A couple of weeks ago I visited Meredith Baird's stunning chic Venice home. As soon as I walked in, aroma intoxication came over me. It seemed that everywhere I turned and in every room I entered, smelled next level. I also felt my vibe shift upon arriving (after some intense traffic). I couldn't walk out of a room without asking, "what scent is that?" To which Meredith would reply with the most old-school hippie standard scents. And for some reason those scents can be very overpowering; however, Meredith had found a way to emulate the faintest and most intoxicating version of them. So I asked her to share her guide.
M | Out of the five senses (we know there are actually six) smell probably ranks last for most of us. The loss of sight, hearing, taste or touch would all be much more overwhelming to overcome - or so we think. The irony is - I believe - smell is the sense that is most closely related to our 6th sense - intuition - our internal navigation system that is imperative to living a full life. Before our eyes can see or our ears can hear, we can smell. We can smell the fire burning, smell the tomatoes rotting, smell the gasoline leaking - which is pretty useful to our wellbeing.
Smell is really important, and on a biological level it helps us to intuitively attract the proper mate. (We can save the lecture on this for later)
Our homes are an extension of our bodies. The way we keep them says a lot about what's going on inside. And no, this has nothing to do with how big or luxurious your home is. You can keep a very modest space clean, tidy, organized, and good smelling with good vibes. Having a home that smells good is very important to me, but just like I don't want my partner to smell like an Abercrombie model circa 1998, I also don't need my home to smell like gingerbread cookies, Christmas trees, or cleaning supplies all the time. Simple and authentic, I believe fragrance should only enhance the natural musk of our lives; both in home and on body. For me I like my home to be a mix of utility and nostalgia. I'm constantly nesting, cleaning, and trying to create a space that feels very zen, welcoming, and inspiring.
For most people the olfactive memories of childhood are the smell of mother making a traditional family dish, baking, or maybe the smell of flowers native to your environment. For me, that smell, thanks to a hefty dose of yuppie exposure, hippie inclinations, and the love of a good metaphysical bookstore has heavy notes of Nag Champa. Not to mention that the only supernatural experience I've ever witnessed involved it and the Satya Sai Baba (not to be diluted on the internet).
As an ode to the five senses. Here are my top six treats to make your home smell like a magical, mystical, and refreshing ashram:
I like my mix, and other people seem to as well
1) NAG CHAMPA// Just keeping a box around smells amazing. It is a mix of sandalwood and frangipani (plumeria) for a touch of sweetness. Something about it is just super sultry and cool to me. I like to burn it in the morning slightly out of the way of traffic flow. I love getting whiffs of it, but if it is burning directly in your space the smell can be a bit cloying. I really do believe it enhances calming creative energies.
2) PALO SANTO or "HOLY WOOD" // I burn Palo Santo off and on all day long- because it is a short burn you can just light it whenever you get the notion. The scent isn't heavy or smoky. I keep it in the bathroom- its the perfect replacement for the match 'trick'.
3) SAGE// Every morning before I sit down to work, I give my house a sage smudge. Sage is one of the most powerful smokes for clearing energies. I find that the simple act of walking around the house burning the sage is a meditation of sorts.
4) PINON// I usually save the pinon wood burning for evening, and reserve it for the bathroom. Like Nag Champa I like to get whiffs - but the burn can be a bit strong, especially in a small space. The smell is really rich and warm so I find it better later in the day. I burn the brinks in a little cup with dried rice. It is said to be helpful for fertility and compassion.
4) PEPPERMINT OIL// Is in a category of its own. I use it on everything. I sprinkle it on the floors before I mop, I put a few drops of it on the kitchen sponge to wipe counters, I use it to dust, wipe the refrigerator out, clean the toilets- absolutely anything that gets wiped, gets hit with peppermint oil. It is anti-microbial so it is functional for cleaning, and the aroma is cooling, and calming.
5) ESSENTIAL OILS// All other essential oils I use go into a Collodial Silver spray I make myself. Even though silver is controversial, I still like to use it externally. It helps clean the environment around you and is a natural insect repellent, so it is great if you have pets. I keep this around me at all times.
2 oz Colloidal silver
1 oz Rose Water
1 oz Distilled Water
1-2 drops of each essential oil combination of your choice, I use (lavender, patchouli, bergamot, sandalwood, palo santo, and frankincense)
PROCESS | Pour all ingredients into a 4oz spray bottle. Use on absolutely everything. *Especially great for shoes, yoga mats, or gym bags.
"Creating ambiance through scent is one of the most important parts of my day. I believe an elevated home vibe equates to an elevated life."