21 home fragrances to enhance your space in every season

Our favourite scents to complement your interiors

Best home fragrance: Dipyque candle, Rituals diffuser, Jo Malone candle and Neom diffuser
(Image credit: Future)

Making sure that your home smells nice should be number one on your priority list, because there's no point in decorating your living room, styling your bedroom or revamping your hallway without having a matching fragrance to complement. And with plenty of choices out there, we're here to tell you exactly which home fragrances are worth your money. From the likes of The White Company, Neom, Skandinavisk and more...

Whether it's a diffuser, a room spray or a scented candle that you're lusting after, our home fragrance expert has tried all of the products featured below, and she's rated them four stars or more. How? We test home fragrances in real life settings, so we like to use them inside our Real Homes, for a number of weeks (or even months) to make sure they do their job successfully. Whilst ranking these home fragrances, we consider three things: What does it smell like? Is it powerful (or equally enough, too powerful)? And lastly: what's the packaging like? Is this eco-friendly and can you buy refills?

With this in mind, we've featured plenty of choices for all tastes, from subtly festive fragrances to candles that will bring the Christmas cheer in sleigh loads. Equally, you'll find some non-festive fragrances in there for year-round home scenting, with something for everywhere including your bathroom and your kitchen, too. Because your home can never smell too nice, right?

The best home fragrances to shop this season

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Real Homes review process

Home fragrance testing image with reed diffusers, candles and room sprays on coffee table

(Image credit: Future/Annie Collyer)

Yes, that's right: I've had hands-on experience with every single candle and reed diffuser in this guide. To ensure it smells nice, and so that we can recommend products to you, with peace of mind. I'm Real Homes' Head Ecommerce Editor, Annie, and I am a home fragrance expert with years worth of experience testing candles and reed diffusers. I don't want to toot my own trumpet but because of this, my house smells lovely 24/7, and more often than not I have a wet dog running around so that's pretty impressive. I usually use these home fragrances until they are around half-empty before coming to a decision. And it goes without saying that not everything I test actually makes it to this guide. Only products I deem more than four stars will be featured.

Choosing a home fragrance for different rooms

Of course, fragrance is very subjective, and if you like what you like and it's working for you, the rules really don't matter. But if you're not sure which home fragrance will suit which rooms, there are a few general rules that can help you make the right choice.

Living rooms: The living room is usually the largest room in the house and can take a strong fragrance. Bold florals, rich amber-based or woody-smoky fragrances, and sweet scents, for those with a sweet tooth, can all travel beautifully across a living room. We'd avoid anything herbal or overly subtle, as you probably won't be able to smell it much.

Bedrooms: Choosing a scent for a bedroom is all about making sure you won't disrupt your sleep with an overly strong or stimulating fragrance. Avoid citruses or cloyingly sweet scents; we recommend subtly blended white florals, minimalist scents with tea notes, or herbal fragrances with lavender or chamomile.

Kitchens: The best fragrance for a kitchen will need to blend perfectly with the smells of food being prepared, so it's always a good idea to pick something that harmonises with those smells. Notes of tomato, passion fruit, basil, citrus, or mint all work really well in kitchens. While a reed diffuser works well in any other room, we avoid putting them in kitchens where they might take on cooking smells, or heat could impact their oils.

Bathrooms: This is your wild card of a room that can accommodate almost any fragrance, strong or subtle – it's all about preference. We prefer to stick to herbal or fresh fragrances in a bathroom and wouldn't opt for anything too heavy, especially if your bathroom is windowless.

Hallways: The hallway announces what your home is like to guests, so why not go for a bit of bombast? Opulent white florals, rose scents, or complex woody fragrances will make a strong first impression.

Home office: A home office fragrance needs to help you be productive, without being too distracting. Bright citruses will help you stay awake and concentrate, while a grounded fragrance with notes of amber or tobacco will conjure up a calm and controlled atmosphere. An essential oil diffuser can work well in a home office, too, for a calming scent that's not too soothing.

Annie Collyer
Head Ecommerce Editor

Hi! I'm Annie, and I'm the Head Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes. Along with my team, I'm here to review all of the products you might be considering buying for your home. As someone who lives in a flat with a small amount of storage space to work with, and with two indoor pets to clean up after, I am forever searching for stylish yet functional appliances that won't blemish my decor if I can't fit them in a cupboard. I love decorating my living room for each season, while my other hobbies include drinking a decent cup of coffee, going on park walks with my dog and enjoying an Instagrammable brunch with my husband.