A few weeks ago, I stayed in the oldest hotel in Austin, Texas. The minute I walked into the hotel I was surrounded by beauty and transported back in time. The large marble columns, stained glass lighting, and antique furnishings were breathtaking. But, what really struck me as I entered the building was this magical scent. Pumped through the air vents, the hotel had created its own signature scent of leather, tobacco and bourbon. The aroma was so enticing that every time I entered the hotel lobby, I just wanted to sit down with an Old Fashioned.

The Driskill in Austin, Texas welcomes its guests with a gorgeous stained glass and a distinct scent of leather, tobacco, and bourbon.

Our sense of smell is powerful, especially in evoking memories. The term Proustian Phenomenon refers to an involuntary and vivid memory that washes over a person as soon as they smell a familiar scent. For instance, most women loathe the smell of a burning cigar. However, I love it because the smell instantly reminds me of my dear uncle Lou and his brownstone home in Brooklyn, New York. After dinner, Uncle Lou's ritual was to go into his den, light up a cigar, pour a glass of scotch, sit back in his leather chair, and share hilarious stories with us.

Scents are also magical because they evoke feelings. We all know when selling a home, freshly baked cookies for an open house makes the home feel cozy and warm. On a cold rainy day, guests feel sheltered from the elements when they enter our home to the smell of a pumpkin scented candle. Christmas memories, and the feeling of being a child again, are brought to life by the simple scent of a freshly cut Pine tree.

The magic that the hotel in Austin created was intentional. They knew they could give a lasting, positive impression and enhance their guests' experience. As we begin the season of candle burning, baking, and tree cutting, let's be intentional about the memories and feelings we create for those who enter our home!

Iced Pumpkin Cookies by Sandy Henderson

Give your home that warm, inviting freshly baked cookie smell with these delicious treats.