How important are scents in the home?

When it comes to selling or renting a property it is important to consider first impressions. In the first instance a viewer will use their senses to judge the property they view, if the viewer is not impressed, it might deter them from even considering the property. 

It is important to get the scents in your home right the first time round. We thought we’d give you an insight into establishing different scents, their importance and how to choose the right scent for your property and what to stay away from.

Why is it important to add scents to your home?

Scent is one of the most heightened senses linked to triggering emotion, but when it comes to interior design, the importance of fragrance and its ability to positively affect our mood is often overlooked.

The right fragrance can change your mood, evoke a reaction and create an ambiance in your home which sets the tone – like a Christmas-scented candle to get in the festive spirit or something more fruit-based in the summer months. 

The right home scents will allow you to express your individuality whilst also putting a stamp of ownership on your house – it’s something that is very personal to the individual.

Which smells are off-putting to buyers?

Mustiness: This can be a sign of damp or water issues, so a buyer may assume the worst if there is a musty smell in your home

Dampness: These include wet towels.

Pets: Be sure to remove any traces of pet scent or urine. Steam clean carpets, hard flooring and sofas before an inspection and be sure to hide that smelly dog bed in the garage.

Rubbish: Remove rubbish before an inspection.

Strong Household Cleaners: Use them at least 24 hours before an inspection and open some windows to air your home after use.

Overly strong scents: you don’t want to overdo it on any fragrance. If you are using a scented candle or oil burner, for example, turn it off 30 minutes before the inspection begins.

Top tips for combatting bad smells in your home

Bad smells will linger and deter buyers from investing in your home. The smell and the overall look of the property will be the first thing that the buyer will notice about a property. The scent should match the aesthetic of your home, if you do that successfully, the sale of your home could have far more success.

You need to make sure you get rid of bad smells in your home straight at the source. Remove any shoes or coats that may have found a home by the door, empty your bins and bin cupboards well before the viewing date. 

Consider spraying curtains and any soft furnishings with a fabric spray as well as older mattresses or sofas. Tackle any areas with mould and damp well before the viewings. Clean your appliances such as microwaves, dishwashers and the fridge. Remove any dust that may have accumulated over the past few weeks so that your rooms do not have a musky smell. Consider removing any pet beds and litter trays.

Are there home scents that everyone loves?

Our Top 10 favourite scents are: freshly baked bread, fresh linen, coffee, lavender, vanilla, cinnamon, sandalwood, freshly cut grass, citrus scents and bergamot.

Scents are usually dependent on the time of year it is, for example many fragrances become more popular over the Christmas and the autumn period. There are the classics that work all year round, the fresher and more citrusy scents that appeal in spring and summer and the spicier smells which will appeal more in the winter periods like cinnamon, apple, chai and pumpkin. Scents will often remind people of fond memories which is why winter scents are so popular around the Christmas period.

Some classic scents include clean cotton and lavender, which work all year round, especially in rooms such as bathrooms and bedrooms. Winter and autumn period candles work well in your living areas and kitchens, these can often provide a feeling of cosiness and warmth which is exactly what you might crave over the colder, winter period.

Scents that can help you sell your home

There are many psychological effects that smells can pose, different scents can bring back different memories for a person and evoke feelings. Let’s consider some scents that might help you sell your property, there are so many to choose from, so it’s important to find the right one that will suit your home. 

Citrus Lemon was rated number one as a mood booster. Lemon, orange and grapefruit can help reduce stress and nervous tension as well as lowering anxiety levels. Citrus scents work really well in homes, especially in the summer months.

Pine may come as a surprise to many, largely because the fragrance has been misused in poor quality cleaning products over the years. However, if you can find a good pine scent to fill your home with, you’ll be onto something. Research has shown pine can promote feelings of well-being and emulating that emotion is perfect for viewing day.

Jasmine is thought to be one of the most calming scents available, jasmine is highly underrated when it comes to property viewings but it’s one that works really well.

Cinnamon evokes memories of winter evenings spent by the fire, but it has therapeutic properties too. Thought to reduce irritability and drowsiness, this spice can relax muscles and increase circulation when used for aromatherapy. When it comes to selling homes, a few strategically placed cinnamon sticks will really work in your favour.

Vanilla works wonders in the home, the sweet fragrance of vanilla is thought to help relieve stress and anxiety, offering a calm environment that could make your home feel like an oasis for anyone viewing multiple properties that day.

How to choose scents for specific rooms in your home

Bathroom: Peppermint and citrus, Peppermint stimulates our mind and body, so a fresh burst of mint in the morning can give you the boost of energy you need to set up for the day. Citrus has similar effects, and we associate citrus aromas with words like ‘clean’ and ‘pleasant’.

Home office: Rosemary is a great scent for memory retention and concentration. It’s often paired with peppermint to enhance focus and memory. Rosemary invigorates the mind, stimulates clear thinking and is a natural remedy for headaches and physical exhaustion.

Living room: Jasmine is known for its uplifting capabilities and can induce feelings of relaxation and revitalised energy. Jasmine brings out the confidence and optimism within, commonly used as an antidepressant.

Kitchen/Dining room: Winter spice and cosy winter fragrances like cinnamon, ginger, thyme and nutmeg can bring a cosy feeling to your home. Scents can uplift your mood and can even bring back fond memories associated with happiness.

Bedroom: The benefits of keeping fresh flowers in your home are endless, but did you consider a bouquet in your bedroom? A study found that the smell of roses has been shown to improve the ‘emotional tone’ of our dreams. Or try dried lavender by the bed, its calming properties are proven to reduce stress and tension and even insomnia.

We hope that this has provided you with some valuable information on which fragrances could help to sell your home and why they are so important to get it right.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you sell your property in Cornwall, click here for more info. 


Scroll to Top