In search of a new home fragrance to scent the air within your four walls? Whether it’s a candle or a reed diffuser that you are after, we can help. The Ideal Home team have been testing a huge range of home fragrance buys for months on end, to determine which ones are worth the expense – and where best to place the ones we love.
Because home fragrance is an undeniably important part of your decor, these are the top buys that we loved whilst testing in our own homes. We’ve listed a range of products in this guide, from the best candles to some room sprays plus fragrance oils to use in an essential oil diffuser. Otherwise, you’ll find plenty of reed diffuser recommendations here, too.
How to choose a home fragrance?
First thing’s first: what type of home fragrance should you go for? This can be tricky to decide, so we’re here to simplify your decision. You can, of course, buy a matching candle and room spray, for example, or the same candle and reed diffuser fragrance for the best of both worlds.
Choose a candle if you want to add light whilst making your home smell nice, and if you have somewhere in mind to place it that’s safe and out of the way from potential curious hands (or paws).
Reed diffusers are great because they do the job for you, with very little effort required other than the infrequent turning of reeds.
Opt for a room spray if you want something that you can completely control – these are particularly handy for a quick spray just before guests arrive. Or, to mask unwanted odours fast.
Last but definitely not least, fragrance oils are great for emitting smell throughout a long period of time, kind of like a candle but a lot safer. You need to mix a few drops with water and add this to your essential oil diffuser – for a very calming and lovely smelling ambience.
Let’s get to it then…
13 best home fragrance buys
1. Rituals The Ritual of Sakura Mini Fragrance Sticks
A fragrant reed diffuser for year-round use
This fragrant reed diffuser ought to wow your senses and uplift a room. It’s nice and small, too, so as not to be obtrusive on if on show. We say to place this reed diffuser in a hallway, toilet or even a spacious living room. When to use it? It’s pretty much a year-round winner, meaning that you can use it spring, summer, autumn or winter.
Sweet yet creamy thanks to cherry blossom and rice milk notes, this powerful reed diffuser smells elegant yet delicate. There’s no need to turn the reeds of this diffuser as frequent as others, since it always manages to flood a room, no matter how small or large
Housed inside a white recyclable glass vessel that’s ribbed and tall in height, this diffuser is easy to hide but also looks the part when on show. Refills are available, so that you can buy an entire bottle of fragrance and fill your vessel up as and when it’s necessary.
2. Skandinavisk Lempi Candle
A floral, sweet and subtle home fragrance for spring and summer
Size: 65g, 200g
We’re not usually fans of sweet candles as they are often quite overpowering, but this one from SKANDINAVISK, their Lempi Scented Candle, is lovely and subtle. It comes inside a decorative glass jar, complete with a wooden lid, making it ideal for Skandi-style, boho or modern homes.
This sweet candle has notes of peony and rose, as well as strawberries and mosses. It’s definitely not too sweet, that’s for sure. It’d be a great burn for spring or summer days and evenings.
This vegan-friendly Swedish candle is made from rapeseed wax while the glass vessel is made from 30 per cent recycled materials. It has a cotton wick, too.
3. Orphic Living Black Tea, Patchouli, Peppercorn Scented Reed Diffuser
The best powerful reed diffuser
This unique blend from small Bath business Orphic Living offers a powerful fragrance – and it adds both warmth and style to a room that might need it. In fact, it’s perfect for placing in your hallway, to flood each and every room in your home with fragrance. Otherwise, it’s perfectly suitable for a bathroom or bedroom and you’ll definitely want to pop it on show thanks to its lux looking amber glass bottle.
Scented to be spicy with notes of leather, tobacco, amber and musk, this reed diffuser is definitely best for the colder months of autumn and winter. Its bold blend is best suited for smaller rooms and it has woody base notes to warm your rooms.
You can buy the same fragrance in a candle and room spray to match. Plus, the reeds that come with are made from rattan. This reed diffuser makes a lovely gift idea, plus it arrives in completely plastic-free packaging. Flip the reeds every 2-3 days, or when you believe it’s needed, to emit fragrance.
Buy now: Orphic Living Black Tea, Patchouli, Peppercorn Scented Reed Diffuser, £18, Etsy
4. Slab Lab Scented Candle Fog
A creamy and warm home fragrance
A unique blend of fragrance, this Slab Lab candle is made using coconut and rapeseed wax, while we think it’s the perfect burn for last summer, early autumn. For when the evenings begin to get chilly and you choose to retreat inside.
Boasting a strong scent even before being lit, this candle boasts notes of chamomile, clover honey and bergamot, mixed with English lavender and freesia. Topped with fragrant vanilla and tonka bean. It’s sweet yet warm and definitely unique.
Hand-poured into a grey glass vessel, with plain white labelling, this rapeseed wax candle is GMO-free and plant-based. It also has a long burn time of 40-45 hours, while the lack of tunnelling is impressive, to say the least.
