Even casual Friends fans know two things about Monica Geller: she’s an excellent chef and a bit of a clean freak. Courteney Cox borrowed a bit of her own dedication to cleaning for the character, so much so that she created a home care brand, Homecourt. The lineup of products, which launched this past spring, consists of cleaning spray, dish soap, and even candles–each one boasting delicate fragrances that you just can’t find at your local drugstore.
Cox even adopted a system for her home that she calls scentscaping, an interior design trend that refers to zoning various rooms with unique scents. One such scent? She just launched Homecourt’s Balsam Fireplace candle, her take on an elevated holiday fragrance, that smells just as cozy and inviting in the spring as it does in December.
We caught up with the Cox to learn more about her fragrance philosophy, rules for hosting, and just how much she’s really like Monica.
How did scentscaping become a part of your brand and life?
I got into scentscaping originally during lockdown. I have always wanted to create a candle company because I’m obsessed with scents and what a candle can bring to a whole atmosphere. During the pandemic, we were so excited to have Clorox and anything that killed the germs of COVID, and while it was appealing at the beginning, you realize you don’t want everything to smell like chemicals. I wanted to have something that cleaned, was effective, and smelled good. When I walk into my house, I can smell Homecourt immediately. Even if it’s a dish soap.
Do you have a first memory of using home scents?
As a kid, I was surrounded by awful smelling products like Comets Cleaner, that powder that is used to clean stainless steel sinks and pots. I want to eventually create a nicer one for Homecourt that has unique scent and that’s been handcrafted with perfumery. My whole life, I’ve loved to walk into a kitchen and go, oh man it smells good in here; it’s a sign that a kitchen clean. I wanted to take it a step further and make a product that was pretty too. I’m into aesthetics more than you can imagine. My goal was to create a candle vessel that is so beautiful you could use it as a tea cup or pencil holder after. I love the colors of our bottles. They are so aesthetically beautiful to me. It can sit on any counter in any home. It’s not something you have hide when guests come over. I even keep the counter spray out because I think it looks cool.
Do you have a favorite Homecourt scent?
I love all of them, but CeCe is probably my favorite, mostly because it’s a scent that I’ve been wearing for years. It’s a combination of three different scents I layer, and we sent my exact concoction to the perfumery house that we use. They did a great job of replicating it, and now it’s a candle, hand soap, counter spray–it’s very multifaceted, clearly. I also really love Cipres Mint. It’s so much richer than the title and I am nuts about it. I don’t like the smell of powdery roses, so when it came to our rose scent, creating an authentic rose scent was really important to me. I wanted the smell of the whole flower–including the stem and petals. I’m really proud of the way Steeped Rose came out. I love Neroli Leaf, which has orange blossom in it. Generally, I’ve always loved orange blossoms and neroli oils, so combining the two was a no brainer.
Do you switch up your scent lineup for the holidays?
I don’t change it, but I added our new Balsam Fireplace candle, which I’m really proud of. I will buy as many as I can because I burn that all year round. It’s one of my favorite scents and I would add that to any room for the holidays because it smells like a delicious pine tree. I mean, who doesn’t love the smell of the holidays, from a burning fireplace, or pumpkin pie baking, or apple cider. My version of what the holidays smell like is this candle.
Do you have any recommendations for someone who’s just getting into scentscaping? What does your house smell like?
Try and set the mood you’re craving. Do you want a jolly scent in your den or a crisper scent in the kitchen? It’s about deciding what kind of atmosphere you’re trying to create. I have a rose candle next to my bed, which I sometimes switch out for CeCe. In my bathroom, I have Neroli Leaf and the Cipres Mint candle works in any room, but that lives in my kitchen right now. Scentscaping is very interchangeable. When I have guests over for the holidays, I’ll put a different candle in each bathroom to get feedback. People either love or hate candles, and so far with our candles, the reviews have been positive.
Do you have any rules for hosting?
I played Monica, an extremely uptight character, and, ironically, I do believe that I suffer from acute awareness. I want things to look right, but I’m not obsessive like Monica. As long as there’s enough food and it tastes good, I just people to enjoy themselves and feel more relaxed than I likely do.
Do you feel like Monica influenced you in the cleaning department?
I don’t think that characters change the way you are drastically and Monica was much cleaner than I am—not that I’m dirty, but I’m not a scrubber. I’m neat and I like organization. Monica is a little more of a maniac.
Do you love to cook like Monica too?
She was definitely more organized in the kitchen, and a great chef at that, but I’m not the most organized while cooking. I would love to be the kind of person that put things away as they’re cooking, but I’m not. I love to cook, but I do have to follow a recipe at least the first 10 times I make a dish. I need to know the general idea and then I can mess around and get crazy with it.
Before creating your own brand, what candles did you light regularly?
My favorite candle is the Mad et Len Spirituelle candle. It’s a beautiful candle. I love Le Labo. Their stuff is great. I have tons of favorites, because I light candles every day. One of my very favorite stores of all time is Galerie Half on Melrose in L.A. They have the most incredible furniture and décor. Whenever I go shopping there, I walk into one room and go, oh my god, that smells amazing. Then I walk in the next room and it’s a different, but equally as amazing, smell. Since it’s an open space, all the scents meld and flow well–nothing clashes. That was my inspiration and goal, to make scents that actually complement each other. I use that same philosophy in my own home. Right now, I have a Cipres Mint burning on the counter in the kitchen and then 20 feet away I have Cece burning on the coffee table.
Do you ever bring any candles with you on set? They have a way of making it feel at home.
Yes, in my dressing room I have a candle, the hand soap, and the dish soap because I bring my own glasses to work. I even have our counter spray to keep the room clean, which is maybe where I am like Monica. I light candles in any place I can. It elevates the space completely.
Where do you pull inspiration for different ideas and scents?
The rose scent came from my hair colorist. She uses this balm around my hairline to protect my skin from the dye. It smells as if she’s using a real rose. Anytime I smell something, I get inspired. I was shooting this commercial not that long ago and I walked by the most unique smell. I found out it came from the groundskeeper who lived at the property [we shot at] who had this sexy, smoky, coffee-like cologne that I’d never heard of. I added to that to another idea of mine to create an upcoming scent of ours. We haven’t nailed it down yet, but it’s inspired by something I used to wear and I’m trying to accomplish that fragrance right now. I don’t want to put anything out that isn’t doesn’t wow me. Homecourt is my baby.
I know you’re very into design. What is a design mantra you live by?
My design philosophy is working in small changes. I get bored quickly, so I try to have the big pieces neutral and I add color through things throw pillows, a blanket, or a lamp. Colored accent pieces can a whole room that way. I enjoy change.