How to fragrance your living room to perfection

From relaxing to cosying up with family and friends, these are the scents to bear in mind

Green living room with green sofa, wicker side table, and floral curtains
(Image credit: Future PLC/Carolyn Barber)

For most of us, our living room is the spot in our homes that we retreat to after a long day. Because of this, we want it to be the space in our homes that feels comfortable and relaxing.

‘The living room is likely where you’ll spend most of your time,’ notes Ryan McDonough, interior design expert at ‘This is a place for spending with family and entertaining. Many of your best memories with friends and family will be made in the living room. With this in mind, it’s important to choose a scent that is inviting and not too overpowering.’

But which fragrances work best in a living room? Whether you have a cosy snug or a larger living space, these are the scents that the experts always recommend.

The best home fragrances and scents for living rooms

Stone shelf with artwork, candle and vases

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dan Duchars)

‘The best home fragrances and scents for living rooms create a warm, inviting, and cosy atmosphere,' explains Alex Hall, founder of candle brand Born of Botanics. 'The living room is often a central gathering space for family and guests, so choosing suitable fragrances can enhance the overall ambience.'

‘For the living area, scents that inspire, nurture and transport work well,' adds Tajinder Banwait, founder of home fragrance company Urban Apothecary London. 'These will act just like soft background music to calm the senses in what might be the busiest area of the house.'

Add warmth with the likes of vanilla and amber

Teal living room with white armchair, wooden coffee table and white shutters

(Image credit: Future PLC)

‘To create that welcoming and warm atmosphere as you enter your home, a comforting fragrance with notes of pomegranate, vanilla and amber is perfect,’ says Chrissie Rucker OBE, founder of The White Company.

Michelle Feeney, founder of fragrance brand Floral Street, recommends ‘placing a vanilla scented diffuser in your living room as its familiar, warming scent creates a comforting ambiance for leisure times or family gatherings.’

‘With Autumn coming soon, you may want to consider choosing some warmer scents,' adds interior design expert Ryan. 'Amber is also a great scent for the living room, especially during the winter months, as this is a rich and full-bodied scent with warming tones.'

‘Cardamom, ginger, blackberry and cinnamon are also great scents for Autumn through to winter,' continues Ryan. 'These scents can help make the room feel warmer and cosier.'

‘If you prefer a cosy, more intimate 'mood' then choose a candle or diffuser with rich, spicy ingredients and dark florals,’ suggests Floral Street's Michelle.

Create a relaxing atmosphere with lavender

Green living room with green sofa, wicker side table, and floral curtains

(Image credit: Future PLC/Carolyn Barber)

Now, you may typically correlate lavender with bedrooms and relaxing before drifting off to sleep. But lavender is also a great fragrance to use in a living room.

‘If you want to create a relaxing and calm ambience in the living room, lavender is a great choice as this has calming and relaxing properties,’ agrees interior design expert Ryan.

In addition to traditional candles and diffusers, Tajinder from Urban Apothecary notes that ‘lavender cushions that release a burst of scent as you lean into them, or one of the quickest ways to introduce fragrance into your space is with a room spray.’

Follow the seasons with your fragrance choices

Pink dresser drawers, potted plants, candles, misc home decor, hanging art work

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

‘Consider using candles with scents that match the current season,’ recommends Alex from Born of Botanics. ‘For example, in winter, opt for spiced scents like cinnamon or clove; in summer, go for light, floral aromas.’

This allows you to switch things up, while embracing the changing of the seasons. This is especially exciting in the lead up to special occasions and holidays, such as Halloween and Christmas.

There’s nothing we love more than having our home smell like all things pumpkin spice as soon as the leaves start to turn and fall in autumn. The same can be said for adding festive favourites, such as cinnamon, balsam and peppermint, to get us ready for the Christmas period.

During the spring and summer months, fresh, fruity or citrus scents all work well and complement the hopefully somewhat sunnier and warmer weather. Think coconut and peonies, zesty lemons and beautiful bouquets.

Which type of scent delivery should I choose for the living room?

‘When selecting home fragrances for the living room, it's essential to consider the preferences of the household members and the overall decor of the space,’ explains Alex from Born of Botanics.

‘Using diffusers, reed sticks, or wax warmers can help disperse the fragrance evenly without overwhelming the room.’

Ellis Cochrane

Ellis Cochrane has been a Freelance Contributor for Ideal Home since 2023. She graduated with a Joint Honours degree in Politics and English from the University of Strathclyde and between her exams and graduation, started a lifestyle blog where she would share what she was buying, reading and doing. In doing so, she created opportunities to work with some of her dream brands and discovered the possibility of freelance writing, after always dreaming of writing for magazines when she was growing up.

Since then, she has contributed to a variety of online and print publications, covering everything from celebrity news and beauty reviews to her real passion; homes and interiors. She started writing about all things homes, gardens and interiors after joining Decor & Design Scotland as a Freelance Journalist and Social Media Account Manager in 2021. She then started freelancing at House Beautiful, Country Living and in Stylist’s Home team. Ellis is currently saving to buy her first home in Glasgow with far too many Pinterest boards dedicated to her many design ideas and inspirations.