Smell is a sense that stimulates both our memories and our emotions. A lovely fragrance can enhance both your mood as well as your environment. It can make your house feel more like a home, somewhere you’ll want to relax and spend time.
While humans can detect millions of aromas, there are seven broad categories we all recognise and love. So, in this guide, we’re discounting the strong smells of chemicals or decay, as we assume nobody wants their home to smell of ammonia or sour milk! If you want to add another level of comfort and luxury to your home, then read on. And if you’re interested in ringing the chances with new flooring, we can offer you a host of inspirational suggestions from our Ideas Hub, which also includes care guides and DIY tips.
Your favourite smell will be personal. It may be vanilla, making you think of early memories of messing around with Play-Doh, or eating ice cream in summer; it may be pine that recalls Christmas from the past. Whatever your favourite smell, there is a home fragrance to suit your taste and budget. We’ll list the most popular home fragrances below.
Imagine putting your nose into a bunch of flowers! These scents from nature range from the heady smell of lilies and roses to lighter ones like honeysuckle and chamomile. Florals are said to reduce your heart rate and induce calm, making them perfect for bedrooms or home offices or to have in a hallway or shared space like an office or shop.
These are the zesty aromas of lemons, limes, grapefruit, and orange. The fragrances are best for kitchen areas, or to evoke a sense of freshness. That’s why they’re used for cleaning products from soap to bleach. Although they’re strong and distinctive, citrus fragrances are surprisingly neutral too. So, if you were having dinner it wouldn’t clash with the smell of the delicious food you were cooking.
Warm and musky, these food-based fragrances are the smells that bring back memories. As we’ve already said, the scent of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, for instance, make many people think of Christmas or baking cakes. They’re often used as the base ‘note’ in fragrances, too, so don’t be surprised to see pepper, bay leaf, star anise or mustard seeds listed as ingredients – but you’re meant to smell them, not eat them!
More perfumes are recreated from nature, like the smell of freshly cut grass, wood burning, or the earth after a rainfall (the specific term for this is ‘petrichor’, which is a great fact to impress friends in the pub). Think of sandalwood, cedar, or tobacco to get the idea. The water-based scents have a salty tang, and often have a clean, herbal base, like sage or rosemary, with cucumber, but it can be more citrussy or smoky, too. These fragrances work well in every room but particularly in living rooms or studies.
These are the smells of puddings and treats! From vanilla, almond and chocolate, to honey and caramel, you will find these included in many popular home fragrances and they’re often mixed with the ‘greener’ fruity or citrussy aromas. Even if you’re never going to win The Great British Bake Off (or even be good enough to enter), there’s a way of creating that lovely, homely afternoon tea atmosphere in your living room.
This is the warm and distinctive smell of melting sugar, butter frying, bread toasting or roasting chicken. It’ll probably make you hungry so you may not want to include this fragrance near bedrooms, but if you like it, it would be a good addition to a living area.
This category includes all the fruity smells that aren’t citrussy – so we’re talking apples, and strawberries as well as the brighter smells of eucalyptus, tea, or mint. In a home fragrance, this scent is uplifting and energising, making it perfect for a living room, a home office, a kitchen, a playroom or anywhere people want to concentrate.
Now you’ve decided which are your favourite smells, what’s the best way to introduce them into your home? We’ll look at the three best options below.
These are the simplest, most stylish ways to give your space a subtle scent. Reeds or small wooden sticks are inserted into fragranced oil in a bottle, and the scent escapes subtly. The more reeds you use, the more your chosen fragrance will seep into the air. Diffusers are safer than candles, and Tapi sells one in our signature scent Breeze, which creates a gorgeous, calming atmosphere in any room.
Scented candles are easily available, last for a long time and come in a huge range of fragrances from the obvious scents we all love that we’ve discussed above, to more unusual ones that evoke a particular situation – cotton sheets drying on a washing line while you relax in the sun, for instance. They're also a great way to style your coffee table. To avoid an accident, please resist the urge to leave a candle unattended in another room or allow it to burn as you’re falling asleep. And never leave a candle burning when you go out.
The advantage of a room spray is that you can spritz as much or as little as you like, as and when you feel your space needs it. The most subtle way to scent a room is to spray a cushion and let its bouquet drift around the room. For instance, you may find the scent of lavender helps you to sleep if you spray it on your pillow before you go to bed.
Introducing a scent you love can be a very economical way of transforming your home, without having to move furniture or decorate, and it can make you feel like you're living in a luxury hotel. Simply put, you can change a musty area into an inviting one by setting up a reed diffuser or lighting a candle. You can disguise the smell of cooking by spraying your favourite fragrance nearby or increase a warm and welcoming feeling in a spare bedroom by making it smell inviting for guests.
If you’d like further tips on how to update your home on a budget, we’ve produced a guide with some great value for money, and inspirational ideas. And if you’re thinking about a home makeover to go with your new home fragrance, why not pop into your local Tapi store to speak with one of our knowledgeable floorologists about our different flooring options?