What makes French homes smell so good?
November 21, 2005 8:05 AM   Subscribe

Why do French homes smell so good?

French homes - I've been in a few, and they smell awesome. I don't know what it is, but it's consistent - some kind of floral, citrus scent. Does anyone have insight into what makes French homes smell so good, and how I can make my (US) home smell that way?
posted by nyterrant to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know, but I agree about the good smell - at least the letters from my French friend always smell like patchouli, which I love.
posted by LadyBonita at 8:18 AM on November 21, 2005

French here. Can't say all homes smell good to me, but (obviously) I like my parents. I believe my mothers keeps pot-pourri here and there, but it's been a while since I last saw some.
And, my friends' homes all smell different, sometimes not that good. Maybe it's a question of vacuuming, what can of liquid the laundry is done with, what is cooked in the kitchen, if people smole all day long or not... Can't tell for sure.
posted by XiBe at 8:44 AM on November 21, 2005

Perhaps it's the same thing: Have you ever stayed at the French hotel chain Sofitel? I stayed at the Sofitel near the Electronics Arts offices in a San Francisco suburb, and it smelled like what I imagine heaven smells like.

Thank god I found out that they sell that fragrence.
posted by thanotopsis at 9:02 AM on November 21, 2005

Best answer: My friend's mother-in-law (from Marseilles) carries around a small bottle of something called "Odarome," commonly available in France. Whenever she finishes up in the WC, she pours a couple of drops into the toilette. It contains essential oils of lavender, thyme, rosemary and eucalyptus, and it smells wonderful.
posted by shifafa at 9:04 AM on November 21, 2005 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There was a Salon article covering this very topic earlier this year. There are some (apparently hard to find and expensive) French home scent products available, and at least one somewhat less expensive domestic equivalent.
posted by Captain Swing at 9:24 AM on November 21, 2005

Most French homes I've been in smell like cigarettes.

The Persians say that heaven smells like fresh basil.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:34 AM on November 21, 2005

Open windows. Central heating that does not use forced air. No clothes dryers. Smaller fridges means less perishable food to stink. No garbage disposals. Toilets are in seperate rooms from bathrooms. Less carpet, more hardwood and tiles. and on and on.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:45 AM on November 21, 2005

Expensive, but nice.
posted by Wolof at 1:11 PM on November 21, 2005

Though I grew up in the US, my french grandmother and great-aunt's houses always smelled like fresh-cut lemons. They used halved lemons to clean their cutting boards, countertops, and hands.
posted by annaramma at 3:00 PM on November 21, 2005

Aedes has lots of home fragrances (candles, sprays, diffusers), including Alora. Definitely not cheap, though.

However, you can order samples of any fragrance on the site.
posted by driveler at 4:37 PM on November 21, 2005

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