The best home fragrance: 14 unique scents to impress

We've tried and tested the best home fragrances from candles to reed diffusers and room sprays. Peruse these picks to conjure up the right atmosphere

Best home fragrance: Cire Trudon Manon Candle
(Image credit: Cire)

The best home fragrance is hard to define, with an undeniable personal aspect behind this decision – whether you prefer woody scents or floral scents will depend on the individual. This is exactly why we've written this ultimate home fragrance guide, to include a whole range of aromas for all seasons, all noses, and all budgets. Including reed diffusers for low maintenance day-long scenting, candles for instant fragrance and to set the ambiance – and even room sprays for masking odors fast.

Discover our favorite home fragrance buys below, to ensure your home smells as good as it looks – for you and your guests benefit. For using everywhere including in your lounge, kitchen, bedroom, hallway, bathroom, and even in your home office.

The best home fragrance

Jo Malone Silk Blossom Reed Diffuser with gift boxLivingetc badge – tried, loved

(Image credit: Jo Malone)

1. Jo Malone Silk Blossom Reed Diffuser

A subtle, luxurious reed diffuser to flood your home with sweetness

Specifications
Type: Reed diffuser
Size: 165ml
Notes: White pepper, bergamot, apricot

This Jo Malone reed diffuser is one of our favorite home fragrances. Not only just because it looks the part in that classic glass decorative vessel, but also because it smells incredible – and it's unlike any other Jo Malone fragrance we've smelt before. 

The scent
As much as we love their classic fragrances, from English Pear & Freesia to Pomegranate Noir, this scent ought to get your guests talking. It's sweet yet nice and subtle, so as not to overpower a room no matter its size. It's definitely a unique blend of fragrance, with top notes of white pepper, bergamot, and apricot, heart notes of silk tree blossom, jasmine, and rose petals, and then base notes of oakmoss and heliotrope. Ultimately, it's undeniably unique and it belongs in a living area, to scent the air you are breathing in and out all day long. We say pop it in the middle of a room, perhaps on a coffee table. 

The packaging
This scent is poured inside the same iconic classic Jo Malone glass vessel you can find everywhere including inside Instagrammable and/or celebrity homes, as well as luxurious hotels and restaurants. It comes with six silk reeds included, and we suggest adding these depending on your room size (start with fewer).

Good to know
Though it has a larger price tag, rest assured this reed diffuser can be enjoyed for months on end at home. The best part? It comes beautifully wrapped in the classic Jo Malone boxing, adorned with a ribbon. 

Skandinavisk Lempi CandleLivingetc badge – tried, loved

(Image credit: Skandinavisk)

2. Skandinavisk Lempi Candle

A candle for the floral lovers out there

Specifications
Type: Candle
Size: 65g, 200g
Notes: Peony and rose, strawberries and mosses

When we claim that this might be the best floral candle we have ever smelt, we mean every word of it. 

The scent
It's simply ideal for lighting in spring or summer seasons, with notes of popular flowers such as peonies and roses – as well as strawberries to add the sweetness, and mosses to bring an earthy mix to this blend. We suggest lighting this candle in a living room, home office, or bedroom to bring the outdoors in and add a sweet aroma to your home.

The packaging
This candle is made of rapeseed wax with a cotton wick and poured into a recycled glass vessel, complete with a beechwood lid. It offers a very even burn, while it's even suitable for vegans and it goes without saying it will look gorgeous on display in your home. 

Good to know
It comes in two sizes including a mini and a large. We obviously recommend the larger size but the mini is great if you want to try first of all.

Noble Isle Whisky & Water CandleLivingetc badge – tried, loved

(Image credit: Noble Isle)

3. Noble Isle Whisky & Water Candle

A powerful scent for lighting in serious situations

Specifications
Type: Candle
Size: 200g
Scent: Whisky and water

Noble Isle's Whisky & Water candle is impressively powerful and ideal for lighting in autumn and winter, ideally in a home office or in a hallway to flood each and every room in your home.

The scent
A strong scent that's bound to turn some heads (and a few noses) this unique blend from Noble Isle is warm, masculine, and earthy with notes of whisky and water. There are also notes of rose, Davana blossom, jasmine, orange blossom, tonka bean, and amber – for good balance.

