A heavenly scent is a warm welcome for anyone who steps through the door. Fragrance—say, an energizing citrus, a romantic floral, a comforting vanilla, or a festive ginger spice—has the unique power to set a mood or spark a memory. The ways in which you can scent your space go beyond the standard-issue plug-in variety.
Today’s home scents come in iterations such as designer candles, diffusers that look more like art pieces, and sophisticated fragrance systems that can be operated and controlled remotely by app.
Strike a High Note
Unlike choosing a fragrance for yourself, selecting scents for your home has a lot to do with the function of the room itself and setting the right mood. You wouldn’t use the same notes in your bathroom as you would in your kitchen, for example. It might sound like overkill, but different scents can have different effects on a space.
Experts also don’t recommend using the same scent throughout your home because it can become cloying or turn off a guest who doesn’t like it. Generally, fruity scents such as fig or passion fruit are good for a living room because they’re energizing and tend to be uplifting, particularly when you’re entertaining.
For the kitchen, avoid florals, since these can interfere with food smells. Instead, go for a citrus scent like lemon or grapefruit, which will complement what’s cooking and also help neutralize stubborn odors. Crisp linens, scents of the ocean, or even fresh cucumber work well in bathrooms, as they evoke a clean feel and won’t overwhelm the small space a bathroom affords. Bedrooms befit more relaxing aromas such as lavender or vanilla, which will help create a soothing environment to unwind and sleep more soundly.
Add fresh scents indoors.
Choose Your Scenting Strategy
These days, home fragrances are iterated in several different forms, including candles, essential oil diffusers, or room sprays. While you can never go wrong with a luxe candle, such as one from cult favorite brands Le Labo or Diptyque, these are typically best for intimate dinner parties or smaller spaces, since they can help set the mood. One way to make your candle last longer is to let the whole surface area become molten before putting out the flame. This prevents a tunnel from forming, which causes uneven burning.
Diffusers, such as those from Jo Malone, often come in an essential oil-filled bottle with reeds that distribute it and make a bigger impact in a larger, more open space. However, you can always add or take away reeds to adjust the scent strength. For an even more luxurious presentation, there are versions such as the Diptyque Hourglass Diffuser, a decorative vessel filled with oil that, upon being turned over, creates an hour’s worth of scent diffusion.
Since room sprays release a very fine mist, they tend to dissipate quickly but can last longer when sprayed onto linens or textiles.
Essential oils are one way to make your home smell great.
For the high-end smart home comes a new breed of home aroma experiences that offer Bluetooth connectivity and remotely timed spritzes to customizable strengths and even mood-based whiffs.
These include systems such as the Aera Smart Diffuser, which is ideal for large or small spaces since you can control fragrance strength on the accompanying app. The app also enables you to put your spray on a schedule—by the time of day or day of the week—and monitor fragrance usage. It works by loading a scent capsule into the device, downloading the app, and connecting multiple devices to create an integrated system.
There are also models like the Pium, a smart diffuser that releases scents to suit your mood based on the time of day. In the morning, for instance, it emits a waft of citrus and flowers for an energizing effect. In the afternoon, it offers an uplifting herbal blend, and at nighttime, it disperses a more relaxing floral mix into the air. You can manage the strength, schedule, and power of the scents through the accompanying app. It’ll also tell you when your capsules are running on empty, and pairs with Alexa and Google Assistant, so all you have to do is ask it to deploy a specific blend and it will comply.
A candle from Le Labo, right, and a diffuser from Diptyque.