Buy now: Slab Lab Scented Candle Fog, £25, Trouva
5. Sunday of London III. Rooftop Garden Botanical Candle
The best fresh fragrance for bathrooms
Bring the outdoors in with help from this gorgeously fragranced candle from Sunday of London. This fresh candle ought to refresh any room once lit, even a windowless bathroom, plus its calming fragrance definitely adds a sense of tranquillity to your home. We say to light it in a bathroom or kitchen, but really it works anywhere.
Scented with fragrance oils only, this candle is a mix of bergamot, basil, thyme, lavender and ylang ylang. Aromatherapy grade oils ensure it’s powerful enough to make a statement, plus it’s not even the slightest bit overpowering, just impressive. It smells luxurious and best of all: natural. It’s made using creamy coconut wax that’s GMO-free, with a 100% pure cotton wick. No synthetic smelling fragrances here!
Made in small batches with zero palm oil used in production, this candle has an impressive 40-hour burn time. We can vouch for the fact it burns clean, too, and it has a handy screw-on lid for when not in use, to prevent dusting. Poured inside an amber glass jar, it’s definitely aesthetically pleasing enough to show off on your bathroom side or kitchen island.
Buy now: Sunday of London III. Rooftop Garden Botanical Candle, £26, Trouva
6. The White Company Fireside Diffuser
The best reed diffuser for autumn and winter
The White Company’s bestselling Fireside diffuser deserves pride of place in your home during autumn and winter. Why? Its scent mimics that of a burning fireplace, with a teeny hint of chocolate for warmth – and comfort. Place this inside a cosy room such as a living room or bedroom and thank us later.
With scent notes of smoked woods, fresh birch and rich patchouli mixed with creamy vanilla and a dash of amber, this unique blend will definitely turn noses. Plus, we found that it immediately scents a room. Pop it in the centre of your space for the best outcome.
Poured inside a classic The White Company diffuser vessel, this woody fragrance not only looks the part but it smells the part, too. It comes with rattan reed sticks that you can use as many of as you like, dependant on your room size. This reed diffuser is said to last for 3 months, making it perfect for use from October to December.
Buy now: Fireside Diffuser, £21.60, The White Company
7. Witchy The Moon Tarot Candle
A powerful candle for autumn and winter
Witchy’s The Moon candle is essentially the scent of wintertime – but in candle form. Plus, it’s made in small batches by a small business and is sustainable and cruelty-free. It even has a wooden wick and it’s decorated with 2 ethical crystals.
This candle smells undeniably great even before it’s lit. Once you do light it, though, you’ll want to wait until it has melted slightly to remove the crystals as the candle melts even more. It has scent notes of ginger, cinnamon and vanilla, it might sound like a classic though rest assured it will flood your entire room with its to-die-for scent. It burns fast but evenly, and it gives off an almost immediate scent. Incredible.
Decorated with crystals and poured inside a premium glassware vessel, this soy candle is made using perfume grade fragrance with an FSC-certified wooden wick. Apparently, it can burn for a whopping 50 hours inside your home. It also makes a lovely gift idea.
Buy now: Witchy The Moon Tarot Candle, £26, Etsy
8. Botanica by Air Wick Room Spray Fresh Pineapple and Tunisian Rosemary
The best room spray for banishing odours
This subtle odour neutralising spray is perfect for all-around use – a few sprays of this and your home will smell as fresh as… fresh pineapple and Tunisian rosemary. You can also use it on your upholstery.This spray is infused with natural essential oils to offer a fresh (and green-smelling) scent. It’s subtle yet still manages to banish nasty odours with just a few presses on the trigger.
The bottle this home fragrance is inside is made from 99.9 per cent recycled plastic, while the trigger is made of 35 per cent recycled plastic. The scent itself is free from propellants and dyes, and Air Wick by Botanica are currently collaborating with WWF to fight wildflower habitats with each purchase.
9. ESPA Restorative Candle
A fresh yet floral home fragrance for bedrooms or living rooms
ESPA’s Restorative Candle is uplifting, powerful and elegantly housed in a white glass vessel. It’s best suited for larger rooms thanks to its floral yet sweet natural scent, so we say to place it in a spacious bedroom or large living room.
With floral notes of rose geranium and palmarosa, and sweet notes of orange blossom and lavender, it’s definitely one to light in spring or summertime.
This ESPA candle is housed in a lovely and elegant looking glass jar, complete with a metal lid to pop the candle on when burning. It’s made of 100% natural wax, and it’s suitable for vegetarians.
