Falling for Scent

Jennifer FlatenThis post by Jennifer Flaten

Fall is the scent of wet leaves, fires and cinnamon…or at least in my house. That and the scent of pumpkin bread, appDSCN4096lesauce cake or chocolate chip cookies. I still bake over the summer, but my baking tends to ramp up in fall.

In spring all I want is to throw the windows open and let in the fresh spring air. Then summer rolls around and the windows are still open-some days-all the better to let in the scent of freshly mown lawn, flowers and clean laundry.

In fall our windows are still open as much as possible, but there are cold and damp days when the windows are shut against the chill. On those days, I love to burn scented candles, or use my tart burner. I fill the house with scents like Witches Brew, Apple Pie and pure cinnamon. These scents swirl and mix with the smell of my batch of cookies and the house is instantly warmer and cozier.

Scent is a funny thing though. One person’s ‘warm vanilla’ is another person’s ‘what is burning’.

I am sensitive to scents, when I was little I couldn’t go down the laundry detergent aisle because the overwhelming mix of scents gave me a headache.

I am a little better now, but still have to be careful with things like perfume. I’ve had to give up scents because while it was fine in the tester, when I put it on the scent gave me a headache. Still that doesn’t stop me from testing out the candles every time we are at the store.

I open the candle jar and give it a big sniff. This means occasionally other shoppers are treated to me screaming “Ewww!! That smells terrible” before I hastily slap the cap back on the jar and shove it on the shelf.

It’s worth it to find the perfect scent that makes the house smell like it isn’t inhabited by three almost teenagers, one dog and three cats.

Do you have a favorite scent?

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13 Responses to Falling for Scent

  1. Doris says:

    Scents bother me to no end, especially chemical. But grass can do me in also. Still like you Fall has a wonderful scent all its own. That and lemon. Doris

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  2. Kathy Waller says:

    I don’t wear scent any more so many other people are sensitive to it, but the scent of cinnamon in the house on a cold day makes me feel so warm and cozy. Thanks for reminding me it’s time to get my house ready for fall. (Which arrives late where I live.)

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  3. Wranglers says:

    your words conjured up memories of my childhood when Mom baked homemade pies, cookies and other temping treats. We would return from school, open the door and the delightful scent wafting from the kitchen greeted us.

    I sympathize with you about scents. On more than one occasion I have gotten out of line at a store because of the overwhelming perfume scent from someone else in the line.

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  4. Nancy Jardine says:

    Vanilla is my all time favourite. Though I do love those autumn ones you talk about, Jennifer. I can cope with scent counters (and people) in department and grocery stores but find that the specialist soap shops- like ‘ Lush’ (not sure if you have that in the US) – are way too powerful. I sympathise with people who work in those stores.

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  5. katewyland says:

    I have a real problem with fragrances. Often have to pass up stores I’d like to shop in. I rarely attempt a candle shop and would never sniff closely!
    But cinnamon and other spices don’t seem to bother me, so I use them in the fall too. And cookie scented candles.

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  6. I know a couple of people who have chemical sensitivity disorders, and they can’t tolerate anything scented. I hope that’s not you. My favorite scent is the cherry almond in the Jergens lotion I use.

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  7. erinfarwell says:

    I’m right there with you, Jennifer. I also am sensitive to scents but sometimes it takes awhile for the headache to set in. I can’t go to Scentsy parties or even Avon. Still, I am also very aware of smells. Just today, my daughter and I stepped outside to walk to the bus stop and I said, “It smells like Fall.” She just laughs because she’s used to me saying “crazy” things like that. Great post.

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  8. sstamm625 says:

    I love the smell of fall too,Jennifer–the leaves and fire smells and all. Fresh scents and cozy baking scents are best–for different reasons. Artificial or heavy, perfume-y scents tend to give me a headache too. But herbs, flowers, spices, those are good.

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  9. Mike Staton says:

    Courageous doing a “scent” post when it sounds like you may be allergic to some perfume-style scents. Here in Vegas I do miss the “Back East” times of the fall and spring. I can remember those times as a kid of jumping in a raked up pile of leaves and enjoying the fall smell. When I think of the fall, I often think back to the days in the 1970s when as a reporter at a Central Ohio newspaper I’d help cover the Fairfield County Fair. Talk about “fall” scents — the exhibit building full of deserts, the 4-H farm animal competitions in the center ring, sitting in the grandstand watching kids compete in the talent competition, all of them have certain “fall” smells I can remember as I type this. I love meandering down the midway checking out the games of chance and watching kids ride the amusement park rides. It was a fair that liked to market itself as one of the nation’s oldest, begun in 1851, I believe.

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  10. Lovely post Jennifer. I love scents, but there are some that are overpowering. I like to go with the seasons, although Vanilla is my favorite. I enjoy having pumpkin spice around Thanksgiving and either Pine or Cranberry during the holidays. Most of all I love the fresh scent of outdoors during autumn. The trees, the air, the plants, all are fresh and on a day with a slight wind they all blend together to create magic. Thank you for the post.

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  11. I’m senstive to scents as well. The natural ones don’t seem to bother me so I’m okay with cinnamon, fruit scents, scents from baking. But perfumes and colognes trigger coughing, headache, dizziness. Wish my work had a no scent policy. Until they do I just keep complaining.

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  12. Fragrance is powerful — I love candles (well, many of them) and I use a wax warmer with various scents throughout the year. The smell of spice and apple in fall, rain in spring, pine in winter and lavender in summer — these are some of my favorite things! Great post, Jennifer!

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