Home fragrance will give any room in your house an instant uplift. Whether you're fond of bold florals, quiet woods, or more unusual home fragrances, we've got something for everyone on our list, which includes candles and reed diffusers.
All the room fragrances in our buyer's guide have been tried and tested by us, so we know (pretty much) everything about them. From how long they last, to what size room they suit best, – we've featured home fragrances that will work well in any temperature and at time of year – you'll be able to enjoy these candles and diffusers in all seasons.
For more home freshening advice, buys, hacks and finds, go to our cleaning hub page.
The best home scents
This True Grace candle is the king of fig home scents, of which there are many on the market. Do note that because it's so exceptionally popular, it's currently sold out, but more stock is coming.
The scent has depth and complexity, thanks to the woody base and the addition of rose, while still smelling recognisably of ripe figs.
Packed in a brown branded box to make a lovely gift, the aroma is poured into a handmade brown-tinted branded glass jar, ready to burn.
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The jar could be a little prettier. We're mad on the scent, but not so much the look. This fragrance is also on the heavy side, though, so avoid burning it in small rooms.
Skadinavisk make perfect home scents for lovers of all things Scandi, which is to say light, airy, and not too loud.
The Skadinavisk Hygge reed diffuser features notes of tea and baked strawberry cake, rose petals and wild mint. Never oppressive, this fragrance is the perfect choice for anyone who likes a home scent that is subtly present in the background, rather than obvious.
Packed in a matching box to the glass diffuser jar, this is a product we definitely wouldn't mind displaying on our shelves. The opaque glass bottles feature miniature white symbols painted on them as well as the logo, and it comes with eight diffuser sticks.
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Those with big homes/rooms may not benefit from the subtle smell of this room fragrance. However, you could just use more diffuser sticks. It's a little pricey, too.
Cire Trudon are something of a legend in the world of scented candles. Hand-poured into opulent Italian green glass vessels, their home fragrances are perfectly balanced and complex.
Our favourite scent is Ernesto, which smells like pipe tobacco and booze, and leather armchairs. Papa Hemingway would've been proud.
Packaged lovely in a light blue box, the candle sits in a hand-blown glass case which features a signature gold emblem. We can tell you now that it looks as good as it smells.
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We love every.single.other.thing than the price tag!
The Rosso Nobile by Dr Vranjes is described by the brand as 'the scent of finest Tuscan wines'. In reality, this diffuser is a delicious (and surprisingly non-sickly) blend of red fruits and berries.
Think of the finest strawberry jam being made and ripe plums scattered around your home.
Delivered in a nice classy box and encased in a brown tall bottle, the design of this bottle isn't for everyone, but that doesn't mean it isn't elegant.
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Full disclaimer: those who were hoping for a realistic rendition of the scent of wine will be disappointed.
The Clementine and Prosecco candle from Heyland & Whittle does exactly what it says: it fills your home with the celebratory scent of freshly peeled clementines and bubbly. It's also made from clean burning soy wax and is environmentally-friendly.
The only way to describe the scent of this is as light, zesty and fruity. It definitely fills a room.
Beautifully boxed to make the perfect gift, the Heyland & Whittle Clementine Prosecco Candle sits in a cream patterned glass vessel which features the logo. As the wax burns away it reveals an etched glass pattern. Fun.
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It doesn't have amazing complexity, or longevity.
Think most rose-based home fragrances smell dusty and unrealistic, and nothing like real roses? We're with you. The freshness of a rose is very difficult to get right in scent; Diptyque have nailed it, though, by blending this rose with blackcurrant leaves.
The Baies candle has a floral scent that's fresh and zesty, and not one bit old-fashioned.
Although we love the product, the packaging is pretty basic from Diptyque. The scent sits in a plain glass jar and has the logo in a sticker on the jar.
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We have found Baies, as all other Diptyque candles, to be rather strong, so it's best to start with the smaller size. It also doesn't tend to last very long in comparison to other candles.
One of Jo Malone's most successful fragrances, the mysterious and moody Pomegranate Noir is now available in both candle and diffuser format.
The secret of this scent is its spicy, slightly edgy woody base (hence the 'noir'), which grounds the composition, preventing it from ever turning sweet.
This reed diffuser arrives in a classy black box and the liquid sits in a glass vessel. It also comes with 10 reed diffusers. It would make the perfect gift, we think.
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This is expensive, and not very large for how much you're paying, so we recommend using this sparingly, preferably in a smaller room.
