Best home fragrance: 10 gorgeous home scents for every taste | Real Homes

Best home fragrance: the top scents for every room in the house

These gorgeous home fragrances will give your space an instant and effortless update. Which home scents will you choose?

Home fragrance
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(Image credit: Skandinavisk)

Home fragrance is the one of the easiest – and cheapest – ways to give any room in your home an instant lift. Whether you like light florals or deep and smokey fragrances, we promise you will love at least one of the home scents on our list. Be it masking a nasty smell or adding a gorgeous fragrance that calms, candles and reed diffusers are the way to go.

All the fragrances in our buyer's guide have been tried and tested by us, so we know they're awesome. 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 any time of year – you'll be able to enjoy these candles and diffusers in all seasons. We've also including a wide range of prices. These home fragrances range from $4 buys you can find at your local Target, to $100+ splurges that are great for gifting or burning on special occasions.

Take a scroll for our top picks, and for more home freshening advice check out our list of the best reed diffusers for easy, safe and long lasting scents.

The best home scents

Best subtle home scent: Skadinavisk Hygge reed diffuser

(Image credit: Nest.co.uk)

1. Skadinavisk Hygge reed diffuser

Best subtle home scent: a light fragrance to encourage a sense of well-being

Specifications
Best for: a subtle room scent
Type: reed diffuser
Size: 200ml
Notes: tea, strawberry, rose petals, wild mint
Reasons to buy
+A light, unobtrusive scent+Will last at least three months
Reasons to avoid
-A little pricey -Will be a bit too subtle for some

Like all things we love about Scandi style, this scent is light, airy, and not too loud. 

Scent
The Skadinavisk Hygge reed diffuser features notes of tea, strawberry, rose petals and wild mint. An unexpected combo, but one that totally works.

Style
You guessed it: simple, unobtrusive and sleek, this diffuser has a versatile style that means it'll look perfectly at home in modern and traditional spaces alike. 

What we like
The Hygge diffuser has a well-balanced composition that is both sweet (from the tea and strawberry notes) and fresh, thanks to the 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.

candle

(Image credit: Apotheke)

2. Apotheke White Vetiver

Most sophisticated home scent

Specifications
Best for: those who love a sultry, sophisticated scent
Type: candle, reed diffuser
Size: varied
Notes: vetiver, sandalwood, amber, lilac, eucalyptus
Reasons to buy
+Superb quality+A classy, characterful scent+Extremely long-lasting

Apotheke's home scents are a perennial favorite. We find almost all of their fragrances to be elevated and delightful, but the White Vetiver scent is the biggest crowd-pleaser.

Scent
Simply put, White Vetiver smells sophisticated, like something you'd find it in an upscale department store or your fancy friend's New York apartment. The scent itself combines its namesake Vetiver with Bergamot, eucalyptus, lilac, sandalwood, amber and cedarwood.

Style
The White Vetiver scent comes in a candle or reed diffuser. Both are simply packaged in frosted glass jars that easily complement a wide variety of styles. 

What we like
Aside from the scent, we love that Apotheke fragrances are handmade in Brooklyn, and that the company was founded by a woman who got her start selling soaps at local farmer's markets.

Best fruity home scent: Dr Vranjes Rosso Nobile reed diffuser

(Image credit: Fortnum & Mason)

3. Dr Vranjes Rosso Nobile room diffuser

Best fruity home scent: the nicest fruity home fragrance around

Specifications
Best for: those who love fruit scents
Type: reed diffuser
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'. 

Scent
Think of sweet strawberry jam and ripe plums scattered around your home. Yum.

Style
Encased in a tall brown bottle, the design feels decidedly Tuscan. It'll fit well with traditional spaces, and add a little gravitas to neutral, modern ones. But if your decor style is farmhouse or coastal inspired, or you prefer bright boho vibes, you might want to hide this is a larger hurricane or decorative jar.

What we like
In reality, this diffuser is a delicious (and surprisingly non-sickly) blend of red fruits and berries. Suitable for any room in the house and comes in lots of different sizes, as well as in a room spray format.

