Creating a nice-smelling home is an easy way to make things feel more inviting for your household and guests alike, making it top on many homeowners' priority lists. However, when finding tricks to make your home smell nice, we're tired of being advised to light candles, install diffusers, and make air fresheners.
Instead, we've found some creative ways to infuse fragrances into your home with subtle and DIY methods, guaranteed to make your home smell nice.
These lesser-known tricks for making your home smell nice can ensure fragrances stay more permanently embedded in your home with little to no maintenance.
Hidden tricks people with nice smelling homes do
Our experts have shared the top seven hidden hacks homeowners use to make their homes smell great.
1. Scent drawer liners
'Line your drawers with scented liners,' advises Cyble Rizwan at Persimmon Design. 'This small detail embeds your clothing with a pleasant scent and, when you open the drawers, releases a subtle aroma into the room.'
Drawer liners are the perfect way to infuse your furniture with scents, which can also be an excellent trick for making fabrics such as bed linen and towels smell nice, while suppressing odors. This is one of the main things people with nice-smelling entryways do to keep shoe odors in check.
Karina Toner at Spekless Cleaning explains, 'Scented drawer liners are sheets of paper or fabric that are infused with a variety of scents, ranging from floral and herbal to fruity and fresh.'
You can find scented drawer liners such as these Fresh Linen Drawer Liners at Amazon, or line your drawers and closets with paper that you can spray or wipe with a combination of essential oils and water. Test in a small area first and be sure to avoid using oils that may stain fabrics, such as vanilla and cinnamon.
Angela Rubin from Hellamaid suggests, 'Lavender or cedarwood-scented liners are excellent choices as they also act as natural moth repellents.'
Karina is the Operations Manager at Spekless Cleaning, a trusted maid service based in Washington D.C. The team has over five years of experience providing top-quality cleaning services for both residential and commercial clients. Karina oversees every aspect of the business, ensuring that every client gets the same top-notch service and a spotless clean every time.
Hellamaid is an award-winning cleaning company in Canada that's been featured on multiple global media brands.
2. Infuse upholstery with scents
You can create custom-scented decor by infusing your materials and upholstery with subtle scents.
'Consider upholstery and curtains made from fabric infused with your favorite scent. This can be achieved by using scented fabric sprays or working with a professional to integrate scent directly into the fabric,' recommends Cyble Rizwan.
Alternatively, this is something you can easily do yourself with essential oils. This can be especially effective when used on materials that hold scents well. Julio Arco, interior designer and the founder of Bark and Chase advises, 'Consider the use of natural textiles that are great at absorbing scents such as wool, silk, and cotton.'
Muffetta Krueger, founder of Muffetta’s Domestic Assistants says, 'Incorporating essential oils is a widely used technique to infuse pleasant aromas into a home. Mixing a few drops of essential oils like lavender, citrus, or eucalyptus with water in a spray bottle and lightly misting your living areas, upholstery, or linens can instantly uplift the ambiance.' We recommend this Essential Oils Set from Amazon.
Remember, everyone's scent preferences differ, which is why natural and subtle scents will be more comforting and less likely to cause allergies or sensitivities in your guests than stronger and often overpowering chemical fragrances.
Julio Arco is an architect and interior designer with over 10 years of experience in the industry and the founder of Bark and Chase, a Pet-Friendly Design interiors company. Julio has a Bachelor of Architecture from ITESM University and a Masters Degree in Urban Design and Housing from McGill University. He is also a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and a Professor of Architecture at ITESM.
Muffetta Krueger is a cleaning expert and founder of Muffetta’s Domestic Assistants with over 16 years of operational management experience in the service industry. Muffetta’s Domestic Assistants provides housekeepers, house cleaners and maids, and is based in New York.
3. Use scented furniture polish
Your wooden furniture can act as a blank canvas for you to infuse with nice smells to elevate the whole room. First, if your wooden furniture smells musty, you can eliminate any odors by wiping it down with an equal mix of water and vinegar. After letting it air dry, you can use scented furniture polish.
Angela Rubin says, 'Scented furniture polishes can be a game-changer for your home's overall scent. Opt for high-quality, non-toxic polishes infused with pleasant fragrances. By regularly treating your wooden furniture, you can ensure your living space always smells inviting.'
We recommend using this THOMASVILLE Scented Wood Cleaner & Furniture Polish from Amazon.
4. Decorate with scented wallpaper and paint
Why not make your house smell nice from wall to wall and long-term by using scented wallpaper and paint?
Julio Arco says, 'Fragrance-infused paints are a novel and long-lasting method of maintaining a pleasant aroma. For instance, lavender-infused paint not only emits a calming scent but also has the added benefit of being a stress reliever.'
'Scented wallpaper is also an innovative way to infuse fragrance into your home decor,' adds Angela Rubin. 'Consider using it in bedrooms, bathrooms, or any space where you'd like to create a specific atmosphere. Floral or herbal scents can enhance the room's character.'
5. Incorporate fresh plants
'People with nice smelling homes use natural air fresheners instead of relying on artificial scents that can be overpowering or toxic,' says Jacky Chou, principal and director at Archute. 'Opt for natural sources of fragrance, such as plants, flowers, herbs, spices, citrus peels, or essential oils.'
