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They say smell is the sense most closely tied to memory, which is why certain scents transport us back to a specific time (or person). This year’s fragrance forecast is heavy on the nostalgia, but these aren’t the scents of yesteryear: They’ve been updated with unexpected notes that feel fully of the moment. Here, seven ways to incorporate the season’s best scents into your home, self-care and life for a great-smelling spring.

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reed diffuser bottles1
Archipelago Botanicals

Reed Diffuser

A quick and effective way to leave a long-lasting scent in a room, reed diffusers are a homemaker’s best friend. After falling in love with their scents while staying at the Ritz-Carlton in Palm Springs, I’ve been on the Archipelago reed diffuser train and never looked back. The latest scent from the brand? Charcoal rose. And as mentioned above, the scent is familiar but different.

“Today's rose needs to be more complex and subtle, and miles away from the traditional single-note (and usually synthetic) rose scents that our grandmothers used to love,”  says David Klass, founder and CEO of Archipelago Botanicals. This unique blend combines zesty mandarin peel, rose, peony, geranium and rich woods, with a final surprising element: smoky charcoal. “The result is a decidedly dark and mysterious scent,” says Klass. Imagine unleashing that scent-with-a-story at your next house party. A royal wedding-themed tea, perhaps?

aerin candles
Aerin

Candles

Another old-school floral that’s making a comeback: gardenia. This new luxury candle by Aerin, which also features hints of cinnamon, orange flower and cedarwood, is worth the not-insignificant splurge ($60). But you get what you pay for: a lingering, luxurious home fragrance that smells good every time you burn it, not just the first few times. Buy the candle at Madison in Highland Park Village or online.

Potpourri pink
Williams Sonoma

Potpourri

Is it just us or does potpourri totally get a bad reputation? While a big basket of red and orange fall-scented matter on Grandma’s coffee table might come to mind, retailers like Williams Sonoma have reimagined our age-old fragrant friend to make it prettier and less potent, but in the best way. Think refreshing pink grapefruit versus the typical (and often fusty) cinnamon and apple.

dried oranges cinnamon
Twenty20

Crock Pot Concoctions

Yes, you read that correctly. No, don’t knock it until you try it. The concoction usually involves baking soda and some type of citrus and yields a clean smell. This seems to attract people who don’t love powerful scents in general and just want their house to smell clean and fresh. Feeling inspired? Just plug “Crock Pot air fresheners” into Pinterest.

UMA oils plants
UMA Oils

Wellness Oils

Oils in various forms have steadily been taking over our medicine cabinet—from skin salves to flu-be-gone tinctures—so they’re an obvious choice to welcome the fresh scents of a new season. We love this Pure Calm Wellness Oil by Uma Oils (starts at $49) because it melts away the stresses of the day with a blend of chamomile, vetiver and lavender essential oils while simultaneously giving you that just-left-the spa” smell. It’s ideal for unwinding at the end of a long day or as a portable tension reliever for anxious travelers.

perfume bottles hand
Le Lebo

Perfume

Good news: Rose isn’t just popular with home fragrance this year but also with personal scents. Cult-favorite perfumery Le Labo now has a gorgeous downtown Dallas boutique and we’re officially obsessed with its unisex offerings. For spring specifically, we love Bergamote 22, Lys 41, Jasmin 17 and Rose 31, the latter of which offsets the femininity of the eponymous flower with spicy notes like cumin and cedar. 

Notice any similarities between home and personal scents this season? Fabrice Penot, founder of Le Labo, says that the wonderful thing about scents in general is that they are inspired by literally everything. “Inspiration can come from a landscape, a woman, a man, a tear, a leaf, a look, a silence… anything, anytime, anywhere.,” he says 

yellow flowers hand
Twenty20

Fresh Flowers

Sure, fresh flowers are an easy way to enhance the aesthetics of your home, but some flowers and houseplants work double duty, with fragrances strong (and lovely) enough to permeate a whole room. Next time you’re at the nursery, look for geraniums, tea rose begonias, hyacinths or daffodils (yep, certain varieties are actually known for their incredible scent). Our favorite place for fresh flowers would have to be the gorgeous Avant Garden at the Shops of Highland Park.

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