5 "hidden" tricks that people with amazing-smelling homes use for secret scent-boosting

Secret tips to make your home smell gorgeous that stay out of sight - without relying on candles or air fresheners

a modern living room filled with decor
(Image credit: Amanda Marie Birnie. Design: Yond Interiors)

Scent is the finishing touch to a beautiful home, switching it up with the seasons enhances the ambiance and creates a welcoming environment. We all know those people who seem to have a home that always smells good, but there are no burning candles in sight. It seems like a mystery, but the answer might be simpler than you think.

Hidden scent solutions are the key to how to make your home smell good without the presence of a candle, diffuser, or incense. Don't get me wrong, I love all of those things to make my home smell extra gorgeous, but I also don't always want them on display. These easy tricks are the things people will amazing smelling homes always do, and you can too. They will discreetly scent your home, without anyone noticing. 

A well-designed space deserves to smell good too. Discover these hidden fragrance techniques and create your best-smelling home ever.

1. Deodorize upholstery and carpets

Blue armchairs next to a white fire place

(Image credit: Yond Interiors)

The foundation of any good-smelling home is a thorough cleaning routine. Soft furnishings and carpets can hold onto bad smells, which can release a musty scent without you even noticing. Removing this should be the first thing you do to create a better-smelling space in the long term.

Deodorizing your furniture and carpets might seem like a hassle but it couldn't be easier and will have the biggest effect on your home. 'Cleaning is certainly the biggest not-so-hidden trick to help your home smell good,' says expert cleaner Alex Varela at Dallas Maids. But this is not your average cleaning, look to products that are deodorizing. The key is to use things that actually absorb made smells rather than masking them with other artificial fragrances. This will give you a much longer-lasting effect. This is also the key to creating a gorgeous-smelling bathroom.

Baking soda is the secret hero product for many professional cleaners. 'If you sprinkle baking soda over your furniture and let it sit for a while, that’s going to absorb a lot of smells and any moisture,' says Alex. Once you let it sit for a while, wipe the area with a damp microfiber cloth (we love these ones from Amazon), followed by a vacuum. You will be shocked (and disgusted) by the influence this has on the overall smell of your home.

2. Herb bundles

If you are lucky enough to have a herb garden, this trick will be ideal for you. Herb bundles and easy and inexpensive to make and super fragrant. As we enter fall you can also utilize autumnal produce and more fall-appropriate scents such as cinnamon sticks. This is how to make your house smell like fall without an over-sickly candle fragrances. 

Once you have bundled together your selected herbs, spices, or dried fruits with twine, they need to be placed somewhere with indirect sunlight. 'Near windows is the ideal place for herb bundles as the herbs will slowly release their fragrances, creating a gentle and refreshing scent,' says Angela. Best of all, they'll look like simple bouquets - and people might not guess they're the source of your beautifully fragranced home. 

3. Potpourri sachets

Potpourri sachets have been a feature of every grandmother's home forever, but don't overlook them as outdated. These tiny bags are powerful and used by all the best-smelling homes we know, including our grandmothers.

'It is super easy to make potpourri sachets,' says Angela Rubin from Hellamaid. 'Simply, fill sachet bags or even socks with dried flowers or herbs of your choice,' she says, 'then place these sachets in inconspicuous spots around your home, such as inside drawers, closets, or behind furniture. The subtle scent will permeate the area, leaving a natural and pleasant aroma.'

This is such an easy DIY that you can easily customize it to your personal tastes. You can also use this technique to try out scent layering. Scents like lavender are great for relaxing spaces such as the bedroom, whereas mint is more energizing and might be better for a home office. (These lavender potpourri sachets from Amazon are our personal favorites)

4. Drawer liners

Small two bedroom London apartment with colorful vintage decor

(Image credit: Yellow London)

Another way to combat musty odors and inject some freshness into your home without the need for overly powerful candles is to use drawer liners. This solution is completely out of sight, so no need to worry about what it looks like, simply enjoy its subtle scent. 

'Drawer liners are typically thin, discreet sheets infused with pleasant fragrances,' says cleaning specialist at Bright Cleaners, Shayne Jeramos. 'Choose liners with scents that match the room or the items stored inside,' he suggests, 'when you open drawers or cabinets, you'll get a subtle whiff of the scent.' (Like fresh linen scented sheets from Amazon.)

Every time you open your drawers you will be subtly contributing to the sweet smell of your home, whether in a bedroom or living room. You can't always have a candle on, so something like this is perfect for constant scent distribution. They are also relatively inexpensive, meaning you can disperse them throughout your space to help make your home smell good.

5. Simmer pots

A kitchen with walls painted sage green, a large range with a Dutch oven on the stove

(Image credit: James Merrell)

Simmer pots create a scent that lingers in your home much longer than it is "cooking", making it practically invisible, but even when it is on it easily blends into your fall decor.

'Homemade simmer pots are super easy to make and infuse scent and charm to your home,' says cleaning expert James King of Deluxe Maid. He loves using this technique to subtly scent clients' homes in a more natural way. All you have to do is gather an assortment of dried herbs, spices, and citrus fruits and place them in a pan with some water. Add a couple of drops of essential oil should you wish and simmer away on the hob. The scent will last long after you turn off the gas.

We love how simple this trick is and how quickly it fills the room. Customize the ingredients based on the season and watch as your home is transformed into a fragrant haven.

Amy McArdle
News writer

Amy recently completed an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London, with experience writing for Women’s lifestyle publications across arts, culture, and beauty. She has a particular love for the minimalist aesthetic mixed with mid-century furniture, especially combining unique vintage finds with more modern pieces. Her previous work in luxury jewellery has given her a keen eye for beautiful things and clever design, that plays into her love of interiors. As a result, Amy will often be heard justifying homeware purchases as 'an investment', wise words to live by.