They say you can’t go home again, but sometimes we smell something that takes us back to one perfect moment in time. There’s a scientific reason that the smell of a particular flower or cookie dough will suddenly make you feel like you’re an eight-year-old in your grandmother’s house again.
Scents are processed in the olfactory bulb, which is directly connected to the parts of the brain responsible for emotions and memories.
While everyone has a different set of smells that will trigger emotions and memories, the Homesick candle company aims to create unique scents for each of the 50 states (technically 51, since California is divided into NorCal and SoCal). The candles are designed to trigger these powerful olfactory memories.
Each state candle’s unique smell is a combination of the things a state is best known for. Tennessee, for example, has notes of steeped bergamot tea, single-malt whiskey and magnolia. Oregon smells like maple, pears and roasted almonds set beside a forest background of fir, pine, sandalwood and cedar. You can find your state here.
Smell and the city
The company also offers more localized scents for major cities such as Denver (fresh hemp with earthy notes of patchouli and cedar) and Los Angeles (orange, lemon, jasmine and rose). See all available cities here.
The great outdoors
Homesick’s National Parks Collection includes Yosemite, which is made up of fresh air, water lilies and heliotrope petals. If you’re looking for a scent sure to trigger particular emotions, there are also some generic locations that seem to always have a very specific scent, like Summer Camp (grass, lake water, hyacinth, lemon and smoke).
You might prefer an item-based scent like Books, which has notes of orange, nutmeg, leather, cinnamon, clove, sandalwood, vanilla, balsam, amber, cedar and, obviously, books.
Homesick also offers scents that represent entire countries like Australia (eucalyptus, chocolate, salt water, jasmine, lily, rose, sandalwood, sunscreen, amber and musk) and Mexico (butter, vinegar, smoke, jalapeño, caraway, earth, tortilla, cream and sugar), which are made in layers in order to help capture the complexity of an entire nation in one candle without being overwhelming.
See all available countries here.
The company talks to a number of locals from an area before developing a location-based scent, so they can be sure to capture the smells people actually remember best from their cities, states and countries.
In fact, the creators’ longing for their hometowns is precisely what inspired them to start making candles in the first place. As a bunch of transplants living in NYC, they missed their homes and wanted something that could instantly transport them back, even for an instant.
If you’re not into places, the company also sells candles designed to recreate the anticipation of a New Job (leather and cinnamon) or the thrill of a Road Trip (lime, leather and water). Of course, if you really want to capture an emotion, you can always skip places, items and events altogether and go right to the Love candle, which smells of lemon, cassis, rose, peony, jasmine and sandalwood.
Whatever variety you choose, the candle will be individually made by hand and hopefully deliver the “nostalgia in the warmth of a candle” the company promises their products will provide.