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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Best Home Fragrance Products, Ever

Room sprays used to bring to mind the powdery, cloying sweetness of Glade. Then, one day, I received a bottle of Annick Goutal Parfum d’Ambiance Spray in Eau d’Hadrien, and my world changed forever. How decadent! The quality and luxury of a fine French perfume designed for the home. The world of home fragrance opened up to me, and manufacturers were happy to indulge my obsession. From the ubiquitous candle to a decadent ball filled with amber perfume crystals, I’ve dabbled in the many luxurious ways to scent a home. Here are some of my favorite finds.

Annick Goutal Parfum d’Ambiance Spray (Eau d’Hadrien): Arguably Goutal’s most famous scent, Eau d’Hadrien is a sparkly, bubbly, sophisticated blend of lemon, grapefruit, citron and cypress. One spritz of this hard-to-find room spray (in a gold-capped, frosted glass bottle worthy of Goutal) refreshes a room with a lingering scent. $60

Porthault Spray d’Ambiance (Madeleine): A sleek glass bottle holds one of seven sophisticated room scents. One spritz is enough to flood a room with a gorgeous fragrance. My favorite, Madeleine, is a feminine floral. $36

Eufora Atmosphere (Gentle Wind): This all-natural, essential oil spray gets rid of unpleasant odors like nothing else. I keep a bottle near my puppy’s litter box (yes, there is such a thing) to instantly zap odors before they permeate the room. $15 (approx.)

L’Artisan Parfumeur Les Curiosites Parfumees: L’Artisan Parfumeur is the luxe French line behind cult classics like Mure et Musc and Mimosa Pour Moi, but I think the company is most impressive in its range of home fragrance items. Sophisticated sachets shaped like flowers and tassels join hanging objets parfumes to add whimsy, elegance, and fragrance to a home. Perhaps most notable is the Amber Ball, a terracotta sphere handmade by a French potter which is filled with perfumed amber crystals. The warm, exotic scent diffuses slowly into the air. Prices range from $15 (single flower sachet) to $200 (large Amber Ball)

Archipelago Botanicals Candle Collection 60 Hour Candle (Cairo): Amber, orange blossom, myrrh and olibannum combine to produce an exotic, heady scent that transports you to faraway places. I love this so much that I included the votive version in the gift boxes for my wedding guests. Post-wedding, calls flooded in from friends inquiring about the addictive candle. $19

Diptyque Candle/Room Spray (Baies): Diptyque candles are loved by connoisseurs for their fabulous fragrances and sleek packaging. Baies is one of the most famous scents Diptyque produces, and rightfully so. It’s an enlivening fruity-floral composed of black currant leaves and Bulgarian rose. $45 (candle); $36 (room spray)

Creed Homebody/Scented Candles: My mother is hooked on Creed’s spicy Pekin Imperiale scented candle. It’s one of the strongest-scented, longest-lasting candles on the market. But in my opinion, the most notable Creed home fragrance product is the Homebody Spray. This generous, elegantly-attired spray bottle is filled with a luscious fragrance (Pekin Imperiale, Les Floralies or Riviera Flowers) designed for use in the Home and on your Body (hence, the name). How inventive. Now you never have to worry about clashing with your home. $75 (candle); $98 (Homebody)

Fresh Candles: The hip, minimalistic packaging and stunning scents of Fresh candles make them a perennial favorite. It’s hard to narrow them down, but my top picks are Palomino (a fruity, musky floral), Sugar (crisp citrus and warm caramel), and Sake (peach nectar and soft florals). $45 each

Alora Ambiance Fragrance Diffuser: This elegant, innovative diffuser was featured in every magazine when it debuted in the U.S, and with good reason. A simple glass bottle holds the fragrance. Insert a bunch of long, scent-diffusing sticks into the bottle to add fragrance and atmosphere to a room. My favorite of the scents is Isola, a mixture of tuberose, gardenia and fig. $76

Esteban Potpourri (Ambre): This isn’t your grandmother’s potpourri. No dried leaves, here. Instead, Esteban uses porous ceramic in simple, decorative shapes to dispense fragrance slowly and steadily over time. A few drops of refresher oil weekly, and you have a home fragrance product that is as decorative as it is effective. A cousin gave me Ambre as a gift, and I am astonished by the heady, lingering scent of amber, bergamot and lemon. Esteban also makes incense, candles, room sprays, even vacuum powder and furniture polish. $38 (potpourri); $13.50 (refresher oil)

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