The Scents of Summer: Closed Set with Julie Bensman

When I wrote my four-figure rent check for July, little did I know I'd be spending just six nights in NYC that month (in all fairness, I technically did know, I just didn't realize it at the time). Between work trips to Chicago and Miami and personal trips to Saratoga Springs and my family's cottage on Lake Erie, I'm on a first name basis with the Delta crew at JFK these days.

No matter where I am or what I've been doing (currently, drinking a beer to forget my flight delay at Buffalo airport's Anchor Bar), nothing beats the feeling of returning to New York City. It's certainly cliché to say, but there's a palpable energy the city emits, and, in the summer, an odor, as well. When the mercury hits a high (and Lord knows, this season it has), the streets unleash a stench that's a peculiar mix of urine, garbage, and garlic. So imagine my fear, each time I returned home from a trip, at what smell my own apartment might be rendering, laden with resentment for the neglect I'd shown it as of late.

Yet, when I entered the doors of Apt. 3D, my nose was greeted with the scent of roses. My bathroom? The fresh aroma of clean linens. And my kitchen? Earthy smells of grass and mint. All this, thanks in part to three glorious products I highly recommend for any jet-setting apartment dweller:

1) Thymes Kimono Rose Home Fragrance Mist

I've been a fan of Thymes' Kimono Rose fragrance since my days doing PR for them a bajillion years ago. I continue to buy the room spray to this day and have never tired of the understated scent. A spritz or two in your closet will do wonders, trust me.

2) Votivo Clean Crisp White Reed Diffuser

Not only do Votivo reed diffusers smell divine, the modern glass jar is a beautiful addition to any bathroom countertop. The diffuser's scent lasts four months, too – so much better than dealing with candles and air fresheners that need constant replacing.

3) Kiss My Face Grassy Mint Castile Soap

Chuck the harsh dish soaps and snatch up this 100% natural olive formula that cleans everything from hands to feet to flatware. The simple solution carries a subtle, clean scent that leaves everything it touches feeling just a bit fresher, while 10% of profits go to support “Seeds of Peace” organization. This is quite literally the only soap I use in my apartment.

I've never been one to knock drugstore buys (I'm a lifetime devotee of Ponds night cream) but when it comes to aroma investments, it seems you really do get what you pay for. In New York, what else is new?