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How To | Feb 19, 2020

How to Make Your Home Smell Great

How ToFeb 19, 2020

How to Make Your Home Smell Great

The way your home smells plays a significant role in how you (and your guests) feel when inside it—after all, scent is often considered our most powerful sense. A beautifully scented home will do wonders for your mood and energy level, while a less-than-fresh space may leave you feeling uncomfortable and unsettled. If your home is in need of a scent refresh, no worries—we’ve gathered our favorite ways to make any space smell great in a flash:

Clean Up

First, tackle any sources of unpleasant odors—that means regularly cleaning out things like garbage cans, litter boxes, refrigerators, diaper pails, and garbage disposals. Also, make sure you regularly launder pet beds. If any room is too laden with moisture, add a dehumidifier. 

Open Windows

If the weather allows, fling open a window for a while to let in some fresh air. Better yet, open windows on opposite sides of your home to create a cross breeze. Even if it’s freezing outside, cracking a window for a few minutes can make a huge difference in how your home smells.

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Light scented candles

Scented candles are a great way to make your home smell wonderful, and also to create a sense of coziness and ambience. Check out our soy candle collection for a number of options, including one that smells like a sunlit rose garden (mmmmm).

Diffuse essential oils

We prefer the subtlety of natural essential oils to synthetic store-bought air fresheners. Try peppermint to boost your energy, lavender to relieve stress, or lemon to promote concentration. As an added bonus, a diffuser can make for a gorgeous decorative accessory.

Use baking soda

Baking soda works miracles on highly absorbent areas like rugs and carpets. Sprinkle some of that magic dust on your carpet and let it sit for at least 15 minutes before vacuuming as usual. You can also create your own all-natural air-freshening spray by mixing 2 cups of water in a spray bottle with a teaspoon of white vinegar and a teaspoon of baking soda.

Try coffee grinds

Coffee grinds are a great natural odor-neutralizer. Set out an open container or bowl of coffee grinds (not beans) and let it absorb any unpleasant smells. Make sure you replace the grinds every couple of weeks or so. 

Bake something delicious

There’s a reason realtors use this trick when welcoming potential buyers to an open house—it really works. A cozy ritual for a relaxed weekend morning, or if you’re having friends over, is to bake something that will fill your home with a warm, inviting scent, like cookies. If you’re running short on time, ready-made cookie dough will do the trick. You can also drop a spoonful or two of vanilla extract into an oven-safe dish and bake at 300 degrees F for an hour.

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Display fresh flowers and plants

Plants are scientifically proven air purifiers, and can even help you sleep better. Not only are they a great chemical-free way to help your home smell nice, they also look lovely. A vase of fresh flowers, like roses, is also a nice touch, especially if you’re expecting guests.

Simmer spices on the stove

Keep a pot of something spicy, partially covered, on a low simmer on the stovetop. You can use either a pre-prepared potpourri, or make your own concoction. We’re particular fans of orange peels with cinnamon and cloves. Or if you’re having a party, consider mulling some wine!

Luckily, when it comes to making your home smell great, so many options abound! Try one or more of these ideas, then sit back and soak up all the good vibes (and all the compliments you’re guaranteed to get).


Kamala Nair is a London-based writer. Her work has appeared in 1stdibs Introspective, Luxe Interiors + Design and architecturaldigest.com, among other publications. Read an excerpt of her debut novel, The Girl in the Garden (Grand Central Publishing, 2011) here: kamalanair.com.

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