The packaging
This UK-made candle comes poured in a black glass vessel that's lovely and plain to be nestled in some shelving or on a side without sticking out like a sore thumb. It comes beautifully wrapped in a box with a ribbon, making it a lovely gift idea.

Good to know
It can be quite overpowering so be sure to light it in a large room and crack a window. Avoid this candle if you don't like strong smells as it can scent a room without even being lit.

Slab Lab Scented Candle FogLivingetc badge – tried, loved

(Image credit: Slab Lab)

4. Slab Lab Scented Candle Fog

A warm yet delicate smelling eco-friendly candle

Specifications
Type: Candle
Notes: Chamomile, clover honey, bergamot
Size: 240g

This Slab Lab scented candle is a delightful burn for a cold evening – no matter the season. It also offers an even burn, with a 40 to 45 hour burn time, while they are made using coconut and rapeseed wax.

The scent
With a warm base of vanilla and tonka bean, blended with delicate notes of chamomile, clover honey, and bergamot. English pear and freesia also subtly come through once lit. It's without a doubt a unique aroma.

The packaging
Housed in a grey glass jar with a decorative white label, this Slab Lab candle arrives in biodegradable and compostable packaging, as the boxes are made from paper pulp and printed with soy or vegetable oil. They arrive surrounded by void fill which is biodegradable, too – just run it under your tap.

Good to know
This candle is vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. It's made using a GMO-free wax and is also paraben, phthalate, and paraffin-free.

The best home fragrance: Ortigia Zagara Reed Diffuser

(Image credit: Ortigia)

5. Ortigia Zagara Reed Diffuser

This reed diffuser is like summer in a smell

Specifications
Type: Reed diffuser
Size: 200ml
Notes: Orange blossom, neroli, pettigrain, woods

Ortigia hail from Sicily, and this most Italian of scents will remind you of summer year-round. It gives off a realistic orange smell, and it's made of natural ingredients. 

The scent
This is the most perfect rendition of orange blossom in home fragrance we’ve ever tried; it has just the right balance of headiness and creaminess to be noticeable without ever becoming overpowering. Guaranteed to mentally transport you to Italy in spring.

The packaging
Gorgeous: clear glass engraved with exotic flora and fauna and filled with the sunny-yellow liquid. It also makes an impactful gift since it comes in gorgeous packaging.

Good to know
This reed diffuser has a natural oil base, which makes it a little less long-lasting that some other reed diffusers we’ve tried. 

The best rose home scent: Diptique Baies Scented Candle

(Image credit: Diptique)

6. Diptique Baies Scented Candle

The best rose home scent you can buy

Specifications
Type: Candle
Size: 2.4oz, 6.5oz
Notes: Blackcurrant leaves, Blackcurrant buds, Bulgarian roses, Ambergris

Bestselling for good reason, Baies is Diptyque's fresh modern fragrance that has the ability to fill the largest of rooms.

The scent
‘Baies’ translates as ‘berries’, and this candle opens with a luscious, sparkling blackcurrant note we can’t get enough of. However, this is primarily a rose-based room fragrance and any rose lover has to try this. It’s not a dusty or boring rose – rather a juicy, fruity one. Delicious in a bedroom 

The packaging
We’re not crazy about it, if we’re honest. For a luxury brand, Diptyque are getting away with a clear glass jar with a sticker on it. Given how lovely the scent is, though, they’re forgiven.

Good to know
All Diptyque candles tend to lose their scent if not covered, so consider getting a cloche to cover your candle. 

The best home fragrance for winter: The White Company Cassis Large Scented Candle

(Image credit: The White Company)

7. The White Company Cassis Large Scented Candle

A winter burn that's impressively sizeable

Specifications
Type: Candle
Size: 27oz
Notes: Blackberries, cedar, clove and patchouli

Our favorite from The White Company, this large-sized candle will make your home cosy in the colder months. It's impressively large, to allow the fragrance to travel across the room.

The scent
Cassis works incredibly well in cold weather because its crisp berry accord has been expertly blended with sweet, spicy notes of clove and cedar. Grounded and grown-up, festive berries. Yum. 

The Packaging
Minimalist glass with a signature White Company sticker. Nothing special, but there’s nothing wrong with it.

Good to know
This home fragrance is surprisingly potent, and we’d reserve it for the largest room in the house; otherwise, you risk a headache from this one. 

