Okay, I don’t know if this is just me getting older or whatever, but lately I’ve become obsessed with making my home and body smell amazing. Like I want to walk into my apartment and be in awe of the wondrous smells that are wafting through the hallway. “Who is this person who has made such an elegant and chic smelling home for themselves?! They must be really stable and have it together!” In the past six months, any spare cash I’ve had has gone straight to buying candles and various perfumes and colognes, and I think I’ve finally succeeded in creating a utopia of smells. My friends now come over and feel like worthless screw ups because I’ve made such a warm and cozy smelling apartment while theirs still smells like last night’s party. Suckers!
I want to impart my newfound wisdom to all of the readers who want their apartment to stop smelling like One Night Stand and Regret. Listen carefully, grasshoppers.
1. Nag Champa Incense
Stop laughing. No, seriously, stop and just listen to me for a second. When mixed with other scents (fig for example), Nag Champa really comes to life. I personally love it by itself but that’s because I’m a wannabe stoner freak who likes to hang Jefferson Airplane posters on my wall and wear outfits that are exclusively tie dye. Nag Champa has a bad rep and deservedly so—it reminds you of your loser stoner boyfriend in college and watching Family Guy with the sound off—but I encourage you to revisit it and try to use it as an accent. Combine it with other smells and see what you get. It might just become your guilty pleasure. If you’re that ashamed, just hide the incense burner and tell your friends it’s a scent from your local organic co-op.
2. Baltic Amber by Voluspa
Baltic Amber is like Nag Champa but with a job and an Anthropologie wardrobe. It’s an amazing candle that has notes of Amber, sandalwood, vanilla, and cedar. It’s only like twenty bucks and it burns forever. I used to burn this stuff 24/7 and it made me feel like a grown up who was going places! It’s also sort of sexy so feel free to burn it when someone cute is coming over. I don’t know about you but I’ve been persuaded to sleep with someone based on how their apartment smelled. What?
3. Media Room by Lafco
I need to have a moment with this one because it’s pretty major. So Lafco is a total rich person candle company. Their stuff retails for 55 dollars a candle (LOL) and each one is named after a superfluous room in a mansion. Sample ones include ski house (???), poolhouse, library, and, my personal favorite, media room. I ask for this candle for christmas, and then I burn it sparingly, treating it like it’s a rare diamond. I understand that 55 dollars is an insane amount to charge for a candle, but they’re the only thing I care about these days. I’m single, don’t have a pet and work nonstop—just give me this one pleasure.
4. Tuscan Leather by Tom Ford
Tuscan Leather is a men’s cologne that legit smells like cocaine. Just Google it and you’ll see tons of articles that say, “Tom Ford’s New Scent = Cocaine?!” His rep denies the similarity and is all, “Oh my god, no, it smells like leather!” but no one’s buying it. Tom Ford clearly went on a bender and then bottled that bender to sell it for $200 a pop, which is actually cheaper than a coke habit so whatever. As it turns out, the scent actually smells great. Besides reminding you of clenched jaws and pointless conversations, it’s evocative of musky masculinity and sexy dirtiness. Buy this instead of doing coke. It’s better for you and humanity.
5. Chinatown by Bond No. 9
Chinatown and I met under less than ideal circumstances. Last year, I accompanied my best friend to Saks so she could buy the fragrance. The price is truly frightening (something like $200 for 50ml) but I was content to live vicariously through my friend’s spending spree. Things suddenly took a #dark turn, however, when the saleslady asked my friend how far along she was. “ARE YOU PREGNANT?” The room went still for a second as we both let the words sink in and then my friend responded, “Um, I’m not pregnant.” My friend’s body is a Latin sensation—very On The 6 by Jennifer Lopez—but she, in no way, resembles a pregnant lady. Isn’t it common knowledge that you never ask a lady if she’s pregnant? I don’t care if she’s actually eight months along and looking ready to pop, it could be some weird tumor in her belly, so you’re not allowed to say anything. Anyway, the woman felt so guilty that she threw in a thousand samples of the perfume. I have since guarded those samples with my life and only spritz it in my room when I want to feel like a 60-year-old rich woman with crushed dreams. The scent is truly dazzling. It smells a little bit like old lady at first but then it transforms into some spicy and floral aroma that smells like a mixture of patchouli and cinnamon. Since the scent is so feminine, I can only don it when I’m walking around my apartment in an Erykah Badu headwrap but maybe one day I will gather the courage to walk outside my door with it on.