Ritika Asrani, founder of St Maarten Real Estate advises, 'Not only do they add a natural element to your decor, but they also release a gentle fragrance. A strategically placed herb garden in your kitchen or living room will not only enhance aesthetics, it will also release delightful fragrances into the air, creating a sensory experience for everyone who enters your home.'
Jacky Chou warns, 'Change them regularly to keep the scent fresh and avoid mold or bacteria growth.'
Jacky Chou is the Principal and Director at Archute, an editorial magazine about architecture, home and garden. They have been referenced by The New York Times, Bustle, House & Home, Bloomberg, and Angi. Jacky also his own an online interior design company as well called Laurel & Wolf.
6. Create homemade scented drawer and closet sachets
'Crafting your own potpourri or scented sachets with dried flowers, herbs, and spices is a creative way to add fragrance,' advises Ralph Abundo, director of Canberra Bond Cleaning. 'These can be placed in drawers, closets, or around the home for a natural scent boost, meaning every time you use them, there's a gentle release of this fragrance.' Consider using scents like rosemary, cedarwood, mint and lavender.
Lavender sachets are a popular option that many homeowners make from the lavender in their back yard. 'DIY lavender drawer sachets are a charming and cost-effective solution,' says Angela Rubin. 'Simply fill small cloth bags with dried lavender buds and place them in drawers or closets. These sachets not only emit a delightful scent but also add a touch of charm to your storage spaces.'
Ralph Abundo is the Director of Canberra Bond Cleaning. They understand the importance of clean, working appliances. Their bond-back cleaning services include deep degreasing and sanitizing ovens to meet lease-end inspection standards.
7. Clean with carpet freshener
Jacky Chou advises, 'Baking soda is a natural deodorizer capable of absorbing and eliminating odors without adding any scent.'
Karina Toner suggests making homemade carpet powder to eliminate odors while simultaneously infusing your carpets with a signature scent. 'Mix baking soda with a few drops of essential oil, sprinkle it on carpets, let it sit, and then vacuum it up for fresh-smelling carpets.'
You could also consider this Scented Steam Mop from Amazon to infuse fragrances while cleaning.
How to create an aromatherapy nook?
'A dedicated aromatherapy nook is a trend that many interior designers have found to be highly effective,' shares Rich Mullins, interior design expert and founder at H2O Plumbing. 'To create your dedicated aromatherapy nook, carve out a cozy corner in your bedroom where you can place essential oil diffusers. Experiment with scents like eucalyptus or citrus to promote relaxation and a refreshing ambiance.'
What are other subtle ways to make your home smell nice?
Other hidden ways to make your home smell nice include installing air fresheners in discrete locations such as behind furniture that you periodically refresh in order to keep a consistent aroma.
You can also use candle warmers instead of burning candles. 'This eliminates the risk of open flames and ensures a consistent release of fragrance from your favorite scented candles,' advises Cyble Rizwan at Persimmon Design.
A fun way that people with nice smelling homes rotate the scents in their home is by 'Changing their home's fragrance with the seasons. For example, use warm, spicy scents like cinnamon and cloves in the fall and fresh, floral scents like citrus and lavender in the spring,' advises Prerna Jain, owner of Ministry of Cleaning.
Jacky Chou reminds us, 'People with nice smelling homes create a signature scent for their home. They choose a scent that reflects their personality, mood, or style and use it consistently throughout their home. They can also combine different scents to create their own unique blend.' Just be mindful when layering fragrances that the scents you choose complement each other and don't become overwhelming.
Fantastic Service's house cleaning expert and supervisor Petya Holevich provides two final hidden tips for making your home smell nice: 'If you love the smell of vanilla, there are two great ways to use it to help make your fridge smell better. You can wipe its interior with a bit of vanilla extract on a paper towel. This will help neutralize bad odors.
'Alternatively, a simpler way to make your kitchen smell nice is to use essential oils. Soak a cotton ball in about 15 drops of essential oil, put it in a tiny bowl and place it anywhere in your kitchen. It’ll help freshen up the space and gently disperse any bad smell. You can use this trick in any other room around the house, not only the kitchen.'
Shop my favorite candles
Savory, fresh, and green, this is the perfect candle to gift. It works for all ages and all genders. When I used mine, it lasted over 50 hours, which is one of the best burn times that I've experienced. As an earthy candle, I would recommend it for the daytime and, if you want to layer it, I'd buy Loewe's cucumber candle. It sounds like I'm making a salad, but the aquatic notes of cucumber would balance the warm green notes in tomato leaf really nicely.
As the stronger candle, you won't need to burn honeysuckle as much as tomato leaf, so it'll likely last you longer. Keep that in mind though, because white florals can become overpowering, especially if they aren't your favorites. You will need the whole household to agree that they like it.
Whilst both this and the tomato leaf seem like summer scents, I'd pair this with a cedarwood candle in the winter to give an intoxicating, sweet and woody room scent.
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Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past five years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including recipe articles, reviewing products, writing ‘how to’ and ‘when to’ articles. Lola now writes about everything from organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate student, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.
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