Some of the most beautiful memories we have are all the more magical because of smell. It is the only one of the five senses that is fully developed at birth, so even newborns are sensitive to smell.
As a child, I remember visiting the Giacomin bakery in my neighborhood every day after swim class, enticed by all the aromas of their pastries and breads. In the summer, the smell of hot, buttered popcorn at the movies always meant we were in for a treat. During the holidays, the Christmas trees in our living room (and later, the smells of sausages and chestnuts roasting around Central Park) always marked the beginning of the season. Even while travelling, the clean scents of the Hotel Costes in Paris and the warm smells of the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles are unforgettable parts of our trips.
Creating scent memories is complex and difficult. So whether it’s lavender or citrus or cedar, finding the right scent for a room is a little like finding the right score for a movie. You’re guided by the furnishings in the space or the words on the script, but then you have to thoughtfully layer in the right undertones. And when you do, all of a sudden your space goes from nice to extraordinary. The takeaway? Home scents are one of the easiest ways to add depth to a room.
Luckily, there are a lot of great scents out there. The most renowned – and usually priciest – scents in the world are French. From Diptyque to Chanel to all the great perfumes created by Jean-Claude Ellena (Hermes, Frederic Malle, L’Artisan Parfumeur), all the usual coveted names typically contain higher concentrations of natural oils, are expertly mixed, extravagantly packaged, and priced accordingly.
But then in the early 90’s, Laura and Harry Slatkin created Slatkin & Co., a luxury home-fragrance company that brought to the U.S. a new level of luxury. “Until then, the only scents on the market were cherry and strawberry,” Harry says. “We really treated candles like perfume for the home, using sophisticated top, middle, and base notes that you’d want to wear on your skin.” (Vanity Fair).
After 13 extraordinary years, their company was sold to Limited Brands, and Laura focused on creating scents for luxury brands like Estee Lauder, Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren, and Tory Burch (Harry, in the meantime, worked with Tommy Hilfiger to relaunch the fashion brand Belstaff). Luckily, she also created a line of her own and named it NEST Fragrances.
What is most striking about NEST‘s scents is that they are sophisticated, but approachable. The scents, including Sicilian Tangerine and Ocean Mist & Sea Salt, are based on familiar memories and they smell like they should. And while they are strong, they are not overwhelming.
This is a collection that will instantly enhance any space, but not overpower it. Every item we’ve tried has lasted much longer than other diffusers and candles, plus they’re packaged just beautifully. And to top it off? These scents are very well-priced, with every item under $75. Through and through, this is the best American line of luxury home scents out there.
Here’s a rundown on a few of their scents and how we’re using them at home:
Sicilian Tangerine – diffuser in the entryway
Bamboo – candle in the powder room
Grapefruit – three-wick candle in the living room
White Camellia – candles in the master bedroom
Cedar Leaf & Lavender – candles in the yoga room
Cashmere Suede – diffuser in the screening room
Apricot Tea – a gift of lotion, hand soap, and candles for Mom!
The NEST collection is deeply personal to Laura. “Each scent reminds me of my life and my family,” she says. “Our first apartment, a particular dessert, even my own recipe for Thanksgiving stuffing.” And so Laura, who has a son with severe autism, also created the Blue Garden collection to support Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization.
Blue Garden – to support Autism Speaks
We’re so excited to introduce NEST Fragrances to Gracious Style! These beautiful candles, diffusers, lotions, and hand soaps are wonderful for yourself and as gifts throughout the year.
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