Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Camouflaging Smells In Your Antique Store: Learning From "Interior Design For Idiots"

Is It A Good Idea To Hide Bad Smells With Good Smells In An Antique Store Or Home ? 

I'm back talking about the topic of "smells"  (remember  my post "Do You SMELL Antiques And Collectibles Before You Buy Them? ) a few weeks ago.

I guess I'm smell sensitive because my nose knows it isn't  happy. Cold weather, dry heat, fumes,
antiquing.....the whole kit and kaboodle....adding to my smell meter.

Today, I was poking through a whacky book called "Interior Design For Idiots" and I landed on a page called "smells".  O.K. what  pearls of wisdom  did this author have to say about smells? Should you try to get rid of them and how?

After all, as an antique dealer, I like many others in the biz are surrounded by all kinds of stale or icky smells that go with the business of buying and selling old stuff  (musty, dusty,  damp, smokey smells).  We go down to basements, up in attics, into garage spaces. We hunt, we poke, we pack, we unpack, we wash, we polish...we are always exposed to smells.

Camouflaging Smells In Antique Stores

Many antique dealers, especially the Romantic cottage collectible types have been known to  camouflage nasty  smells with candles,  air fresheners or incense. Is this a good idea?  Shall we take a poll?

Interior Design For Idiots: Advice On Smells

Here is what the author of  "Interior Design For Idiots" by Mark McCauley A.S.I.D. (1999) has to say about SMELLS

"Kill your rooms. Ruin them beyond repair. Disgust visitors, family members and pets. All that's required to accomplish this is to inflict extreme odors on your interiors. And not just bad odors, wither. Overuse of  pot-pourri has sent  many a guest reeling. Lemon freshness  has been known to asphyxiate laboratory rats. Be wary of this trap, it is easy to fall into. Let your nose be your guide as you lightly provide ambience with delicate scents".

Antique Stores: Good And Bad Smells 

I would add to this advice that  antique stores that sell books, papers,  vintage clothing, linens and textiles need to be very careful about what is in the air. Cigarette smoke and incense fragrance penetrate  everything. So not only do you have to smell the antiques and collectibles that you buy, but dealers you need to watch what smells you are allowing in your interiors as well. Be concerned about Scent machines or Fragrance systems which are very popular and  being integrated into many businesses and offices.

Many people  are sensitive to smells and will not shop in stores that have strong smells, good or bad.  
Readers, what do you think? Please share your ideas, experiences and comments.


C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro café. To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.com Visit my website, CDianneZweig.com Dianne is a member of: The American Society of Journalists and Authors The Society of Professional Journalists

2 comments:

  1. Quite true, Dianne. I am sent sensitive. Perfumes and most air fresheners irritate the heck out of me. I will sit next to no one wearing perfume because they stink.

    I can enter a home and tell you if cockroaches or mold is present. Yes, cockroaches leave an odor.

    I think collectors are more forgiving when it comes to certain odors caused from age and storage as many of those odors will dissapate over time.

    As dealers we should do our best to eliminate odors. But don't try to cover them up with deodorizers in your booth. People are not stupid. Deodorizers just add one more smell to the odors already in your booth. You can't fool the nose.

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