Full disclosure:

Those who were hoping for a realistic rendition of the scent of wine will be disappointed.

best home scent

(Image credit: Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day)

4. Mrs. Meyer's Lavender Large Jar Candle

Best bargain home fragrance: an uncomplicated floral delight

Specifications
Best for: those who like an uplifting, simple scent
Type: candle
Size: 7.2 oz.
Notes: lavender
Reasons to buy
+Simple and cheerful fragrance+Inexpensive+Widely available+Soy wax
Reasons to avoid
-Isn't very long-lasting

Mrs. Meyer's fans will already know this scent well, since it's also available in everything from hand soap to dryer sheets. But we're still not sick of it, and the crisp, fresh and inviting lavender scent is one of our favorite choices for a powder room or entryway. 

Scent
The only way to describe the scent of this is as light, floral, and clean. It definitely fills a room.

Style
The Mrs Meyer's Lavender candle comes in a simple recycled glass jar that complements casual or farmhouse spaces well.

What we like
The light scent, which is perfect for warmer months. plus the fact that it's made
from renewable ingredients like soy and vegetable wax.

Best fresh rose home scent: Baies candle Diptyque

(Image credit: Dyptique)

5. Diptyque Baies Scented Candle

Best floral home scent: a contemporary twist on rose

Specifications
Best for: those who want a fresh rose scent
Type: candle
Size: 70g, 190g
Notes: rose
Reasons to buy
+A versatile fruity-floral fragrance
Reasons to avoid
-Can smell quite strong

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 a scent. Diptyque has nailed it, though, by blending the rose fragrance with blackcurrant leaves.

Scent
The Diptyque Baies Scented Candle has a floral scent that's fresh and zesty, and not one bit old-fashioned.

Style
Thanks to Instagram, the Diptyque jar may be the most iconic candle packaging of all time, despite the fact that it's just a standard glass vessel and branded sticker. The candle's trendiness has waned, but the good news is that the simplicity of the design makes it timeless.

What we like
The smell of this candle really is amazing and it does a superb job of filling an entire room fast. We also love that you can purchase a matching reed diffuser.

Good to note
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. 

Best home scent for Jo Malone fans: Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir reed diffuser

(Image credit: Jo Malone)

6. Jo Malone London Pomegranate Noir Scent Surround™ Diffuser

Best home scent for Jo Malone fans: the diffuser version of Jo Malone's bestselling fragrance

Specifications
Best for: Jo Malone fans
Type: reed diffuser
Size: 165ml
Notes: pomegranate, pepper, woods
Reasons to buy
+Home scent version of a beautiful fragrance+Lovely presentation
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive for how much you get

One of Jo Malone's most successful fragrances, the mysterious and moody Pomegranate Noir, is now available in both candle and diffuser format. 

Scent
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. It reminds us of the lobby in a fancy boutique hotel. 

Style
This reed diffuser arrives in a classy black box and the liquid sits in a glass vessel. It also comes with 10 black reeds, which feel like a style upgrade from the standard rattan versions.

What we like
Perfect for a study or hallway, this diffuser is pretty, smells great and it's a classic.

best home fragrance

(Image credit: Voluspa)

7. Voluspa Maison Noir Crisp Champagne Candle

Best home scent for a small space

Specifications
Best for: small spaces
Type: candle
Size: 12oz
Notes: Brut champagne, vanilla, barrel oak
Reasons to buy
+Warm and subtly sweet fragrance+Perfect for the living room or bedroom
Reasons to avoid
-Scent isn't very strong

It's hard to pick a single Voluspa candle to feature on this list, when there are so many from the brand that we love. But if we have to choose, it's the Maison Noir Crisp Champagne Candle. Like many Voluspa candles we've owned, this one isn't very strong; perfect if you're into subtly and strong scents give you a headache. However, if you're looking for something with enough throw to fragrance your whole home, this isn't it.

Scent
This candle is ideal for a small living room or bedroom (we love lighting ours after curling up on the couch or in bed with a good book). It's warm and welcoming without being overpowering, and has a sweet scent that feels sophisticated, not sickly, thanks to undertones of oak and vanilla. Note, to us, it doesn't smell all that much like Champagne, but we love it nonetheless. 

