How to make a home smell nice for summer – 6 summery scenting strategies

Welcome in the warmer months with a switch-up in your home fragrance

(Image credit: George Spencer Design)

While you can pick a signature scent for your home, there is something exciting about swapping out your home fragrance for the seasons. It helps to add a little extra detail to your seasonal décor while welcoming in the changes in weather.

Making a home smell nice for summer, for instance, helps us to transition into warm, lounging beach days and away from the brighter cleaning scents of spring fresh starts.

Here, home fragrance experts explain how to make a home smell nice for summer and offer their top scent picks for the warmest season.

How to make a home smell nice for summer

When picking how to make a home smell nice for summer, we might want to transition away from the best candles.

Although burning candles is not a no-go for the summer months, the cozy abience and added warmth mean they are not as well suited to the summer heat. Not to mention that the wax has a habit of melting in heatwaves.

With that in mind, here is what to pick instead.

1. Rely on fresh flowers

A vase full of cut flowers in mixed colours

(Image credit: Getty Images/Clive Nichols)

Few things brighten up a home in summer more than decorating with flowers, begins Darryl Do, Senior Perfumer at Delbia Do Fragrances. The bonus is they lightly and naturally scent your home too, making them ideal for those of us sensitive to strong scents or who want to move away from the chemicals found in traditional candles.

'Summer is here! Windows are open, and air is flowing. Up your scent game with fresh flowers, this gives you an elevated luxury ambiance.'

2. Try a waterless diffuser

Essential oil diffuser

(Image credit: The White Company)

The best oil diffusers can make a big difference to a home in summer, helping to scent a whole room with ease and without the heat from a candle.

'For the best ways to scent a home for summer, I’d recommend a portable waterless diffuser which can be placed wherever needed and uses just oil without the maintenance of a water based diffuser,' explains Andrew Gaugler, founder of the luxury fragrance brand, Aluxury® Collection. 'Additionally, when combined with a citronella-based oil, it’s a great solution to ward off insects whilst enjoying some al fresco dining.'

3. Opt for reed diffusers

A coffee table with a vase of flowers, diffuser, candle and coffee table book

(Image credit: McGee & Co.)

'I’d also recommend reed diffusers,' continues Andrew Gaugler, home fragrance expert. 'Due to the nature of the oils used, the warmer temperatures will allow the oil to become thinner and therefore disperse the fragrance further with a fuller aroma.'

4. Swap candles for wax melts

Someone placing a solid wax melt into a wax melter heated by a lit tealight

(Image credit: Top Drawer)

'For those who still love the ambiance of a flame, consider soy wax melts used in a warmer,' suggests Roxie Lubanovic, candle expert and co-founder of Frostbeard Studio. 'Soy wax produces minimal soot and fills the room with scent without the heat of a traditional candle,' she explains.

Be sure to regularly clean your wax warmer and replace the wax melt for the best results.

5. Go subtle with scent bags

Lavender being spooned into a drawstring bag

(Image credit: Julia Klintsova cia Getty Images)

If you want a more subtle, lingering scent for smaller spaces, such as making a closet smell nice, scent bags are the best option, shares Andrew Gaugler, home fragrance expert:

'Perfect for placing wherever they’re needed throughout the home and removes any danger of being spilled or tipped over… ideal if you have children around. Also, they’re perfect to drop into your suitcase to keep your clothes smelling great and less like a suitcase whilst traveling.'

6. Clean with summer-scented products

amber spray bottles with cleaning sponges and brush in basket

(Image credit: Alamy)

It is easy to light a candle or fill a diffuser, but adding a home fragrance will have very little impact if you do not use some cleaning tips to get rid of musty odors first, reminds Jamila Musayeva an etiquette expert and international lifestyle creator:

'Emphasize cleanliness and ventilation to keep your home smelling nice for the summer. An amazing-smelling home is one that is clean, well-ventilated, and has a well-diffused smell (not too concentrated in one spot).

'A home that is poorly cleaned or dusty will never smell good no matter what diffuser or scented candle you might use,' she warns. 'It is like putting perfume over a sweaty body. Hygiene comes first, and then you can put on a diffuser, incense stick, or light a candle.

'Opening the windows to ventilate the air is also essential for creating a fresh, clean smell at home. Nothing works better at cleaning the bad odor than fresh air.'

Best scents for a home in summer

With your scenting method chosen, you now get to pick your scent. While you could use any fragrance that speaks to you, some expert favorites are ideal for evoking that laid-back summer vibe.

1. Citrus

Marloe Marloe vase with lemons and oranges in

(Image credit: Net-A-Porter)

Citrus, for summer? Groundbreaking.

We joke, of course. There is nothing more refreshing on a hot, humid day than the fresh cutting scent of citrus, and home fragrance expert Andrew Gaugler agrees:

'For the best scents for a home in the summer, I’d recommend anything citrus-based like bergamot, lemon, or grapefruit, and when combined with a woody base note like sandalwood, they create a vibrant but grounding aroma.'

2. Peppermint

Cipres Mint Candle

(Image credit: Homecourt)

Another strikingly refreshing scent for the hottest months is mint, Andrew Gaugler, home fragrance expert continues:

'If you’re looking for a cooling scent, peppermint or eucalyptus can create a sense of fresh air, perfect for those warm, stuffy evenings.'

There are some fantastic mint essential oils, such as from Walmart, available for diffusers, but you could also try growing mint indoors for the authentic scent and easy access to a very versatile kitchen herb.

3. Evoke the seaside

neutral bedroom with coastal bedroom beach view

(Image credit: Lucas Eilers)

There is nothing more summery than the beach, so why not try to evoke that feeling in your home, even if you live miles from the coastline?

'Some of the best scents for summer are those that evoke the freshness and vibrancy of the season. Think ocean breeze, fresh linen, or floral notes,' begins Roxie Lubanovic, candle expert. 'Our "Bookstore" candle, featuring timber and driftwood, brings to mind a coastal bookstore by the sea, perfect for evoking a summer vibe indoors.'


When making a home smell nice for summer, remember that scenting the air is not the only option. Making upholstery smell like spring and summer can also add another layer of scent to make your home feel more luxurious.

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.