How to Make Your Home Smell Amazing

Make family members and guests fall in love with your pleasant-smelling home.

Updated on June 23, 2017 20:06 pm

Samantha Echavez


When we step inside a posh hotel, we are immediately swept away by the luxuriously fragrant scent. It seduces our senses and puts us in a relaxed (and holiday-ready) mood. Now wouldn't you want your home to smell as amazing? It's possible, you know.

Here are ways to do that:

Eliminate unpleasant odours. The first cardinal rule to turning your home into a fragrant haven is dealing with the odours, like mildewy towels, cat litter, and the stench that comes from garbage. "The simplest trick is to simply open a window or door and let some fresh air in, especially when the weather is nice. Sunlight also helps kill smells, so let some light in when it’s sunny out," says Emilie Barnes, author of Emilie's Creative Home Organiser.

  • Post-cooking, turn the exhaust fan on and open your kitchen windows.
  • Always use a liner in your trash can.
  • Wash indoor garbage cans with soap and hot water.
  • Place coffee grounds in the bottom of the trash can to neutralise the smell. They're also used to expel odours inside the fridge.
  • Sprinkle baking soda over your smelly rug, then vacuum after 30 minutes.
  • Mix dried tea leaves into the litter box to eliminate odours.
  • Always hang the towel immediately after using it to air it out (and wash it frequently to remove stubborn bacteria).
  • Get rid of odours the natural way.

Bring out the candles. "Scent is the ultimate home accessory," says Chris Wyatt of Jo Malone, a UK-based fragrance company. "A candle can make a house a home by creating a signature scent and give a lasting impression to your guests." The key is to get one which has a powering scent even when unlit.

  • Choose a citrusy scent for your kitchen, lavender for your bedroom, jasmine or eucalyptus in your bathroom, and any light or airy fragrance for the living room.
  • Trim the wick to prevent the blackening of the glass, and place it at the center every time you extinguish the candle.
  • You can also keep candles and not light them. Place them in unexpected places like linen closets.
  • Consider switching to organic candles like soy or beeswax.
  • You can also make your own.


Indulge in essential oils. "If you do like a fragrance in your home, choose products made entirely from essential oils. Look for a product made only with 100 percent essential-oil fragrance," says Kimberly Button, author of The Everything Guide to a Healthy Home. "Essential oils are highly concentrated aromatic essences that come directly from plants. The liquids are 75 to 100 times more concentrated than the oils found in dried herbs."


  • Make your own air freshener. "Simply pick a fragrance, or a combination thereof, and add 8 to 10 drops to a spray bottle of water. Spray throughout your home or wherever you need odor control," says Button. Before spritzing on pillows or sofa, do a patch test first because it might damage fabrics or upholstery.
  • Freshen your bathroom. A tip from Amanda Thomas of Domestic CEO: "Just squeeze a drop or two of your favorite scented essential oil inside the toilet paper roll before putting it on the holder. Every time you roll the paper you will release the fresh scent of the oil into the bathroom."
  • Soak cotton balls with citrus oils like lemon or orange and strategically place them in cupboards.
  • Other essential oils that make your home smell so good: mint, peppermint, citronella, eucalyptus, clove, and penny royal.
  • You can also combine a cup of baking soda with 5 to 6 drops of your favourite essential oil. Spritz the mixture on rug or carpet to deodorise.
  • Place essential oil diffusers in small spaces like bathrooms.

Explore eco-friendly options. "There is nothing wrong with wanting a pleasantly scented home," says Button. But she warns about artificial air fresheners like "plug-in units (with or without a night-light), sprays, sneaker balls, hanging deodorisers." For your peace of mind and everyone's good health, consider making DIY sprays and potpourris.

  • Simmer a pot of water with cinnamon sticks and vanilla. Let the scent waft in the air. Check out other simmering potpourri recipes here.
  • Make a homemade lemon spray. Dissolve 1/8 cup baking soda into two cups of hot water. Add 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Pour into a spray bottle, shake it up, and spray.


Quick tips:

  • Display fancy-wrapped scented soaps on your vanity.
  • Guests coming over? Bake brownies or cookies. The delicious scent will permeate around the house and tease your guests' senses.
  • Indoor plants also bring in wonderful scents.
  • Hang three or four tea bags on the back of your bathroom door.
  • Use lemon to clean your surfaces. You will absolutely love the citrusy and fresh scent.
  • Barnes recommends fake baking. "Sprinkle some cinnamon on a pan and warm it on the stove. But you’d better make sure you have some food on hand. This tends to make everyone hungry."
  • Even your fridge can smell amazing. Cut an orange in half, remove the orange sections and pulp, then fill the shell halfway with salt. Place it in a small bowl and put it in the back of the fridge.

Share your secrets to having a sweet-smelling home. Email us at

Cover photo courtesy of Home-Designing


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