Scent To Refresh Your Rooms (Now That You’re Home All The Time)

It’s been a year since the quarantine began and perhaps your children are distance learning at home and it’s winter and the windows are closed and there are no fresh fragrant flowers from the garden, no pine-scented holiday decorations.

Perhaps your home is beginning to smell a little too much like teen spirit for your tastes. Perhaps it’s time to bring some new fragrances into your home.

Scent is tricky, though. It’s hard to find products that smell as nice as they look. And you don’t want a scent that overwhelms you and gives you a headache, cautions Carolyn Piccirelli, owner of Honeychurch Home. She understands.

The design shop is in downtown Salisbury, Conn., in a space on Academy Street just off Main that was for many years a variety of small café and bistro restaurants. 

“People still come in and tell me about their favorite meals here when it was a restaurant,” Piccirelli says. “They show me where they used to sit.”

The tables and counter and kitchen are gone now, and it requires a little effort to recall that this was once an eatery. The scent of Honeychurch Home, of course, is also very different from the scent of the Country Bistro restaurant. The air no longer smells of bacon and coffee; the Honeychurch ambience leans more toward the floral.

That’s in part because Piccirelli is also a floral designer and not only designs voluptuous arrangements for the shop, she also does custom “bouquets” for clients, most of whom, she said, come in every week.

But it’s really the scented products that capture your attention as you walk in. This store smells the way you’d like your home to smell. Subtle. Delicate. Not like gym clothes.

Honeychurch is a home design store, but has more than just things to put on tables. 

“I try to carry products for all five senses,” Piccirelli says. The eyes are important. Touch is important. The nose is very important.

The scented products at Honeychurch Home are in a perfect Three Bears quantity: There are just enough so you have a wide array of choices, in a reasonable range of price points; but there aren’t so many to choose from that you throw up your hands in despair.

Piccirelli is happy to help sort things out for you, but she feels confident that most people can figure out which scents will work best for them. 

It’s not like art, where you can’t trust your instincts. If you like the way it smells in the shop, you’ll probably like the way it smells at home. 

And, she promises, unlike a department-style store, the products here have already been curated. She only sells things she likes.

She will also patiently explain how diffusers (which became ubiquitous about five years ago) actually work. There are reeds and there is oil, and Piccirelli will have to explain the rest to you, but she has them in prices that range from mid $40 to high $70. Some are from France; the most popular ones are from California; one comes in an attractive blue-patterned ceramic diffuser that you can use as a bud vase when the scented oil gives out.

She has lots of candles, and warns/promises that candles can scent a room even when they’re not lit. 

If you don’t mind burning a scented product, she also has small incense sticks from Japan that smell wonderful, not like the acrid incenses used in religious ceremonies. Made by a company in Japan called Hibi, they burn for about 10 minutes and have straightforward tags such as lavender, lemongrass and geranium (as opposed to some of the diffusers and candles, which are more conceptual and have names such as  “Cashmere” and “The Roofs of Paris”).

The Hibi incense sticks are $12 for a box of eight or $36 for a box of 30. They are so popular that they are right at the entrance to the store. 

But don’t stop there; take a look around. Breathe deep. Relax. Enjoy.  


Honeychurch Home is at 10 Academy St. in Salisbury, Conn., near LaBonne’s market. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Call 860-596-4381 for more information.

In the dead of winter, houses can become musty and stale — especially when parents and children are all at home doing distance learning and remote work. Give your nose a gift of scented products from Honeychurch Home, such as these affordable Japanese incense sticks. Photo by Cynthia Hochswender

Honeychurch Home, named for Lucy Honeychurch from E.M. Forster’s “A Room With a View,” has settled comfortably into a space in Salisbury, Conn., that was for many, many years a café or bistro. Photo by Cynthia Hochswender

In the dead of winter, houses can become musty and stale — especially when parents and children are all at home doing distance learning and remote work. Give your nose a gift of scented products from Honeychurch Home, such as these affordable Japanese incense sticks. Photo by Cynthia Hochswender

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