The best home fragrance for bedrooms: Cire Trudon Manon Candle

(Image credit: Cire)

8. Cire Trudon Manon Candle

A high-quality unique blend – if you want to splurge

Specifications
Type: Candle
Size: 9.5oz
Notes: Lavender, orange, soft soap, musk

Cire Trudon are legendary French candlemakers with centuries of experience, and this high-quality fragrance does not disappoint. This long-lasting candle is pricey for good reason.

The scent
Evocative of crisp linen closets and freshly washed stone floors, this soft and relaxing fragrance is the definitive ‘clean’ home fragrance. Herbal lavender has been softened with soap and musk. The scent of everything being in order. 

The packaging
The signature green glass jar with gold embossing; will look elegant and imposing on a bedside table.

Good to know
Yes, these are seriously expensive candles, but they really deliver on scent and longevity. Totally worth the splurge. 

The best home fragrance for Christmas: Scandinavisk Skog Candle

(Image credit: Scandinavisk)

9. Scandinavisk Skog Candle

The best home fragrance for Christmas

Specifications
Type: Candle
Size: 1.94oz, 6.7oz
Notes: Pine, lily-of-the-valley, leather

Scandinavisk have mastered the art of minimalist home fragrances: everyone should try at least once. It's surprisingly subtle for a Christmas candle, which we actually prefer as some holiday scents can be undeniably powerful.

The scent
Like a hologram of a Christmas tree. We’ve never experienced a pine scent that captured the sweet/woody essence of pine quite as successfully as this one. Put it on in the same room as your Christmas tree and you’ll be amazed by the hyper-natural effect. Scandinavisk had a stroke of genius with this one, adding the fresh lily-of-the-valley to the dark leather and pine accord. The result is resinous and sweet. We love it. 

Packaging
Cute and colourful jars that come with handy wooden lids, even in smaller sizes. Looks great on a coffee table.

Good to know
This candle is eco-friendly and cruelty-free, similar to other Skandinavisk candles. We find that this candle burns really fast, so stock up if you want it on throughout the Christmas period. 

The best room spray: Dr Vranjes Rosso Nobile Room Spray

(Image credit: Dr Vranjes)

10. Dr Vranjes Rosso Nobile Room Spray

A unqiue room spray to instantly refresh a room

Specifications
Type: Room spray
Size: 3.4oz
Notes: Strawberry, Red berries, birch

Dr Vranjes Firenze make some seriously classy home fragrances – Rosso Nobile is our all-time favorite.

The scent
We think it’s impossible not to like this fragrance: its ripe, red berry and grape notes will instantly lift your spirits and make you smile. We don’t find it at all boozy or reminiscent of Italian wines (the brand’s description), but that doesn’t take away from the instant pleasure of this affable, fruity fragrance. 

The packaging
A cut-crystal bottle that looks stunning with the dark-red juice in it. Will look great on a bathroom vanity.

Good to know
This is not cheap for a room spray, but the scent lingers – worth every cent, in our opinion. 

The best unusual home fragrance: Apotheke Charcoal Reed Diffuser

(Image credit: Apotheke)

11. Apotheke Charcoal Reed Diffuser

An unusual reed diffuser with lots of character

Specifications
Type: Reed diffuser
Size: 6.7oz
Notes: Maple Bacon, Raspberry, tomato, Cedarwood, Guaiac Wood

Not for the faint of heart, this characterful home fragrance will make a bold statement in a hallway or lounge. It's also impressively long-lasting, though it won't be to everyone's taste.

The scent
In a word: charcoal. That rich, smokey smell of embers in the fireplace, with a hint of sweetness from the raspberry and maple (don’t be put off by ‘bacon’ in the notes - it doesn’t really smell like bacon). It’s not actually as out-there as it sounds and complements hallways, bathrooms, and lounges. 

The packaging
An elegant matte black bottle – exactly what this room fragrance needs. 

Good to know
Although we really like it, we’d recommend you smell this fragrance before buying, unless you know you like smokey scents. 

The best home fragrance for a home office: Rockett St George Absolutely Flawless - Wild Pomegranate CandleLivingetc badge – tried, loved

(Image credit: Rockett St George)

12. Rockett St George Absolutely Flawless - Wild Pomegranate Candle

The best home fragrance for a home office

Specifications
Type: Candle
Size: 30cl
Notes: Pomegranate

Rockett St George's Absolutely Flawless candle is a great pick for a home office. Why? It's lovely and subtle – smell and looks-wise. 

