Updated: Jul 29, 2022
The first step in making your home smell amazing is recognizing that the current smell in your home is not quite as amazing as you'd like. What to do next is dependent on not just your desire to be the best smelling home (or apartment), but also your budget. The best methods for transforming your smell and ambience are going to be more expensive, but as you'll find, there is a huge difference between cheap plugins and room sprays, and the best cold-air aroma oil diffusion systems used by hotels and businesses.
Note: The list below is going to describe the best way to make your home smell great.... all the time. However, if you find that your bank account is also not smelling great at the moment, we'll throw in a couple emergency smell better tips at the end. Hope this helps:
Clean it up! I can't emphasize this step enough. Your going to have to do your best to eliminate the worst offenders in your house before you start adding in the smell goods. Understanding that everything in your home is emitting some sort of smell, the goal is not to throw out all your stuff but rather to get rid of the most concentrated odors. The trash can, an old sofa, rugs and carpets, old air filters, dirty air ducts, your refrigerator, the bathroom, old cheap fragrance plugin devices, etc. You don't want to mask a bad odor, you need to get rid of it (as best you can). Bleach down your trash cans and toilets, clean the couches, and clean out your fridge. It's going to be a process but well worth it when its done.
Understand what makes a home smell great. You may love the smell of ricotta cheese, but that doesn't mean its going to make a great fragrance for your house. Think of the amazing smell of a hotel lobby, or your favorite store in the mall. These are tirelessly researched aroma oil combinations that are proven to evoke certain moods and create an overall pleasant experience for the guests. They work because they're unique, they use the finest ingredients, and they're correctly dispersed in the room with fresh air. Companies like SLK Aroma design and curate these aroma oils and diffusion systems and have them available for home use.
This is by far your best option. These systems are an investment in your home and they work....really well! There are stand alone units and diffusers that connect directly to your AC just like the hotels. Add up the cost of plugins, reed diffusers, candles, etc. over the course of a year and your probably going to be even. Start with the best and you'll definitely be happy.
No plugins. How you interpret the smell of a room is not just dependent on the actual smell but also on the perception of where that smell comes from. When you smell something in a room and immediately see a plugin or an incense stick, your brain sees that the smell is from that device and not from the room. You need to keep the mystery of where the smell comes from to get the best results and convince your guests that its your home that smells amazing.
Pick the right scent for your space, and keep it light!!! Again, this step is going to make or break your home scenting mission.
Using the smell of a beach resort in a mountain side Airbnb may not get you the results your looking for. Pick a scent (and don't be afraid to try different scents over the course of a few months) that fits the ambience of your home and then keep it at a setting that adds just enough scent to the room so you smell it when you walk in. The best systems, like the ones mentioned from SLK Aroma, allow you to adjust the amount of scent to within 1% accuracy. If the scent is to heavy, even the best smells can become off-putting.
Mix it with fresh air. Clean air always smells great and it makes the aroma oil fragrances smell even better! Open the windows every now and then and make sure your AC is clean and working well.
Alternative options you can use in a pinch
Put a little vanilla in your oven and heat it up for about 20 minutes on low temperature.
Similarly you can take some spices or herbs out of the cabinet, mix them with a little water, and put them either on the stove top or in the oven to get a fresh baked or garden type smell.
Take pure aroma oils (with no diffuser) and dab them on either a cloth or a paper towel and place on a window sill or in front of a fan. Again, you should use high quality oils.
Put a few dabs of aroma oil on your air filter and turn up the AC. (Using to much may damage the filter, depending on what kind of oil it is.)
Open the windows, clean the trash can, and make sure the fridge is clean. Just the cleaning will make a huge difference.
Add some house plants to the room.