The best home fragrance: by scent and room

These beautiful home fragrances will give your space an instant and effortless update. From reed diffusers to candles and room sprays...

Best home fragrance: The White Company Spa Retreat collection
(Image credit: The White Company)

Searching for a new home fragrance, whether that be in the form of a reed diffuser or candle, to make your home smell the part as well as look the part? There are plenty of lovely-smelling suggestions in our guide below. 

Not just for masking odours, these buys can also be used to create a lovely atmosphere in your living room, bedroom, hallway, kitchen or even bathroom. And, we are here to help you decide which one is best for your home, based on where you are going to put it and which scents you like.

We've been testing a range of home fragrance buys from reed diffusers to candles and we've popped our favourites below. First up are our top picks by scent – we are talking herbal, floral, woody and more. Then, keep scrolling for the best buys by room. Use the links on the left to jump to home fragrance buys by section, or just keep scrolling. At the bottom of this page you will find lots of info on how to choose the best home fragrance, too.

Don't miss our specific buying guides – the best candles and the best reed diffusers.

The best home fragrance buys

We have listed our favourite home fragrances by scent first, then we have gone on to list the best home fragrances by room. 

The best home fragrance by scent

Best home fragrance: The White Company Geranium Leaf CandleReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: The White Company)

The White Company Geranium Leaf Candle

The best herbal home scent

Size: 210g
Notes: Geranium, peppermint & sicilian orange

Searching for a fresh home fragrance? This Geranium Leaf candle should be in your home – it's uplighting and anything but subtle. A unique blend of citrus with herbs and fruits, it's also powerful enough to rid your home of any smells. Place it in a kitchen or bathroom, or even hallway for the best results.

Poured inside a ceramic vessel that arrives complete with a lid, we think this candle would look the part in a kitchen or bathroom in particular. It also arrives inside a box, in case you want to give it as a gift to someone special.

With immediate notes of geranium, hence the name, as well as peppermint and Sicilian orange, there are also very subtle notes of lavender in this candle. 

Good to know
The same goes for all The White Company candles – they are filled in the UK using high-quality wax. Be aware that this candle can be overpowering if lit in a smaller room.

Best home fragrance: Skandinavisk Rosenhave scented candleReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Skandinavisk)

Skandinavisk Rosenhave scented candle

The best floral home scent

Size: 200g
Notes: Alba rose, elderflower, blackcurrant buds and lily of the valley

If you prefer floral scents but you aren't a fan of anything overpowering then this Skandinavisk candle is your top pick. It looks the part and smells the part, with a very impressive burn time of 50 hours. This candle, the Ronsenhave translates from Danish as 'rose garden', of which are seen as precious places in Nordic countries.

This candle arrives presented in a box, and it has a wooden lid for preserving the smell. This lid is loose and you can pop it under the candle after lighting. The glass vessel definitely looks the part and would be a lovely addition to Skandi-style homes. Since this candle boasts a floral smell, its glass vessel is a pastel pink colour. With a decorative yet muted pattern, it would look lovely anywhere – in a bedroom, living room or hallway.

This candle has notes of Alba rose, elderflower, blackcurrant buds and lily of the valley. It's pretty much your ultimate spring-summer candle, without being too similar to other floral candles we have tried. What we love the most about it is how it doesn't give you a headache – it's perfectly subtle yet nice and fragrant.

Good to know
Skandinavisk candles are natural and organic, as well as vegan and cruelty-free. They are also made with Swedish rapeseed wax. They come wrapped in FSC-certified packaging and any plastic that comes with is made from plants.

Best home fragrance: Yankee candle of the year 2021 - discoveryReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Yankee)

Yankee Candle Discovery Candle

The best fruity home fragrance

Size: 623g
Notes: Starfruit, mango, passionfruit, vanilla and ginger

Yankee Candle's Scent of the Year for 2021 is named Discovery, and after lighting it in our home for some time we rate this as the best fruity home fragrance you can buy. It's unlike any other fruity candle we've smelt, with notes of starfruit and vanilla and ginger for good balance.

Poured into a large glass vessel, this candle comes with a pink lid and the jar itself features a decorative design. It's definitely pretty enough to go on display.

This fruity candle is perfect for lighting in spring or summer – it's vibrant and fragrant. With fruity notes of starfruit, passionfruit and mango, balanced with vanilla and also ginger to give it a kick. 

Good to know
It's a tad powerful, so you may want to light it in a larger bedroom. Also, it's very large and should burn for a total of 110 hours. This candle isn't available to buy until the 21st March – aka International Fragrance Day.

Best home fragrance: True Grace Manor Classic Candle Fig

True Grace Manor Classic Candle Fig

The best fig home fragrance

Size: 190g
Notes: Fig, rose, cedar

This True Grace candle is the king of fig home scents, of which there are many on the market. It also has an impressive burn time of 40 hours.

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. 

Good to know
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. 

