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Take a Look Inside the Scent Library — Erin Napier’s Newest Creation

The sense of smell is one of the strongest senses that we have. It is connected to so many things and can bring back so many memories…of home, holidays, family, and special people in our lives. That is one of the main driving forces behind Erin and Ben Napier of HGTV’s Hometown, bringing The Scent Library to downtown Laurel.

“This is definitely one of Erin’s favorite projects,” Mallorie Rasberry said. Erin created all of the scents for the shop and came up with the creative design for thIs charming shop. It is such an original and lovely establishment. When you walk in, you feel as if you’ve taken a trip back in time to an old-fashioned library and are met with so many scents and smells that feel like home and family to Erin and so many Southerners.

The store had a soft opening Sunday and was met with great success as it has definitely been a great addition to the local shopping area in downtown Laurel. Located across the street from the cornerstone of the shopping district, the Laurel Mercantile, this shop is definitely worth a visit and you’re sure to find a heartwarming gift for someone special in your life.

The main priority of the Laurel Mercantile and Scotsman Co. stores has been to bring a creative community and outlet to the local area. The creation of The Scent Library began in the early part of 2022 as renovations began on a forgotten, declining building in the downtown area. The leader of the renovation and co-owner of Laurel Mercantile, Josh Nowell, bought the vacant and downtrodden building about a decade ago “long before anyone had ever heard of ‘Home Town.'”

Nowell felt a strong connection to the building because he had once lived across the street from the building. “I knew I wanted to see it developed into something worthy of its history, and thankfully, we’re starting to see it transform back into its original form,” Nowell said.

The building’s history can be traced back to the early 20th Century during Laurel’s prominence in the lumber industry. Throughout the years, the building has undergone many transformations and is heralded as the first glass storefront in Mississippi with architectural glass, but as with many things, the building began to decline before the downtown district was revitalized. It has now been restored to its full glory and has become a special place where history and nostalgia collide in a beautiful concept that was brought to life by Erin.

It was Erin’s dream to bring “a space dedicated to her growing candle line that would offer a memorable experience for nostalgic folks like herself.” The Scent Library offers some of “Erin’s best-selling scented candles, room sprays, and hand soaps.” Essentially, the shop is an homage to Erin’s love of nostalgia and the scents that are connected to some of her most special memories. Many of the scents featured are attached to sweet memories that Erin has of her memories of home and family. It is her love of making candles and her precious memories that brought about this incredibly lovely creation to downtown Laurel.

It is the hope that your visit to Laurel will make sweet memories for everyone as well. To remember your journey to our small town, the Laurel Candle was created to bring to life the smell of the sweet olive plants that grow along Fifth Avenue in the Historic District. That was the first candle Erin created because it reminded her of home and the promise of experiences to come. The shop is filled with special scents that bring back so many sweet memories that are cherished by Erin.

For Erin, “Every Scent has a Story,” and that is the inspiration behind Erin’s creation of these special scents. They bring back memories of special times, holidays, and people in her life, and she hopes that the store will inspire new and special memories for everyone that visits the shop. The Scent Library offers a unique place to visit Erin’s treasured memories of her life, family, and home.

With floor to ceiling bookshelves filled with books and candles and leather sofas, The Scent Library takes you back in time and lets you experience what it was like to visit a library a century ago. Visitors can get their own library card at this unique shop to make notes or capture memories of their own as they explore the inspired candles and soaps. Visitors are encouraged to capture memories of their own on these cards embracing visitors into this new experience.

Visitors will be delighted to visit this “scent-imental” store during the holiday season to explore this unique experience. You’ll be delighted by the beauty of the shop and its Christmas decorations and will be inspired to buy a very special gift for yourself or for someone special in your life. A trip to The Scent Library is a definite “must” during the holiday season. It will make for a truly special Southern holiday experience but it will also be a special visit any time of the year.


Written by Judy Smith

Judy Smith has been a freelance writer and photographer for several magazines and publications around the South, including Social South Magazine, Our Mississippi Magazine, DeSoto Magazine, Deep South Magazine, Country Roads Magazine, among others. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Paralegal Studies, Master’s of Science in Mass Communications, and PhD in Communications at the University of Southern Mississippi. And Judy Smith is proud to forever be a Mississippi Girl.


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