Thursday, 18 August 2011

The scent of a home

It takes a while for a house to smell like a home. For what smells like home to you.

I almost ended up not buying what is now my new home. The first viewing did not go particularly well. And yet I had been studying the pictures of this apartment on the internet for weeks. It was in the area I wanted to live in. It had the exact dimensions I was after. I loved its main features. I loved the potential it offered to make this my dream home.

And yet, when I first walked through that orange door, I almost took a step back in disgust. The smell was horrible. The air was thick with the stench of cheap tobacco*. I'm afraid I made a rather acrid remark about it to the real estate agent. That wasn't the only problem though. Beneath the tobacco there was a stale sort of sub-smell. It breathed unloved and uncared for house. There was an almost hostile feel to it.

It took me weeks to decide but I did buy it. For all the reasons I mentioned earlier. But I knew it would take a lot of effort to make it feel and SMELL like home.

For two weeks I came in every evening to open all the doors and windows and let the fresh air in. I scrubbed every imaginable surface. And then started all over again. And again. I placed atomisers with essential oils. I went through just about every recommendation in my now dog-eared copy of Denise Linn's Sacred Space.

And then the workmen came in to re-plaster the walls and ceilings. Obviously after they'd left I needed to start airing and scrubbing and cleaning all over again. Still I didn't regret my earlier efforts. When my furniture was finally moved in, it was moved into a house with a neutral scent. And it no longer felt hostile. It almost had a feeling of expectation over it.

I've now lived in my new apartment for several months. When I open the door, I'm greeted with the scent of freshly laundered linen. A faint smell of wood and of fresh flowers. And a sort of biscuitty, vanilla-ish sub-scent.

It breathes a welcome to me. And it smells like home.

* No, I'm not the delicate whingeing type. I visit plenty of homes where the occupants smoke indoors plus have a whole menagerie of cats and dogs and wot not and it is absolutely fine. This was the pits.

Photo taken with iPhone then given a filter with the Sunsetter app.

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