The most romantic scents for a home – 5 Valentine's fragrances to set the mood

These five romantic fragrances are perfect for a cozy night in, scent specialists say

A jar candle and tea lights on a bath tray in a dark bathroom
(Image credit: Liudmila Chernetska via Getty Images)

Whether you want to set a romantic mood for date night or create a soothing atmosphere for a self-care night, it is important to pick the right scents or risk ruining the mood. 

From fragrance layering to setting the tone with the best candles, there is little more romantic than a tantalizing fragrance perfectly picked with passion in mind. 

According to scent specialists, these are some of the most romantic scents for a home to help set the mood. 

The most romantic scents for a home

Pairing these romantic scents with the most romantic spring flowers to give on Valentine's Day is a sure way to win over anyone's heart. 

That being said, it is good to ‘remember that fragrance is personal,’ says Karina Alarhadi, CEO and scent expert at Aroma Passions. ‘With your partner’s preferences in mind, build something that addresses the uniqueness of your love story.’

With that in mind, these are the notes to start with when setting the mood. 

1. Awaken the senses with citrus

A white candle in a jar beside a sliced orange

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Citrus scents are often touted as some of the best home fragrances for awakening the senses. For this reason, Ope Dina, founder of Kathari Co, a clean fragrance company, recommends using a fresh scent to create ‘an uplifting and invigorating atmosphere.’ 

She suggests a scent with a heart note of citrus, sensual cardamom, and mature vetiver, ideal for a romantic night in. 

Fleur D'Oranger Reed diffuser and refill | View at Net-A-Porter

Fleur D'Oranger Reed diffuser and refill | View at Net-A-Porter
Diptyque's 'Fleu D'Oranger' reed diffuser and refill captures the scent of a Mediterranean orange grove. With six natural rattan reeds, it's infused with bark, leaves, and citrus notes, which the house describes as "deliciously tart and lightly spiced."

2. Build a beautiful bouquet

A small white candle on a board next to a vase of pink flowers in a white kitchen

(Image credit: Cavan Images via Getty Images)

There is nothing more romantic than a bouquet of flowers, but if you don't have time to wait for plants to infuse subtle scents into your home, then you can build up the fragrance with essential oils, says Samantha Lewis, senior global product manager for essential oils at doTERRA:

‘For a romantic ambiance at home, consider rose oil, embodying the essence of passionate love with its sweet, robust floral fragrance. Alternatively, geranium oil offers a similar floral bouquet at a more affordable price, with a relaxing scent, ideal for setting an intimate atmosphere.’

The best essential oil diffusers make the most of naturally derived essential oils while minimizing the chance of setting off fragrance sensitives.

3. Add some heat with warm undertones

Dried vanilla beans next to a vanilla flower on a wooden table

(Image credit: Diana Miller via Getty Images)

When making a home smell nice for Valentine’s Day, you can’t go wrong with warm, comforting scents that entice you to cuddle up and get close. The easiest way to do this? Vanilla, says Karina Alarhadi, scent expert:

‘Super homey and comforting, vanilla is also alluring and seductive. Scented candles with a vanilla aroma are ideal for creating a cozy atmosphere. Alternatively, try patchouli – its earthy and mystic scent adds depth to any room.’

For a slightly fresher warm tone, Nate Masterson, aromatherapy expert at Maple Holistics, recommends Sandalwood. ‘Sandalwood’s warm, woody, and slightly sweet scent can heighten the romantic atmosphere in a room. It may even help to improve attraction due to its slightly musky scent.’

WoodWick Vanilla Bean Candle | View at Amazon

WoodWick Vanilla Bean Candle | View at Amazon
Woodwick candles don't just smell great, they crackle like a log fire. Perfect for setting a cozy, romantic mood

4. Relax with Ylang Ylang

A yellow ylang ylang flower on a wooden table

(Image credit: maked via Getty Images)

Ultimately, you want to feel relaxed, so try picking something like Ylang Ylang (also a great way to make a bedroom smell good for sleep), says doTERRA Product Manager, Samantha Lewis: 

‘Ylang Ylang essential oil provides a sweet and calming aroma. Used for centuries in wedding ceremonies, it is perfect for deepening your connection with your partner,’ she explains. 

5. Pay homage to romance with rosemary


(Image credit: DuKai photographer via Getty Images)

Rosemary may not be your first thought when thinking up romantic fragrances, but this aromatic herb has a long romantic history, reveals Jennifer Pressimone, aromatherapy expert and founder of JennScents:

‘Rosemary, or Rosmarinus officinalis, is symbolic of love and remembrance. It was commonly used during the Middle Ages at wedding ceremonies as a “love charm” and at funerals as a sign of remembrance. Thus, it is helpful on Valentine's Day for those honoring a lost love.’

Essential oil is a great way to infuse your room with this fresh scent. 


Candle, diffuser, and flowers on a table

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How to scent a space for romance

How you scent your space can have a big impact on the overall mood. Spraying a can of air freshener is not as romantic as lighting several cozy candles, for example.

Hope Freeman, director of fragrance development at Pura suggests that for an all-encompassing scent-scape, you should opt for diffusing romantic scents. ‘Diffusion is a great way to set a mood in your house, as it can run consistently without any thought and provide a full fragrance atmosphere,’ she explains. 

How to create a romantic ambiance at home

The best way to create a romantic ambiance at home is to set the tone with scent and lighting. Lowering the lighting and using natural sources of light, such as candles or a fireplace, is a great way to make the space cozy and relaxing.

Be sure that your home is also clean and tidy too. There is nothing romantic about a pile of clutter and unwashed dishes. 

What is the most romantic scent?

Rose is often argued to be the most romantic scent due to the flower's connotations with romance and love. However, the most romantic scent can be subjective. When setting the mood for you or your partner, consider their favorite scents – working to their preferences shows that you care and are attentive. This can often be far more romantic than sticking to a cliche. 

These romantic scents don’t have to be reserved for date night. They are perfect for making your home smell good all the time and help you relax, too.  

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.