As I lie in bed this morning listening to the birds outside and taking my time to wake up, I breathed in the faint scent of roses from a candle on my bedside table. I hadn’t lit it in weeks, but I could smell a hint of fragrance from the wax. I like that my bedroom has a subtly pleasant scent that doesn’t overpower the room. I made that candle myself, which makes it even more special to me. I love a naturally scented home.

Fragrance can change the mood of a room. It can be therapeutic. It can relax. It can energize. Certain scents can flood us with memories of past vacations, of sumptuous meals, of winter holidays, or of our first sips of champagne.


There are many natural ways you can add fragrance to your home. The easiest, of course, is to bring in flowers. Hyacinths will always remind me of spring and the Easters of my childhood. One hyacinth can scent a whole floor of a house. Lilies are softer and can scent corners of your room, like a reading nook.

When I lived in California, there were white roses growing outside my front window. When the ocean breeze blew in, I would get a faint whiff of salt water and rose petals. So relaxing on a summer’s day.

Arrange a small bouquet for your bedside table to add a cheeriness to your room.

Herbs, Spices and Fruits

Cooking and baking can be a treat for the nose as well as the palate. I once helped our house sell because I baked chocolate chip cookies while the real estate agent showed the home.

Sunday’s pot roast, Thursday’s tomato sauce, all bring back comforting memories of my mom in the kitchen. The other day I was making a batch of Gimlets, and as soon as I cut into the lime, the whole room was energized with its zesty fragrance.

You can create a wonderful scent by putting a cinnamon stick and some orange slices in a pot of water simmering on the stovetop. Switch it up with ginger and lemon on another day.

Put some dried flower petals and dried fruit slices in a small bowl to create a potpourri. Or hang some dried lavender sprigs over a picture frame. They look beautiful too.

I love to grow fresh herbs in pots in my kitchen. They are not only useful for cooking. All you need to do is ruffle the leaves a little with your hand, and your kitchen will smell like basil, rosemary, mint, or thyme.

Essential Oils

You can also scent your home with essential oils, which are the natural oils from plants and flowers. You can add them to water and use them in a diffuser. You can use them in your cleaning products. Click here for an all-purpose cleaning spray recipe made with essential oils. As you clean your home, you will scent it as well. I like to combine lavender with sweet orange and pine.

Essential oils can be used in soaps, lotions, and body oils. You can use them to create your own perfumes. To use essential oils safely, be sure to always dilute them in a base. Never use them directly on your skin. They can cause skin irritation and even burns.

Different essential oils can create different moods. Lavender is calming, orange is energizing, eucalyptus can bring clarity to your mind and your nasal passages.

Winter Holidays

I have a friend who every Christmas makes dried orange and lemon slices with her mother. They tie them to pine and evergreen garlands to decorate their homes. They add subtle fragrance and create lasting memories.

Now that I live in New Jersey, there are pine trees everywhere. I was once sitting in a car waiting for someone while a team was trimming a group of pine trees. The scent of pine filled the air. I instantly got a rush of Christmas cheer.

Berries also remind me of Christmas. My mother always had a bayberry candle at Christmas. And I remember fondly a friend making cranberry sauce by simmering whole cranberries with sugar and orange zest. The smell was delicious.

As you can see, there are many ways to create a naturally scented home. Which ideas are you going to try?