What is the best home scent that will seamlessly and deliciously blend in with the scent of fresh laundry, or with the wholesome smells of food prep in the kitchen? Enter The White Company Wild Mint Diffuser. One of The White Company's longest standing home fragrances, it's earned its place in our buyer's guide through years of continuous use and repurchasing.
The Wild Mint smell of this diffuser is not as minty as you'd expect, thanks to the sweet and vivacious tea note. We think that the result is the perfect abstract 'clean' fragrance: exactly how you want an airy kitchen to smell.
The White Company have changed and changed the packaging of their home fragrance range over the years, and the latest iteration is a simple and minimalist clear glass bottle. It's nothing special, but we somewhat prefer it to the clunky opaque packaging of a few years ago.
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This fragrance used to come in a spray version, which was very useful as a room freshener for bathrooms. Please bring it back, The White Company!
If ever the title of a home fragrance corresponded exactly to the effect it creates, then this is it. Happiness in a candle? It's not just a marketing ploy. This all-natural room fragrance by Neom Organics smells absolutely amazing, and is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
A sparkly, sunny neroli blossom; we can't really smell any mimosa here, and the lemon is in the background rather than dominant. What we really like about this fragrance is that it's very different from most natural or spa-inspired products out there, which usually smell of lavender. This smells strong and distinctive, and not at all herbal.
Simple but effective glass with a sticker. It's not particularly interesting, but when the scent is this good, it doesn't really matter.
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Obviously, if you don't like neroli, steer clear, as it's the dominant note, and it's very, very strong. However, if you're a fan of orange blossom based fragrances (or even just white florals), you will be in heaven, we promise.
If you're a fan of This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, you'll know what this candle smells like – like relaxing heaven. All natural wax, no paraffin.
While the notes don't sound all that promising, just lavender and chamomile, this candle smells potent! Roman chamomile has a fruitier smell than German chamomile, and it works brilliantly in this candle.
Minimalist, white glass that has a pleasant glow when the candle is lit.
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The only drawback is that just as you've relaxed and are about to doze off, you'll have to remember to put the candle out.
What is the best scent for a home?
What is the best scent for a bedroom?
Our top home scents for the bedroom are – the Skadinavisk Hygge reed diffuser, the Dr Vranjes Rosso Nobile room diffuser, and the Diptyque Baies Scented Candle.
We think that the best home scent you can buy is the True Grace Manor Classic Candle Fig. However, if you're after something less figgy, opt for our second pick, the subtle Skadinavisk Hygge reed diffuser. Read more on both below.
How to choose the best scent for different rooms in the house
Of course, fragrance is very subjective, and if you like what you like and it's working for you, rules really don't matter. But if you're not sure which home fragrance will suit which rooms, there are a few general rules that can help you make the right choice.
Living rooms: The living room is usually the largest room in the house and can take a strong fragrance. Bold florals, rich amber-based or woody-smoky fragrances, and sweet scents, for those with a sweet tooth, can all travel beautifully across a living room. We'd avoid anything herbal or overly subtle, as you probably won't be able to smell it much.
Bedrooms: Choosing a scent for a bedroom is all about making sure you won't disrupt your sleep with an overly strong or stimulating fragrance. Avoid citruses or cloyingly sweet scents; we recommend subtly blended white florals, minimalist scents with tea notes, or herbal room fragrances with lavender or chamomile.
Kitchens: The best room fragrance for a kitchen will blend perfectly with the smells of food being prepared, so it's always a good idea to pick something that harmonises with those smells. Notes of tomato, passion fruit, basil, citrus, or mint all work really well in kitchens.
Bathrooms: This is your wild card of a room that can accommodate almost any fragrance, strong or subtle – it's all about preference. For our money, though, bathrooms really come alive with a fruity and slightly tangy fragrance in them – think berry or rhubarb notes.
Hallways: The hallway announces what your home is like to guests, so why not go for a bit of bombast? Opulent white florals, rose scents, or complex woody fragrances will make a strong first impression.
Home office: A home office fragrance needs to help you be productive, without being too distracting. Bright citruses will help you stay awake and concentrate, while a grounded fragrance with notes of amber or tobacco will conjure up a calm and controlled atmosphere.
How to buy the best home fragrance
Quick links to buy the best home fragrance
Choose quality candles
Not all home fragrances are created equal. We advise against very cheap scented candles, as they're often simply wax with a bit of fragrance on top. Look for properly hand-poured candles that will have the fragrance layered into them. The quality of the wax also matters; the better the wax, the longer your candle will last you.
Reed diffusers are another popular option, and great if you want more control over how strong the scent will be, or have concerns about the safety of burning candles.