The 30-Minute Guide to Getting Your Home Ready for Guests
Preparing for a party always takes longer than you expect. Here are 10 expert tricks to make the most of that last half hour.
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Scent the Room—Carefully
Researchers have found that smell is an important but previously underrated part of how much people enjoy a night out
(in particular, peppermint and orange increased subjects' ratings of a dance club's music and their "overall experience," Scientific American
reports). But there's a fine line between catching a whiff of a subtle, minty aroma and feeling like you're being suffocated by wintergreen number 46. Find a scented candle you like—we're partial to Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Orange Clove Scented Soy Candle
, which has a citrusy, spicy scent—and light it for an hour in the afternoon, before the party starts. Blow it out and let the wax cool for an hour or so; then relight it about 20 minutes before guests arrive. Your home will smell nice, and you won't have to worry about the wick drowning in wax before the night is over. It's okay if the aroma seems a little strong at first. Pam Helms, who channeled her love for the chemistry of smell into a job as the lead product developer at Caldrea, which makes candles and other homekeeping products, says once the room becomes crowded, people's clothes, hair and bodies will absorb some of the scent.