How to Make a House Smell Like a Home

Collaborative Post

I’ve been noticing the approach of autumn in the last few days. Not just in those misty mornings, in the dew laden grass and the faint nip in the air past sundown. But the smell of autumn too. An almost imperceptible whiff of wood smoke, damp earth, and very soon the scent of ripening apples will start to permeate the air. Isn’t scent wonderful? And evocative too. Sometimes a perfume will immediately take you back to happy memories, remind you of an old friend, or transport you to a place you once visited. And probably because I’m so tuned into smell (and I do have a big dog) I love to fill the house with pleasant aromas too.

Winter bedroom with black and white half painted walls, bedside table, candle burning

Make it Personal

Fragrance in the home isn’t just for special occasions. It’s a daily ritual for me to burn a stick of incense in the mornings, and to light candles in the evening. My preference is for light, floral perfumes but this is very personal. You may prefer masculine, woody scents, or fresh citrus y smells. By choosing the right fragrance for you and using it every day, you can develop your own signature scent in just the same way as you may have a favourite perfume that you wear. It may be a single scent or a combination of the things you use. Either way, it’s welcoming for visitors, and makes a house smell like home. With the added bonus of giving pleasure, and making every single day feel just that bit more luxurious and self-indulgent.


Candles are the obvious choice for scenting the home. There’s nothing nicer than lighting that wick once the evenings start to draw in. It’s a signal for me that the working day is over and that it’s time to relax. Or I have to admit that on dark afternoons I may light one on my desk too. There’s no such thing as spoiling yourself too much in my book. You do have to be careful though, and make sure that you don’t leave a candle alight when you leave the room.

Bedside table, nightstand, candle


By contrast, diffusers can carry on working away when you leave the room, and even when you leave the house. I like to have one in the hallway. It’s the first thing visitors smell when they enter the door, and in such a high traffic area it creates a waft of perfume every time you walk past. I tend to limit the amount of reeds at any one time (5 is usually enough). It makes the diffuser last longer and creates a more subtle aroma.


This is not for everyone but I love it. It reminds me of calming yoga routines and immediately transports me back to India. One stick seems to permeate the entire house for several hours, although it does create some dust. A small price to pay I think.

How to Make a House Smell Like a Home

Featured candle is the magnolia blush in a ceramic pot from Parks London.

Room Sprays

Room sprays are something I haven’t tried until recently and now I’m a convert. The perfume doesn’t last long, but if you want a quick burst of something (just after feeding the dog perhaps?), they certainly do the trick. Stay away from chemical based sprays and choose one that you love. I’m using a fig, ginger and cedar spray at the moment and even though it’s not a floral perfume I love it.

Real Flowers

Of course, nothing beats the smell of real flowers and these should be in your perfume armory too. Lillies are my favourite but I’m also fond of hyacinths, freesias and gardenias too. The added advantages with a vase of fresh flowers is that they smell divine and look beautiful too.

How to Make a House Smell Like a Home - bedroom, bedside table, moroccan wedding blanket, animal print throw,

For a really helpful Definitive Guide to Scent visit Parks London.

This post was written in partnership with Parks Candles but all views are my own. I only work with companies that I like, would recommend, and that I would buy from.

The luxury Egyptian 400 count bedlinen is from Soak and Sleep (gifted). And now I’ve had the opportunity to slip between the sheets, I can say it’s the softest, silkiest bedlinen I’ve ever had the pleasure of sleeping in.


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  1. Reply


    October 10, 2018

    Dear Carole,

    Thank you for this great text with a lot of beautiful ideas. Depending on season or effect I want to get, I use candles, diffusers and make my own combinations of nautral oils in sprays or in potpourries. Speaking of flowers, I adore peonies as well, they are so fresh and airy.

    I wish you a lot of great ideas to share and send my best regards,

    • Reply


      October 11, 2018

      Thanks Ivana, glad you liked it. x

  2. Reply

    Acelofts London

    September 21, 2018

    Using the candles to scenting the room, it is good idea. Along with the light, it sprays scent throughout the room. Thanks for sharing this post.

    • Reply


      September 22, 2018

      Glad you liked it πŸ™‚

  3. Reply

    Rachel @ Fresh Design

    September 5, 2018

    I’m a big fan of candles (even unlit, some can fragrance well) and room diffusers, but love a good room spray too. The annoying thing is finding a room spray you love, and then discovering they’ve discontinued it – am currently on a search for a new favourite.

    • Reply


      September 6, 2018

      I do recommend the one I’m using Rachel, its from Heals. πŸ™‚

  4. Reply


    September 4, 2018

    I’m with you all way here Carole, I absolutely adore home fragrances and have reed diffusers and candles galore. Like you I’m a recent room spray convert πŸ˜‰ (Lovely post, beautiful images)

    • Reply


      September 5, 2018

      Aww, thanks Jen πŸ™‚

  5. Reply

    Stacey Sheppard

    September 4, 2018

    I’m not a massive candle fan and I always forget to use my room.spray unless guests are coming. But I’ve recently discovered reed diffusers and I’m hooked. I love that you can just forget about them and they fill the house with beautiful aromas.

    • Reply


      September 4, 2018

      That’s right Stacey. And they do last for months. πŸ™‚

  6. Reply

    Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely

    September 3, 2018

    We moved a few months ago and I’m still waiting for the house to smell like ‘ours’ when I open the door. It’s not quite there yet. I love diffusers, though. You’re right, as long as you don’t use too many rods, they give you a lovely subtle smell all day long. Fabric softener is also another good one. I like the smell of fresh linen when I walk in to the bedroom.

    • Reply


      September 4, 2018

      Oh yes, that’s another one for the senses. I agree. πŸ™‚

  7. Reply

    Kate Baxter

    September 3, 2018

    I’ve been using diffusers more recently as I don’t tend to light candles quite so much in summer months as I do in Winter. I’ve also bought some incense recently too, not something I’ve had for many years, but I’m slowly getting back into it! x

    • Reply


      September 4, 2018

      I think the incense is the most evocative scent of all. For me anyway πŸ™‚


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