and makes me feel fresh and inspired.

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House of Home would like to thank Janelle Stevenson from Quintescents Fragrance.