the strategist

How to Have a Bug-Free Outdoor Party

A weeklong series on the art of entertaining, for women who are too busy for Pinterest.

Dyptique Eucalyptus Candle
A Khloé Kardashian–approved way to keep the bugs at bay.
Buy it: $62 at Bergdorf Goodman

Golda Hiba Wood Incense
Blended with Aomori Hiba oil found in 300-year-old Japanese trees, these incense sticks also include hinokitiol, a “monoterpenoid” that repels insects.
Buy it: $29 at Selfridges & Co.

Cinnamon Projects Incense Burner
Trade out your old wooden tray for this brass Japanese-inspired alternative, from New York–based design collective Cinnamon Projects — perfect for your new anti-bug incense.
Buy it: $150 at The Line

Jao Patio Oil Moisture Mist
This all-natural insect repellent boasts moisturizing hemp and jojoba oils, and a cooling effect. Greet guests with a spritz as they arrive — they’ll be happy to cool down and repel bugs as a hot summer day turns to night. 
Buy it: $32 at Birchbox 

Citronella Spiral Incense
Put down the citronella tiki torch and hang this festive spiral at your next outdoor party. For those lucky enough to have a porch, the spiral can be hung from the roof, lantern-style. But for a backyard or rooftop party, try setting up the spiral incense with a tray underneath, so it can double as a bright table decoration.  
Buy it: $13 at Amazon 

Cire Trudon Marquise
This candle, with notes of citronella, costs $95, but the description promises that it “rekindles the sharpness of Madame de Pompadour’s conversations and the voluptuous charms of the Rocaille chic.” We’re sold.
Buy it: $95 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Coqui Coqui Citger Mosquito Repellent
Small enough to throw in your bag and elegant enough to display on a picnic table.
Buy it: $12 at The Line

Punk Sticks
If you want something a bit more old-fashioned, try punk sticks from the Vermont Country Store. For just $17 you get 400 sticks — with that many, you can host a bug-free outdoor party every night this summer. One reviewer describes the sticks’ “pleasant scent of pipe tobacco,” which sounds like a good way to evoke old lodges and nights around the campfire, even if your backyard is more concrete than campsite. 
Buy it: $17 at Vermont Country Store

Santa Maria Novella Emulsione Alla Citronella
The refined packaging of this lemongrass-and-geranium-peppermint anti-bug emulsion puts bottles of OFF! and Cutter to shame. It works just like a regular bug spray — but why offer guests old-fashioned insect repellent when you could offer anti-bug emulsione
Buy it: $38 at Santa Maria Novella

How to Have a Bug-Free Outdoor Party