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other recent LOUNGE articles:
o Plumb Trouble
Home Alone
Office Space: Color Shemes
o Open House: Sydney Sanctuary
o Burn Baby Burn
Green Scene: Indoor Herb Gardening
Album-cover CD Box
A Room of My Own
Fight the Chaos
Gallery-style Picture Hanging Tracks

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decorating scents
by Kathryn 
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Whatís the first thing you notice when you walk into someoneís home?  For me it isnít the fabulous new sofa or even the lurid green wallpaper.  Itís something far more subtle but much more pervasive: the first thing that always hits me is, to put it bluntly, the smell of a place.

Anyone who loves their home knows what it means to put hours of work into figuring out the right decorating style, hunting down the perfect furniture, decorating, revamping and rearranging until everything looks just right.  The natural inclination, then, is to want to show off your efforts and fabulous new finds to all your friends.  But all that work can fall into a screaming heap if reminders of skanky old gym shoes and last nightís garlic dinner are still hanging in the air.

This, of course, is why commercial air fresheners were invented. Unfortunately, that instant smell-in-a-can has a tendency to be overpowering and cloyingly fake.  Plus I always feel like Iím just covering up, the bad smells only temporarily banished to the corners. For me, at least, ready-made air fresheners arenít any solution at all. Instead, I take charge and perfume my own life. 

Creating your own scents can be easy and fun: moreover, it allows you to come up with a fragrance for your home thatís as individual as you are. I love combining oils but limit myself to three oils, tops.  Scents, like those powder paints you use in kindergarten, get murky if you mix too many.  If you live in a small apartment, you will probably also want to restrict yourself to one scent or a single combination to avoid fragrance overdose. Those blessed with larger abodes, on the other hand, can try different combinations in different areas of the house.

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