Chill vibes ahead — natural ways to scent your home

Au naturale, bby

Diffuser and amber glass spray bottle on pastel background
(Image credit: Future)

One simple way to create a welcoming and cozy home is by making sure it smells nice. There’s just something that’s so comforting about walking through your front door to be greeted by your home’s signature scent. It provides a specific ambiance that can provoke feelings of relaxation and safety, and it’s a nice way to impress any guests.  

However, between day-to-day life, hosting festivities, and cooking meals in your space, the way things smell can get a bit musty. If you’re in need of a little scent upgrade, these natural ideas will not only help you set the mood but they’ll also keep everything smelling fresh over time.


♬ original sound - Elnaz Hamai

1) DIY Room Spray

Having your own room spray prepared and ready to use is always a good idea. It can come in handy whenever you’re in a pinch and you want to freshen up your house quickly (like when last-minute guests stop by). Just mist it around your space whenever things need a boost.

One major pro to this method is that you can make your own spray with just a handful of ingredients like witch hazel, water, and essential oils. Lemon, clove, and lavender essential oils are all particularly good choices for large spaces. The fragrance will be light enough that it’s not overpowering, yet strong enough to make an impact.

Keep your room spray in a refillable glass bottle and store it inside a linen closet or with your cleaning supplies so it’s always within reach. This also makes a great hostess or housewarming gift!

2) Essential Oil

Speaking of essential oils, they’re perfect for scenting a room on their own. Since some oils can be quite strong, it’s best to use diffusers in spaces that are on the larger size, or even those that have high ceilings. Rose, geranium, and orange are three popular options if you enjoy sweet and light scents. You’ll love getting into the habit of starting your diffuser to unwind at the end of each day. Plus, they look so cute when set on an entryway table or nightstand. 

3) Incense

Burning incense might feel a little woo-woo, but it’s an effective way to distribute a substantial scent throughout your house. This is an ideal option for spaces that have smells that are tough to get rid of, or simply just for homes that are large. The vibe of burning incense is also very vacation-like, meaning you can kick back and relax as if you're on a tropical getaway. 

4) Baking Soda

Baking soda is a household staple that’s a natural deodorizer, meaning you can use it just about anywhere to mask unwanted scents. Place it in your fridge to combat the scent of your day-old takeout or set it near your trash can to counteract any strong smells. You can even make your own baking soda spray by combining a small amount of it with water.  

5) Plants

Fresh florals are a no-brainer when it comes to adding a pleasant scent to your abode. Pick up a bunch of your favorite flowers on your weekly grocery run, or invest in some house plants that can recirculate and clean the air in your house. 

6) Candles

Burning a candle is perhaps the most common way to add a clean fragrance to your house, but not all candles are created equal. There are certain ingredients that are safer to burn than others, so you want to be mindful of which candles you’re lighting

Look for brands that are made with 100% soy, bee, or coconut wax rather than paraffin wax. Beware of candles that note that they use a soy wax blend — this means that they can contain other types of wax that might not be healthy for you to breathe.

7) Linen Sachets

Add a calming aroma to your drawers and closet by placing linen sachets inside of them. If you aren’t familiar with these little accessories, they’re simply small pieces of cloth that contain herbs, potpourri, and aromatic ingredients. When set inside a drawer or near clothing, the scents cling to nearby fabric. 

8) Lemon

One tried-and-true trick that has stood the test of time is adding lemon peels to your garbage disposal before running it. We all know that the kitchen can become a particularly smelly place, and that the sink is subject to a large variety of gunk. Keep things odor-free by tossing a lemon peel (or even just a chunk of lemon) down your disposal. Take things a step further and disinfect the sink by adding white vinegar and baking soda.  

9) Stovetop Potpourri   

Highly popular during the holiday season, whipping up a stovetop potpourri can send a wide blend of scents throughout your house. Whether you’re looking for a festive and fragrant mix or you want something that just smells crisp and clean, there are tons of DIY recipes out there. 

10) Open your windows 

It doesn’t get more simple than this. Sometimes a whiff of fresh air is all you need to reset and clear the energy in your space. When the weather is warm, crack open your windows or sliding doors so you can filter out stale air and let in the crisp and cool scent of the outside world. The little things can really make the biggest difference. 

Kara Thompson

About me: 

Kara Thompson is a Denver-based journalist with over five years of experience writing lifestyle content. She has written for a variety of publications, including,,, and Parents, where she covered all things home, food, fashion, travel, and holidays. During her time on staff at Parents, Kara launched her own home decor and organization column named Save My Space. In 2022, she left her full-time job as an editor and started her own writing, editing, and social media firm, Kara Thompson and Co.

Tennis, New York City, bourbon cocktails, and her sister's German Shepherd are a few of her favorite things.