The scent
This candle smells of a spring morning – pomegranate takes over, but there is definitely a hint of fresh cotton and also some smoky undertones. The best part? You can display it on your desk without it being too powerful – it's subtle both lit and unlit. Also, it's made using natural beeswax and rapeseed oil making it paraffin-free

The packaging
This candle arrives in a matching black box to the candle – it would definitely make a lovely gift. As for the jar, this is an unobtrusive black matte with gold lettering.

Good to know
You'll need to keep trimming the wick of this candle to prevent tunneling. Also, it doesn't give off any smell unless lit – this is admittedly great for smaller rooms or homes as sometimes this can be overpowering. It might also be too sweet for those who aren't huge fans of this aroma. This candle is also paraffin-free. 

The best home fragrance for a living room: Stoneglow Luna Reed Diffuser – Leather and Saffron

(Image credit: Stoneglow)

13. Stoneglow Luna Reed Diffuser – Leather and Saffron

A strong and well-balanced reed diffuser for a living room

Specifications
Type: Reed diffuser
Size: 120 ml
Notes: Leather, saffron, sandalwood, jasmine, amber, musk

Want to make a statement with your home fragrance? This one packs a punch as it's not only strong but well-balanced – and it looks the part.

The scent
While Luna is described as a leather and saffron scent, it’s actually a wonderfully textured, dark take on a jasmine room fragrance. It’s not a simple floral, though: the sandalwood and amber give it an opulence and warmth, while the leather makes the floral heart more masculine and formal. A great scent for a contemporary living room.

Packaging
Elegant and streamlined, in a versatile shade of navy that will blend in with your decor. 

Good to know
We’re not keen on the reeds here – they’re a bit basic. Consider replacing with better-quality reeds.

The best vanilla home fragrance: Voluspa Champagne Classic Maison Candle

(Image credit: Voluspa)

14. Voluspa Champagne Classic Maison Candle

A candle for vanilla lovers – with added depth

Specifications
Type: Candle
Size: 12oz
Notes: Champagne, vanilla, oak

A rich and festive scent that will give any room in the house plenty of oomph. It's rather subtle while having a bit of depth, and there's no denying its design is fancy.

The scent
Forget about champagne, as lovely as the booze-themed marketing for this fragrance is – it’s actually a very well-executed vanilla home scent. Rich, deep, and grounded by the oak, this is warm, creamy vanilla as it should be.  

The packaging
A sleek black glass jar with a gold sticker. Very opulent. 

Good to know
This isn’t a very strong fragrance, so is better suited to smaller rooms.


Should I go for a reed diffuser, candle, or room spray? 

Quite a few of the scents on our list come in a range of forms, and we've listed reed diffusers, candles, and room sprays in our guide. If you can't decide which one is best for you and your home, then let us help.

Candles are less intrusive because you can easily put them out, but you will need to supervise them when they’re lit. Reed diffusers are low-maintenance, but you’ll need to make sure you like the scent, as you’ll be smelling it all the time. Room sprays are perfect for bathrooms and kitchens where you may wish to mask unpleasant odors fast and on demand.

How to choose a home fragrance?

In terms of home fragrance and ensuring your home smells lovely to you (and your guests!), you can buy anything from a room spray to a candle or a reed diffuser.

Choosing a home fragrance scent is the hard part, and it's a highly individual process: what smells great to one person may smell too strong/too sweet/too subtle to another. As a general rule, though, it’s a good idea to work out your preferences, and consider how the fragrance will be used before you buy.

It would also be smart to think about where this home fragrance will live in your home. Large lounges do better with stronger, more opulent fragrances, whether sweet, floral, or smokey. On the other hand, strong room fragrances should be avoided in bedrooms: instead, look for lavender-based scents that will help you sleep. Kitchens are your perfect setting for gourmands (think vanilla or fruits) and herbal scents with notes of citrus and basil. Bathrooms and hallways can take just about anything because they’re often aired. 

Don't forget about what you dislike! If you love rose, look for a rose-based fragrance, it's that simple. If you hate citrus, make sure your home fragrance doesn’t contain any, because whatever fragrance note you dislike will be the one you’ll end up noticing the most.