December 4th, 2019 at 11:00 am


The best home fragrances

In the midst of preparing a home for an open house, much of the focus is concentrated on staging, cleaning, and other preparations. All of these tasks are incredibly important in ensuring that a listing leaves a great first impression on potential buyers. The true cherry on top of an impressive home tour, however, is ambiance, and few things contribute more to a space’s ambiance than scent. 

Overlooked and underestimated like an afterthought, yet still packing a mighty punch, home fragrances are similar to background music in that they set the tone of the surrounding environment. Think about it: when was the last time you stepped into a luxurious space without noticing some kind of a signature scent? Your favorite department store, spa, and salons likely have a lingering scent, with the purpose of enhancing a visitor’s experience while making the place memorable. The same concept of creating an air of “luxury” can also be applied to your home, especially when you’re trying to present your listing in the best possible light.

The true cherry on top of an impressive home tour is ambiance, and few things contribute more to a space's ambiance than scent. Share on X

With the touch of a crisp, clean-scented diffuser or candle, your guest bathroom can instantly be transformed into a tranquil spa. While you may look at your bathroom as just another bathroom, a prospective buyer could be reminiscing on the fresh scent of your dreamy bathroom-turned-spa hours after touring your home. This is the power ambiance holds.

As it turns out, certain scents are best reserved for specific areas in the home. Read up on our suggestions below to see how you can apply different room fragrances to your advantage.


Best scents for your living room

The living room is an ever-changing, dynamic place. Think of this area as the “heartbeat” of the home. It’s where we often spend the most time entertaining friends and family, as well as lounge around and relax.

Given that it’s one of the first spaces visitors gather in, it’s important to leave a great impression here, if nowhere else. Since it’s generally the most open and free-flowing area in the home, aromas in this space likely won’t be too overwhelming. You have the most options here because of that.

We recommend choosing a universally agreeable scent here, so consider these scents for your living room:

Avoid selecting a fragrance with only a single scent, as it’s very sharp and guests won’t help but wonder if there’s anything you are hiding. Multifaceted fragrances work best!

Itching to show off your seasonal flair? The living room is the best place to showcase your joy for the seasons throughout the year.

Seasonally in the living room, your guests will:


Perfect kitchen scents

It’s incredibly important to be selective with the fragrance you choose for the kitchen. The space is already lively with the smell of cooking and baking, every day and night. From roasted garlic to chocolate chip cookies, foods emit powerful odors completely on their own. The last thing you want to do is compete with these distinctive, lingering scents. Instead, it’s best to choose fragrances that are complementary here and do not compete with the real star of the kitchen: food!

Introduce juicy scents to your kitchen, as well as herbaceous ones that will cut through unfavorable smells:

Your scents can cover up the trash or garbage disposal while they complement cooking. Plus, these smells naturally belong in the kitchen.

Candles made of beeswax work best in the kitchen, due to their ability to neutralize odors with little to no smoke. Share on X

Stay away from floral or romantic scents here; they contrast too sharply with food aromas and will create an overwhelming, distressing atmosphere. Looking for a candle of choice? Choose ones made of beeswax, noted for their ability to neutralize odors with little to no smoke.

Palatable smells for your dining room

Good news: most fragrances that work in the kitchen will also work well in the dining room. Still, since there are fewer smells here than in the kitchen, and considering the main purpose of this room is to consume, you are better off selecting an even softer scent to keep the focus on your meals. You will want open house visitors to imagine their own meals at the table with friends and family, so an overwhelming scent will only distract from this and create a negative first impression.

For your dining room, consider these scents:

Again, you want to avoid florals and other perfume-y scents in your dining room. As you may already know, scent plays a huge role in impacting how we process taste. Many foods are already naturally pungent, which means choosing a complementary scent can help you enjoy your meal even more.


Soothing fragrances to use in bedrooms

The bedroom is a reflection of one’s personality. Whether it’s a plant-adorned oasis or a funky art-filled space, it is a room for recuperation, rest, and privacy. Fragrances in this space ideally promote relaxation and a sense of peace.

Fragrances in the bedroom ideally promote relaxation and a sense of peace Share on X

Scents to consider for your bedroom:

This is a good space to experiment with different fragrance mediums and intensities. Candles project a cozy, welcoming mood. Alternatively, diffusers are a fantastic option for continuous ambiance, and are incredibly easy to manage as they can be left alone for an extended period of time.

If you’re not a fan of the diffuser chamber, feel free to pour the liquid in a glass container of your choice. Ultra-fine dispersion sprays are very effective in a pinch when you need to quickly freshen up a room for visitors. Additionally, fabrics hang on to aromas for an impressive amount of time, so a linen or fabric mist is a great option to create a long-lasting, subtle scent.

Candles project a cozy, welcoming mood while diffusers are a fantastic option for continuous ambiance Share on X


Refresh your bathrooms with these scents

Bathrooms, like bedrooms, should promote a feeling of relaxation. Whether it’s a massive spa bathroom or a smaller one for guests, visitors should be able to instantly pick up on a sense of cleanliness and freshness the moment they walk in. This is especially important for open house; this area is not the room where you want to leave a bad impression.

In your bathrooms, use clean scents:

Since bathrooms are closed off and and private, there is less free-flowing space, so you’d do best choosing a more subtle fragrance rather than a powerful one.


Create your sweet-smelling oasis

Home fragrances have the incredible ability to shift our perceptions of a space. A wonderful bedroom candle can elevate a plain room to a heavenly haven. With so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to sort through all of them, but just remember: less is always more when it comes to fragrance. Have these tips handy when you’re preparing for an open house and get ready to leave a fabulous impression on potential buyers!

Ready to sell your home? Connect with one of our real estate agents in a Southern California office near you. 

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