Style
This candle comes in two sizes: a larger version in a simple-but-sleek black jar, and smaller version in a tin emblazoned with a geometric print. Both are fun additions to your coffee table vignette.

What we like
This scent is so unobtrusive and joyful, it'll delight even those who don't normally like their homes to smell of anything. It's also one of the safest blind-buy home fragrances: we dare you not to like it.

best uplifting home fragrance: Neom Organics Happiness candle

(Image credit: John Lewis)

8. Neom Happiness candle

The best uplifting home scent

Specifications
Best for: lifting low moods
Type: candle
Size: 75g, 185g
Notes: mimosa, neroli, lemon
Reasons to buy
+Strong and high quality fragrance+Natural+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Will be too strongly scented for some

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 Happiness candle by Neom Organics smells absolutely amazing, and is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

Scent
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.

Style
Simple but effective glass with a sticker. It's not a statement piece, but when the scent is this good, it doesn't really matter.

What we like
This candle smells incredibly natural, which is great for those who prefer organic scents. Having said that, the scent is by no means weak and will fill even the largest of rooms, with the smaller sized candle.

What we don't like
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 find this candle heavenly.

best home fragrance

(Image credit: Lulu Candles)

9. Lulu Candles Pineapple Evergreen

The best soy wax candle

Specifications
Best for: those looking for a strong scent and natural was
Type: candle
Size: 6oz.
Notes: pineapple, fir
Reasons to buy
+Unexpected scent+Made from soy wax+Hand-poured in the USA+Vegan, paraben free and cruelty free!
Reasons to avoid
-Scent may be too strong for some

Let's start with the obvious. This seems like a weird combo. And we thought so, too, until we read the Amazon reviews and decided to give the Lulu Candles Pineapple Evergreen a sniff. The balance of sweet and woodsy works in harmony, and it emits a strong scent that'll waft through an entire floor of your home.

Scent
It's like a Hawaiian vacation in a jar. While the pineapple scent is definitely at the forefront of this candle fragrance, it's not overkill. The evergreen note adds delicious depth that downplays the tropical vibe.

Style
Pretty basic: it's a glass with a sticker, but the typewriter font gives it some modern farmhouse flair. 

What we like

The smell. Did we mention the phenomenal smell? Aside from that, we also love that it's made from natural soy wax, it's vegan, and paraben-free. Plus, Lulu Candles claims their candles are some of the longest-lasting you'll find. We haven't scientifically proven that, but they do appear to burn slowly.

warm tobacco pipe candle

(Image credit: DW Home)

10. DW Home Warm Tobacco Pipe

The best home fragrance for fall

Specifications
Best for: a cozy vibe, man caves
Type: candle
Size: 215g
Notes: tobacco, patchouli, suede
Reasons to buy
+Soy wax+Cozy smell perfect for cooler temps+Sleek look
Reasons to avoid
-Might be too heavy for some

Forget pumpkin spice, DW Home's Warm Tobacco Pipe candle is our top pick for creating a warm, cozy ambiance for fall and winter at home. We first picked it up at Home Goods a few years back, and now we look for it every year as soon as September hits.

The scent

It's earthy and leather-y, but has a sweet undertone that's reminiscent of tobacco smoke. It feels elevated and sophisticated, but cozy at the same time. 

The packaging

A sleek black vessel matches the black soy wax inside. 

What we like

The soy wax blend is sustainable, and the price point is well below many of the other top home scents on our list. Not to mention we want to wrap ourselves up in the smell. 

Note:

This one isn't really for year-round use, as the smell would be too heavy for spring and summer. It also has a cult-like following, and they're snatched up at stores pretty quickly. 

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. For an even burn, let the wax melt across the top to avoid tunneling on the first burn. This will take approximately an hour for each inch of diameter, so you will want to make sure you are around to attend that first burn for what could be a few hours.

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.

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. Just remember to switch the sticks round to change which end is in the oil every couple of weeks – this optimizes the scent.

Scent
As for the all-important question of scent, we have chosen a selection that will appeal to all preferences. From fruity and cheerful to moody and complex, we've got all sorts of home scents covered, suitable for any room and occasion. 

More ways to keep your home smelling fresh: