Nothing makes a well-appointed room more seductive than fragrance, says designer Mark Ashby.
Layering fragrances from a variety of sources is the key to completing the décor of any space, says designer Mark Ashby.
When Mark Ashby, principal of Mark Ashby Design, completes a client’s home, he always adds one finishing touch: fragrance. “Scent is about luxury and memory,” says Ashby, who has designed homes in Austin since 1998. “A fragrance element adds another layer to a beautiful environment.” And “layer” is the operative word; fragrance should come from a variety of sources.
“When we’re providing a fragrance palette for clients, we determine a deep base fragrance, then layer from there,” Ashby reveals. His current obsession is the smoky, leathery scent of Le Labo’s Santal 26 perfumed candle, handpoured using 100 percent soy wax. A nice, aristocratic touch: The candle comes encased in thick, heavy glass with the purchaser’s name printed on the label.
Complementary smoky notes can be found in france’s Maître Parfumeur et Gantier room spray in Ambre du Népal (with hints of amber, musk, wood, and vanilla—the spray adds “a last effect” to pillows and fabrics, Ashby says) as well as the intoxicating yet grounded blend of cinnamon and frankincense found in Shoyeido’s River Path Incense in Horikawa from Japan. Adds Ashby, “In approaching scents for your home, I advise purchasing from high-quality purveyors. Cheap incense is never a good idea!”