Top 5 Home Fragrance Devices to Keep Your House Smelling Good and Welcoming

One of the most overlooked aspects of home care and interior design is smell. Of course, you probably clean up before guests arrive at your home. You vacuum, dust, wipe off the counters. You probably make sure that scattered magazines and papers, dishes and random objects are neatly put away and stored. You might even put out some decorate fruit and turn on some nice music. But rarely do homeowners focus on smell. Why is that? Well, don’t fret. It’s not your fault. It’s just science.

Why You Can’t Smell Your Own House

Have you ever walked into someone else’s house and thought, “Wow, not a great smell in here.”

And then have you thought, “How does the owner not notice this?” And then have you thought, “Oh my gosh, what if my house smells this bad, and I don’t notice it!?”

Well, bad news. It probably does. Maybe it doesn’t smell entirely bad, but the part about you not smelling it — that’s likely true. Just don’t feel bad about it because it happens to everyone and … there’s even a name for it. It’s called olfactory adaptation.

What’s Olfactory Adaptation?

So you can’t smell your own house. And guess what — you probably can’t smell your own body odor or breath either. All because of olfactory adaptation. This phenomenon is something that’s been with humans since the birth of humankind, and it actually serves a purpose.

You see, our olfactory (smelling) system is constantly picking up scented molecules. That’s how it smells, and every object around us has its own “smelly” molecules. Once they enter our nostrils, they stick to the back of the throat in a special mucus. Inside this mucus, special receptor cells relay information to your brain. These receptors have an extremely important purpose: They warn our brains about “fishy” situations, such as fire, decay, or foods that have made us sick in the past. But “benign smells” that don’t scream DANGER! DANGER! … Well, those get passed over after the first sniff or two. And when we smell them over and over again, our brains basically ignore them. Your own home may not smell great because your brain doesn’t really care.

Pretty Smells to the Rescue: The 5 Home Fragrance Devices You Never Knew You Needed

To ensure that olfactory adaptation doesn’t get the better of you, try out these five home fragrance devices.

Fragrance Mist

The best way to know beyond a doubt that your home will smell fragrant and lovely is to spray a high-quality fragrance mist. While searching for a nice fragrance mist for your home, look for a scent that is light and fresh. You don’t want the scent to be too overpowering, but rather to gently linger in the air. Scents that are natural and come from real fruits or flowers are the best light and fresh scents. Also, remember that you’ll be breathing these scents in, so they should be natural and paraben-free.

Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential oil diffusers work with batteries, or they can be plugged in. They are extremely easy to use. The user adds a few drops of one or more essential oil(s) to the diffuser and then turns it on. Sometimes, water is added as well to dilute the essential oils. As the diffuser operates, it transforms the oil into a vapor that is released from the top of the device and quickly spreads throughout the room. With some devices, you can see the vapor being released while with other devices, it’s invisible. Since there are so many essential oils to choose from, this is a great fragrance device for experimenting with different smells.

Reed Diffuser

Reed diffusers are similar to oil diffusers, but they’re not electric, nor do they require batteries. These devices consist of a (usually glass) container that contains a scented oil. Numerous reeds are inserted into the container, the bottoms of which sit in the oil. Over time, the scent of the oil travels up the reeds to their tops and diffuses into the air to make the room smell nice. The downfall of these devices is that they take some time to work and they quickly lose their scent — sometimes in a matter of a few days.

Candles and Oil Burners

Candles can also make your home smell wonderful. Just make sure to find high-quality products that don’t contain toxic fillers and chemicals. One nice benefit to lighting candles is the pretty look they give off. That small flame of fire provides a warm and welcoming light whenever you’re welcoming guests — and when you’re alone too!

Simmering Potpourri

Here’s one final idea to improve the smell of your home. It’s not a device, per se, but it can surely help you if you’re in a jam. “Simmering potpourri” is basically a medley of spices and nice-smelling food items that you can put in a pot with some water on your stove and simmer at a low temperature. Often, you can find these items in your home. Here are some things to consider for your potpourri: sliced oranges, lemon peels, cranberries, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pine needles.

A Lovely Home Smells Lovely Too!

When guests enter your home, you want them to feel like you are an excellent housekeeper and want them to feel that your personal space is a haven for anyone who enters: inviting, welcoming, and lovely. Whether your home is inviting hinges on the way it smells. Unfortunately, as we’ve learned (hi, olfactory adaptation), this can get tricky. But to remedy this situation, all you need to do is use the devices listed above. That way, you can feel confident that guests will never turn up their noses when walking into your home.