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Decorating Your Home with Scent

How important is scent in your home? It is important enough that successful real estate agents go out of their way to make an impression with scent when selling a home. They know what your guests know: when you first walk into a space, you probably notice the scent inside before you notice the décor. This means that the scent of your home is what guests notice first – before they notice your unique style choices.


If you want to decorate with scent, you’ll have another advantage as well: many of the things that make your home smell great can also be used to make your space look great, too. Here are a few ideas:

1) Get rid of nasty odors.

Before you start introducing tantalizing scents into your home, you want to make sure that they are not warring with existing bad odors. This can especially be a problem if you have pets. Thorough, careful cleaning and good ventilation are the best strategies for making your home smell fresh. If it has been a while since your house or apartment last received a thorough scrubbing, check out the Ask Anna blog checklist for spring cleaning (the list can be found here). It will get your home very clean in no time. If you need more information and tips for keeping your space fresh and clean, the FlyLady blog here is also packed with advice.

2) Use scented candles.

Once your home is clean, you can start adding perfumes and scents. One of the best ways to do this is with scented candles. These can be quite elaborate and beautiful and can add a very rich scent to your living room, bedroom, and other rooms of the home.

If you decide on scented candles, keep in mind that you will need to shop carefully. Imported candles can contain lead, according to some reports, and inexpensive candles tend to have very weak fragrances. You will need to spend a little more on natural soy candles that have plenty of scent, but some of these candles last for 40-60 hours, so the added expense makes it worthwhile.


You can group candles together on mantels or tables. They also look great on trays, large shells, decorative plates, or even flat mirrors. Try a few arrangements to see what works. Just be sure that your candles are placed far from curtains, dry flowers, and anything else that may be flammable. Never leave burning candles unattended.

3) Invest in diffusers.

If you have pets, children, or are worried that you may forget about candles and cause a house fire, diffusers are a great option. Diffusers are usually decorative vases in which you can place oil and some reeds. The reeds absorb the fragrant oil, filling the entire room with scent. Best of all, many diffusers are quite decorative and look as beautiful as a vase of flowers.

Here's the diffuser and the flowers on the window sill in the kitchen.

4) Make your own room sprays.

You can buy room sprays and plug-in fragrances for your home, but these tend to be filled with chemicals in many cases. If you would like an alternative, make your own customized room sprays. Buy an attractive spray bottle and fill it with purified water. Add a few drops of essential oils from your health store. If you want to create a warm atmosphere in your home, try woodsier scents and heavier scents. If you would like to feel invigorated, try a few drops of rosemary or lemongrass. Universally pleasing scents such as rose and lavender can be soothing. You can also experiment and create your own combinations of scents. If you are curious about trying different combinations of essential oils, this site contains recipes for room fresheners

5) Create your own sachets.

Making your own potpourri is more of a commitment than making room spray, but it allows you even more decorating options. You can create sachets that match or compliment the fabrics in your home. Small sachets are also very flexible — you can hang them from the backs of doors or arrange them in a decorative plate in the bedroom. You can sew specialty pillows that have a special pouch for sachets or you can make slightly larger sachets that double as cushions. You can find out more about making your own sachets on this site.


6) Add fresh cut flowers or plants to your home.

Fresh and cut plants will add a very subtle fragrance to your home as well as a splash of beauty. Look for unique vases and group flowers near a sunny spot for the best effect. If you want year-round fragrance and color, look for flowers such as roses, freesias, and gardenias, which produce plenty of fragrance and look beautiful. Scented geraniums are simpler plants, but give off wonderful fragrance and come in scents such as chocolate, roses, and more. A citronella scented germanium not only smells great, but can also keep mosquitoes and other insects away.


When you decorate your home, decorating with all senses (including your sense of smell) ensures a cozier home. Decorating with candles, diffusers, sachets, flowers, and other fragrance-rich options also ensures your home is beautiful as well as sweet-smelling.