10. Airwick Essential Mist Kit Balancing Peony & Jasmine
A hassle-free solution to home fragrance
This fuss-free essential mist kit comes with a diffuser and a fragrance (of your choice). Simply open the bottom of your diffuser and pop your fragrance inside, and then switch it on. Choose between three intensities – low, medium and high – depending on your room size. The first switch is low, and this means the device will power up every 17 minutes, for just 4 seconds. The medium option makes this diffuser turn on every 12 minutes, for 5 seconds, while the highest intensity will have it working every 10 minutes, for a total of 6 seconds. You can easily hide this diffuser behind some books, or even a candle or just tuck it away in a hallway or bathroom. They are pretty much great for anywhere at home since they are portable, too. We say to select one fragrance and buy two or three, to dot around your home. This way your home will smell the same, everywhere, and all of the time, without you worrying about a thing.
This scent, Balancing Peony & Jasmine, is a great choice for spring and summer, as it aims to bring the outdoors in and make your home smell as fresh as… fresh flowers!
This essential mist kit is perfect for pet owners as it works to scent your home all day long. It releases scent into the air, to flood and fill a room, while it’s also safe to use around pets and children alike. One fragrance refill should last you 45 days on average, while the machines come in your choice of black or white, to fit in with your home decor. The idea is that you buy the diffuser once, and then buy more refills of each fragrance so you can switch things up depending on the season.
11. Made by Zen Purity Range Scented Essential Oil, Sleep
The best home fragrance for your essential oil diffuser
If you are yet to invest in an essential oil diffuser, then we suggest doing so ASAP. It’s the only way you can use this fragrance oil – just a few drops in some water will flood your bedroom with a subtle yet calming smell.
Made by Zen’s fragrance oils are made of pure essential oils, and in the case of their Sleep oil, it’s lavender, mandarin, patchouli, sage and sandalwood. A fresh combination that will subtly give your bedroom a relaxing and soothing smell (and feel).
This fragrance oil may be only 15ml, but this should last you a good while – a little goes a long way. You could also add this fragrance oil to dried flowers or potpourri – though we suggest using it with a diffuser, such as the Ellia Adore or The White Company’s Electronic Diffuser.
Buy now: Made by Zen Sleep Purity Range Scented Essential Oil, £9.99, Amazon
12. Floral Street Lady Emma Reed Diffuser
The best home fragrance for your toilet or bathroom
This lovely Floral Street reed diffuser is a fab buy for a toilet or bathroom – or if you love a fresh scent. It would equally make a lovely addition to a orangery or conservatory, as its fresh leafy fragrance will help bring the outside in.
Lady Emma smells of a mix of fresh leaves, green apple and Bulgarian rose oil, so it’s safe to say it’s one for spring and summer months.
This reed diffuser is completely vegan and also cruelty-free, while it arrives in gorgeous recyclable packaging that ought to wow you (and your giftee). It’s housed in a pink glossy glass vessel, to add a pop of colour somewhere that needs it.
Buy now: Floral Street Lady Emma Diffuser, £35, Selfridges
13. The White Company Geranium Leaf Candle
The best uplifting home fragrance
This Geranium Leaf Candle is a herbal option if you are searching for something uplifting. We suggest popping this candle in a living room or hallway – just make sure it’s an airy or large space as it’s is quite powerful. It’s poured inside a ceramic vessel and comes with a matching lid – to stop the candle from getting dusty when it’s not lit.
With initial notes of geranium, peppermint and Sicilian orange, the immediate scent we get from this candle, before and after lighting, is peppermint with a hint of lavender. There’s no doubt that it’s uplifting, which is why we suggest popping it in a living room if this room is used a lot by you and the kids. Or, in a hallway to flood all of your rooms with scent.
This candle has a burn time of 40 hours – impressive! – and it’s filled in the UK using high-quality wax for a long, clean and even burn.
What is the best home fragrance?
There’s not really a definite answer when it comes to the best home fragrance. This depends on the time of year, and the type of home fragrance you want. We will say, though, that right now our all-around favourite home fragrance has to be Rituals’ The Ritual of Sakura Fragrance Sticks.
For winter, we love the warmth that Orphic Living’s Black Tea, Patchouli, Peppercorn Scented Reed Diffuser brings to a room. It’s woody and spicy, and best of all: it comes in plastic-free packaging.
For spring, we love Sunday of London’s III. Rooftop Garden Botanical Candle. It’s perfectly fresh and you will definitely want to light it whilst spring cleaning. Oh, and it’s made using creamy coconut wax with zero synthetic fragrances.
For summer our favourite home fragrance is definitely Skandinavisk’s Lempi Candle that’s subtly floral and looks as good as it smells. It’s poured inside a recycled glass vessel and made from Swedish rapeseed wax.
For autumn it’s The White Company’s Fireside Diffuser. It’s incredibly powerful and its woody scent mimics that of a roaring fireplace. It brings all the warmth and autumnal vibes.
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