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Planning Retirement Online

Let's Party!

May 2012  

Let's party in later life article series...

This series looks at some of the more unusual ideas to help you celebrate with style and panache – at affordable price levels, of course!

To see the full list of articles see the main Celebrating in Later Life page


Let's Party!  Special celebrations, this month:  room scents candles

by LaterLife features editor Sally Smith

lets partyPartying is fun, but it is always those added extras that can turn a normal party into an outstanding event.

One way to really add to atmosphere is scent and fragrance. This can be especially useful for a drinks or a snacks party when a subtle underlying room fragrance can really lift mood and the sense of wellbeing.

With lunch or dinner celebrations, unless there are some very separate areas being used in a home or venue, adding fragrance can conflict with the food and not be a good idea. However, once the meal is over then some hosts find they can add a new party mood by introducing carefully selected fragrance into the atmosphere.

The choice of fragrance is hugely personal and it can be worth visiting a couple of shops and sniffing at the candles to see what would work best for your event and your friends and relations; today the variety of room scents available from heavy eastern fragrances to the freshest light lively scent is enormous.

Equally important though is how to scent a room.

Scented candles are obviously an easy way to help add fragrance - but while flickering lights dotted around the rooms can look gorgeous, as soon as a crowd comes in there is a danger that one of them could be knocked. Having live flames even on small t-lights need enormous care and is probably not a great idea if it is the sort of celebration where friends and family could become a little raucous!

If you do love that flickering light and gentle scent wafting from a candle, then ensure the candle is set in a special protective case - candles in heavyweight jars and candles set at the bottom of specially constructed candle holders can offer a very firm base as well as full protection around the flame. Ensuring the candles are set on flat surfaces away from the main centres of activity and protected against accidently knocks can work but any lit candle always needs an eye kept on it in a social event.

Oil burners are of course a traditional way to scent a room and today there are some glorious holders that are sturdy and look lovely. But these can be just as dangerous as traditional wax candles and spilled hot oil is not something you want at a party, especially if it splashes onto a guest.

A safer way is to use a non-flame method of adding fragrance and today there are many options available.

Electric fragrance diffusers have come a long way from the traditional air fresheners we used to use in the bathroom! They are simple to use, simply plug them in and off they go. While they can seem expensive they will well outlast any party and you can continue to use them probably for months. There are many makes available and most come in a good range of perfumes although generally they are on the lighter side. You can also buy electric candle air fresheners which sound a bit clinical but in fact work really well and look like a small light instead of the glass container of the diffusers. Again the choice of scents is wide.

Reed diffusers can work because even if knocked over, the scented liquid which travels up the reed to diffuse into the air won’t set anything alight. Today you can find diffusers in the shape of flowers in a pot or similar decorative ideas which can add to the setting of the room as well as add that lovely fragrance. These type of diffusers take a little while to get going, you really need to set them up a day before so that the reeds have fully taken up the scented liquid and are diffusing it at a good level in time for the party.

Scented beads are a new idea to add fragrance to a room and can work really well as the little sachets of beads can be places in subtle spots right around the venue. They provide a gentle long-lasting fragrance but be sure to buy quite a few with the same fragrance to have any effect in a party room.

The list of how to scent a room goes on - incense sticks, room sprays are other ways that can be considered.

There is lots of information now because adding fragrance ot a room is just so popular. One good website is because they have a large stock and also some videos to explain different types. But even the best online sites won’t be able to give you the scent so you will need to visit your local shops to decide on the fragrance. Choose the right one and it will add considerably to the success of your event.

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