How to make your house smell like fall – 5 amazing-smelling tricks that aren't just lighting a scented candle

These comforting aromas will bring the essence of fall into your home for some seasonal nostalgia

Venetian plaster fireplace
(Image credit: Stephanie Russo / Villa Mara)

Fall has well and truly arrived, and with it, we all want to bring the cozy hygge vibe inside as we prepare to hunker down for the cooler seasons. Besides the arrival of more throws to your bed and the ceremonious lighting of the living room fire, that also means bringing the smell of autumn indoors to fill your home with some seasonal nostalgia. 

When someone talks about the smell of fall, we might all think of something different, yet we all intuitively know exactly what it means. This season is a time of comfort, embracing a slower pace of life, and enjoying quality time with family. When it comes to fragrance that translates to natural woody scents, calming spices, or the aroma of freshly baked sweet treats, and while there are plenty of mass-marketed air fresheners and scented candles to mimic such smells, there's nothing quite like the real deal. 

If you're looking for some natural ways to make your home smell good and bring the essence of the new season indoors, we've asked some aromatherapy experts for their suggestions on how to make your house smell like fall. Here are five natural methods that we'll be trying. 

1. Make an essential oil room spray

A curving, white sofa in a living room

(Image credit: House of Dome)

Room sprays make some of the best home fragrances and they're typically a more sophisticated way to fragrance a room, especially when they're homemade. By using essential oils like cedarwood, clove, and ginger you can bring the essence of autumn indoors and even be your own aromatherapist by customizing the scents. 

'To make your own fall-inspired room spray simply combine water and a few drops of essential oils in a spray bottle,' says Ilia Mundut, founder of HeftyBerry. 'Shake well before each use and spritz the mixture around your home to enjoy the delightful scents. You can also experiment with different combinations of oils to create your desired fall fragrance.'

For a fall-inspired scent, Daniel Nelson of Matrix Aromatherapy has a great recipe up his sleeve. 'Use 4 drops Cinnamon Bark essential oil, 3 drops Ginger essential oil, 3 drops Nutmeg essential oil, 2 drops Clove essential oil, 1 drop Cardamom essential oil, distilled water, and a small spray bottle,' he says. 'Mix the essential oils in a small spray bottle, then fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water. Shake well before each use and spray in rooms for a pumpkin spice aroma.'

2. Simmer some stovetop potpourri 

Small rustic kitchen with green shelves and tiles

(Image credit: Zeke Ruelas)

There's nothing quite like the smell of a spiced stovetop concoction bubbling away to signal the start of fall. A gently simmering potpourri will fragrance your home for hours, and like a homemade room spray, you can customize the ingredients to switch up the scent. 

'One of my favorite things to do on a chilly Sunday spent at home is making stovetop potpourri,' says Jennifer Sturgill, co-founder of Unplug Soy Candles. 'What's great about this is that it's fairly inexpensive (and a great way to clear out some pantry ingredients) and with a light simmer in a Dutch oven, it will be sure to fill your space with deliciousness.'

Spices like cinnamon and clove mixed with apple slices are a great choice for a classic fall scent, but you can use whatever you have in the pantry for some natural scentscaping. 'Depending on what's in our pantry, fridge, or spice drawer at the time, I change it up frequently,' says Jennifer. 'Just grab a Dutch oven, place it on your largest burner, turn the stove on low, and simmer. Be sure to stir occasionally  (we want to avoid boiling/burning ingredients) and enjoy your stovetop potpourri all day long.' Some ingredients Jennifer likes to use are cranberries, sliced lemon, sprigs of rosemary, sage or thyme, and vanilla beans. 

3. Or make a natural dried potpourri 

A close up of pinecones in a bowl

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you don't fancy making a stovetop concoction, you can also make a dried bowl of potpourri using all-natural ingredients such as pinecones, cinnamon sticks, and acorns. Besides making a beautiful display of fall botanicals on your coffee table or credenza, they give off a light scent and can be doused with essential oils for a stronger aroma. 

 'To do this, gather fall botanicals like dried leaves, pinecones, or cinnamon sticks and display them in bowls or vases around your home,' says Ilia. 'These natural elements will not only add a touch of autumn decor but also release their subtle scents, creating a cozy and seasonal ambiance.'

To maximize the fall fragrance and practice some scent layering, put your acorns and pinecones into a paper bag and add a few drops of essential oil. Cedarwood oil is a great choice since it highlights the pinecones' woody scent, but you could also use cinnamon, bergamot, cardamom, or black pepper. 

4. Make a scented eucalyptus wreath

A wreath being made with eucalyptus, cinnamon and dried oranges

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A dried wreath for the inside of your home not only makes a beautiful addition to your living room fall decor, but, ensuring you use the right foliage, it will also emit a gentle fragrance.

'Some great ingredients for a wreath include fresh eucalyptus branches, dried orange slices, drops of cedarwood essential oil, drops of cinnamon bark oil, and of course, some floral wire,' says Daniel. 'To create the wreath take some fresh eucalyptus branches and secure them with floral wire. Next, sprinkle the essential oils onto the wreath and then hang on your front door or inside to enjoy the autumn-inspired fragrance.'

You could also add cinnamon sticks, some natural moss, or sprigs of herbs for a fuller look with a more rounded scent. ' Think rosemary, thyme, and sage,' says Adrian Pedraza, owner of The California Home Buyer. 'Hang them by your entrance, and every time the door opens, a whiff of earthy freshness greets you.' A pre-made grapevine twig wreath like these ones from Target also makes it much easier to get the perfect shape since all you need to do is add your own foliage. 

5. Bake some fall treats

a modern stylish kitchen with a green range

(Image credit: James Merrell)

Last but not least, a classic way to make your home smell like fall is by getting busy in the kitchen with some baking. 'Nothing beats the aroma of freshly baked goods during the fall season,' says Ilia. 'Bake treats like apple pie, pumpkin bread, or cinnamon rolls to infuse your home with delicious scents. The warm and inviting aroma is sure to make your house feel cozy and welcoming.'

If you're not a keen baker or aren't so much of a sweet tooth, Adrian recommends roasting some pumpkin seeds for a more earthy fall fragrance. 'Post carving your Halloween pumpkin, don't toss those seeds,' he says. 'Roast them with some cinnamon and not only will your house smell delicious, but you'll also get a tasty snack!'

Natural fall-scented botanicals to buy 

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.