Best home fragrance: Neom Organics Happiness candle

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Neom Happiness candle

The best fresh home fragrance

Size: 75g, 185g
Notes: Mimosa, neroli, lemon

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.

Good to know
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.

Best home fragrance: Skadinavisk Hygge reed diffuser

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

Skadinavisk Hygge reed diffuser

The best sweet home fragrance

Size: 200ml
Notes: tea, strawberry, rose petals, wild mint

Skadinavisk make perfect home scents for lovers of all things Scandi, which is to say light, airy, and not too loud. This reed diffuser in particular is lovely, and it will last in your home for at least three months.

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.

Good to know
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.

Best home fragrance: Baies candle Diptyque

(Image credit: Dyptique)

Diptyque Baies Scented Candle

The best rose home fragrance

Size: 70g, 190g
Notes: Rose, blackcurrant

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.

Good to know
We have found Baies, like 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. 

Best home fragrance: Cire Trudon Ernesto candle

(Image credit: Cire Trudon)

Cire Trudon Ernesto Scented Candle

The best woody home fragrance

Size: 270g
Notes: Tobacco, bergamot, labdanum, amber, leather

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. That and they are extremely long-lasting, too.

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.

Good to know
We love every.single.other.thing than the price tag! We should mention, though, that it's not for the faint of heart.

Best home fragrance: Esteban Neroli Decorative Scent Diffuser 250ml

(Image credit: Esteban)

Esteban Neroli Decorative Scent Diffuser

The best citrus home fragrance

Size: 250ml
Notes: Blackcurrant, bergamot, neroli, jasmine, patchouli

If you are on the hunt for a reed diffuser for your home and are especially keen on citrus notes, then this neroli diffuser is the one for you. With its statement jar and relaxing scent, it's perfect for placing almost anywhere – the smell really does fill the room.

Beginning with zesty top notes of cassis and bergamot orange before relaxing into a neroli and jasmine heart, and finally, to a woody patchouli base, it’s a beautifully balanced scent that’s sure to delight no matter your mood.

As we've mentioned above, the stunning bottle the scent comes in really does make a statement, and its triple reed design and elegant glass pearl details look fabulous. The diffuser itself comes in a fancy gift box ideal for a present, and it comes with 20 diffuser sticks included.

Good to know
We did note, however, that it does evaporate fast, but that's easy to solve – just add fewer diffuser sticks.

best home fragrance: This Works Deep Sleep candle

(Image credit: This Works)

This Works Deep Sleep Heavenly Scented Candle

The best lavender home fragrance

Size: 220 grams
Notes: Lavender and Roman camomile

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.

The scent
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.

The packaging
The packaging of this candle is minimalist – a white glass that has a pleasant glow when the candle is lit.

The best home fragrance by room

Best home fragrance: The White Company Spa Retreat CandleReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: The White Company)

The White Company Spa Retreat Candle

The best home fragrance for bedrooms

Size: 140g
Notes: Pink Pepper, Petitgrain & Cedarwood

The White Company's Spa Retreat candle is our favourite pick for a bedroom. Why? Simply because it smells great, while still managing to be nice and subtle. With a burn time of 33 hours, it's perfect for lighting just before bed, to help you drift off to sleep.

This candle is warming yet herbal with notes of pink pepper, petitgrain and cedarwood. It's quite subtle but we wouldn't want anything that smells strong in our bedroom. It's also very calming and we find that if we light it in our bedroom, the fragrance slightly drifts into our hallway... lovely.

It comes inside a lovely box that would make it a lovely present, and the candle is poured inside a glass vessel. The packaging perfectly pairs with the fragrance – simple yet effective.

Good to know
As with all of The White Company's candles, Spa Retreat is hand-finished in the UK and made from the highest-quality mineral wax.

Best home fragrance: Dr Vranjes Rosso Nobile reed diffuser

(Image credit: Fortnum & Mason)

Dr Vranjes Rosso Nobile room diffuser

The best home fragrance for a study

Size: 250ml - 5000ml
Notes: plum and berries
Reasons to buy
+Delicious sweet fragrance+Comes in lots of different sizes
Reasons to avoid
-Not cheap-No candle option

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. Due to its luxurious-looking vessel, we think it would go perfectly in a study.

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.

Good to know
Full disclaimer: those who were hoping for a realistic rendition of the scent of wine will be disappointed. 

Best home fragrance: Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir reed diffuser

(Image credit: Jo Malone)

Jo Malone London Pomegranate Noir Scent Surround™ Diffuser

The best home fragrance for living rooms

Size: 165ml
Notes: pomegranate, pepper, woods

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.

Good to know
This is expensive, and not very large for how much you're paying, so we recommend using this sparingly, preferably in a smaller room.

Best home fragrance: Wild Mint by The White Company

(Image credit: The White Company)

The White Company Wild Mint Diffuser

The best home fragrance for the kitchen

Size: 100ml
Notes: mint, white tea

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.

Good to know
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! Also, we should note that this reed diffuser is small, so it doesn't last as long as we would hope.

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?

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
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.