How to Match Exotic Décor and Exotic Scents

Your house looks like it should have this view, but does it smell like it, too? See more beach pictures.

Our sense of smell is closely linked to our memory, which would explain why distant childhood memories can come snapping back in an instant with the smell of a particular cookie baking or a whiff of Elmer's Glue. For this reason, aromatic design is becoming an important inclusion with interior design. Not only do scents cover up less pleasant scents, like lingering food smells or pet odors, but they also serve a much bigger purpose: to help set or enhance a mood.

We're not talking about a spritz of air freshener here. If you're going for exotic, we recommend investing in high-quality fragrances. The scent needs to mingle, as if it's a genuine part of the landscape. In fact, scent is becoming such an important part of the décor experience, that hotels and casinos often pipe it through their HVAC systems. Eventually, homeowners will have that option, but in the meantime, there are a number of other ways to delight your olfactory senses.

Candles are the obvious choice, if candlelight sets the right mood for the décor. You can also choose reed diffusers if you want to go the flame-free route. Good quality reed diffusers usually come in attractive packaging and offer a higher-end look. Oil burners are another great way to diffuse a scent through a room. And then, of course, potpourri serves up scent along with a pretty visual.

Whether your idea of exotic is a village in Africa or a seaside retreat in South Carolina, here are some tips on combining decor and scent in your home.