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  • You Asked Me: How Do I Best Scent My Home?
  • Post author
    Toni Hacker

You Asked Me: How Do I Best Scent My Home?

You Asked Me: How Do I Best Scent My Home?

Since I've opened the shop, I've been meeting more of you in person and fielding all sorts of fascinating questions (truly, I am being kept on my scent and skincare loving toes). Folks frequently ask 'how do I best scent my home?' and 'what are the differences in the types of home fragrance that you make?'. Today, I'm going to break it all down and demystify exactly which types of home fragrances are best for your needs!

Also, on the scent nerd front...home fragrance doesn't have to be 'in your face'. The best use of home fragrance (in my opinion) is subtle, effective (ie you don't smell the cat litter any longer), and reflects the mood or season that you're currently feeling. Woke up feeling like Beyoncé? Try a zingy and energetic citrus. Need to hibernate and rejuvenate? Try something with lavender or balsam fir. Entertaining? Try a sophisticated and energizing blend like Bergamot and Blood Orange that is a crowd pleaser and will keep the happy vibes flowing.

Scent is powerful and deeply tied to the brain's limbic system which governs our memory and emotions. It's a fantastic way to quickly shift your mood, as well as the vibe of your home! Personally, I like to layer my home fragrance (incense in the am, room spray a few times per week, linen spray nightly before bed, diffuser in the bathroom and entry hall, and I enjoy burning a glowing candle each night after dinner to relax before bed). We also have two cats and two dogs, so scent layering is very effective at keeping the house a pleasure to come home to each day.

Linen & Smudge Sprays

Linen and smudge sprays are generally a lighter, water-based and botanical-focused spray intended to freshen up linens and textiles (aka those aromatic bed linens you've been rolling around in all night) or boost your vibe. They may also be used to freshen up a room, but the fragrance will be short-lived. Linen and smudge sprays are specifically compounded to be gentle on all textiles or skin and do not contain a high concentration of perfume/fragrance. 

Use for: Bedding, linens, closets, clothing drawers, pet bedding, upholstered furniture. Smudge sprays are specifically made for safe use on skin, but always keep sprays away from children and pets and avoid spraying directly into the eyes or ingesting. 

Great for: Those who love light, fresh, and clean scents that disperse quickly, folks who are sensitive to perfumes and fragrance

Room Sprays

Room sprays are a personal favorite as they are formulated to quickly and very effectively scent both small and large spaces (open, roomy loft spaces and spaces with high ceilings are notoriously difficult to scent). They are also incredibly portable versus other types of home fragrance, meaning you can simply tote it around and spritz rooms that are in dire need of some scent TLC. Room sprays are generally compounded with a higher concentration of perfume/fragrance for a longer lasting scent experience. Do not spray room sprays directly on furniture or clothing that you love! The higher concentration of perfume can stain or damage delicate textiles. Room sprays are also great for busy homes with children and pets where an unattended candle or diffuser might not be such a great idea.

Use for: Any and every room in your house, car interior

Great for: Those who love a longer lasting scent experience, Busy homes with small children and curious pets where candles or diffusers might not be the best option


Diffusers are a great way to add 24/7, low key scent to your home. They can be a very stylish addition to your decor situation and come in a wide variety of designs. Generally they consist of a glass bottle containing liquid fragrance with reeds to help wick and disperse the scent into the air. Diffusers add 'ambient' scent to a space...meaning they're not as noticeable as a room spray or candle, and they work continually as the scent travels up the reeds and disperses slowly over time. Diffusers also work best in smaller spaces (a room) or in a hallway where the airflow from coming and going assists the fragrance in moving about and becoming more noticeable. Diffusers are long lasting (a few months) versus a candle or room spray. One con to using diffusers in a busy home is that they are basically a large bottle of perfume that can be tipped over...and little ones and pets love exploring. Always keep reed diffusers well away from the reach of children and pets as they can spill or be ingested.

Electronic essential oil diffusers are also a wonderful way to scent your home with the bonus of being a small scale humidifier. They are wonderful to enjoy bedside at night and you can add in lovely essential oils, such as lavender, to help you sleep more soundly. Never add perfumes or room spray to essential oil diffusers as they are very (very) delicate machines. Alcohols and compounds in perfumes can permanently damage the interior workings of essential oil diffusers.

Use for: Any and every room in your home (the smaller the better), unattended spaces, second homes

Great for: Those who want subtle, low key, ambient scent that works 24/7, spaces that are closed up for long periods of time (hello guest room and beach house!), busy homes where a burning candle left unattended is not an option


There is something so soothing about having a glowing flame to gather around at night that we are hardwired to love and candles certainly deliver! The use of candles to light spaces dates back 5000 years to when the ancient Egyptians first soaked reeds in tallow to use as portable light sources. Generally all modern candles are made from a core 'wick' surrounded by wax that becomes fuel when lit. A chandler (candlemaker- hi, that's me!) adds perfume to molten wax to create a luscious scented candle that releases a rich fragrance when lit. Candles are personally a favorite way to scent a home as they are relaxing and beautiful to look at while they burn. There are two types of scents referred to in the world of candles- 'cold throw' (how much scent an unlit candle provides) and 'hot throw' (how much scent a lit candle provides). A properly prepared perfumed candle can provide quite a lot of ambient scent to a space via 'cold throw'!

Each chandler has their own method for creating their unique candles and use different types of wax and wicks (paraffin, paraffin blends, beeswax, coconut, soy...the list is extensive!). Scenting your home by candle works by the lit wick melting the perfumed wax into a pool, which then releases the perfume/fragrance into the air. Along with the fragrance being released, by-products from the burning wick and wax are also dispersed into the air. Choose a clean-burning candle in a scent you love for a healthy and happy candle experience. Large open-plan spaces and spaces with high ceilings can be difficult to scent as the fragrance has to disperse over a large area or simply rises to the ceiling (heat/physics)...choose a larger candle with multiple wicks to create a more powerful scent throw when lit.

Use for: Any and every room in your home (lit candles must be attended and always extinguished when leaving), adding a festive feel to outdoor spaces

Great for: Those who love the flickering glow of candlelight, scenting both large and small spaces, those who love a rich, multi-sensory scent experience


Incense comes in many forms (stick, cone, resinous granules) and is traditionally made from aromatic botanicals and resins. They are a truly meditative way to scent your space and can be wonderful way to scent and uplift your space in a way that feels harmonious and natural. Incense works by the stick, cone, or granules releasing aromatic compounds while smoldering. A well made incense will create a burst of aromatics while lit, will burn cleanly and evenly, and leave behind a scent that lingers for a few hours. Lit incense should always be attended and care should be taken as the ember (the smoldering tip) is very hot. Always use a fire safe surface or incense-specific burner while burning incense.

Use for: Any attended room in your home

Great for:  Those who are sensitive to traditionally prepared perfumes and fragrance




  • Post author
    Toni Hacker

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