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Creating Relaxing, Inviting Smells and Aromas of Home Using Essential Oils

The former executive director of a successful nonprofit agency now content specialist, Cynthia writes about a variety of researched topics.

The nose knows warm and inviting aromas in your home!

The nose knows warm and inviting aromas in your home!

Does Your Home Smell Inviting and Relaxing?

Is the way your home smells sending a message of invitation and relaxation to your family and guests? Finding a scent that says "welcome" to any guests walking into your home is just as powerful. It is a matter of selecting home scents or fragrances that give you pleasure and matches the mood you would like to create for your guests. Essential oils can play a tremendous role in helping to create aromas or fragrances for your home that are subtle but also unique and unforgettable and contribute to the ambiance.

You may have heard the phrase "the eyes are the window to the soul." If that phrase is true, then consider "the nose as the gateway to memories." In fact, some of the most memorable smells are those most of us have come to associate with a warm, welcoming and relaxing home environment. Can you remember how the smell of baked bread or cookies or any other of your favorite food made you feel as you walked through the door of your home? What about the smell of evergreens? If you celebrate Christmas, do you instantly think of Christmas trees and family gatherings when you get a whiff of the scent of evergreens?

The sense of smell triggers some of the strongest memory and may take you back to your childhood or they could set the mood for romance.

Part of the key to being a good hostess is establishing a mood that is calming and inviting. Luckily, there are over a hundred essential oils capable of providing choices that can subtly say "welcome" to your guests. Even more exciting for aroma enthusiasts is that essential oils can be mixed to form fragrances that have your unique stamp on them and which effectively convey your personal message of the warmth and relaxation. Others do notice. I have a nephew who visits and each time remarks that he always looks forward to the familiar fragrance I use throughout the house.

Readily available as an essential oil, it's wonderful to inhale the relaxing and romantic scent of roses in the home.

Readily available as an essential oil, it's wonderful to inhale the relaxing and romantic scent of roses in the home.

Unfortunately, the medicinal and therapeutic properties of essential oils were lost or largely ignored by modern medicine and science for years. The oils were relegated to use for fragrance and even then were not widely used. The good news is that the strong connection between well being and the fragrances of essential oils has recently been reestablished, making the way a home smells an important link to physical health and mental well being.

Today, therapeutic uses of essential oils range from use as medicine both topically and internally and also includes aromatherapy, the act of enhancing relaxation and altering moods. After all, who can feel well in a home that smells like rotting eggs? In fact, associations with some smells, like a rotting egg or a skunk, are so strong, just the thought of that smell and our faces automatically contort into a frown or our stomach surge in revulsion. Studies have suggested a "significant role for olfactory stimulation in the alteraion of cognition, mood, and social behavior."

The vanilla in cake batter is often a powerfully memorable and inviting aroma.

The vanilla in cake batter is often a powerfully memorable and inviting aroma.

Variety of Essential Oils That Smell Like Home

A warm and inviting environment in our homes is a must for most of us. We know a clean, well ordered home will put our guests at ease, as will the scents we use in our homes. Essential oils can play a role in scenting our homes the natural way.

The aroma of certain essential oils evokes very specific reactions. Chronicled here are some of the fragrances that can create a relaxing atmosphere and provide your home with subtle, memorable fragrances.


One of the most inviting scents is the sweet, rich smell of vanilla. Most of us immediately think of delicious cakes and breakfast buns and, because it is used in baking so many foods, the aroma evokes a strong sense of home and comfort in many cultures.

Vanilla is also a mutable scent and as an essential oil, it mixes well with other scents. Fragrances are organized into categories and vanilla falls into the Oriental fragrance category, a heady, sensual scent that is a popular choice for undertones in perfumes.

Vanilla is also purported to have a positive effect on the psyche. Physical energy and success are associated with the vanilla aroma. It is a welcoming home smell that says "come in, relax, stay awhile."


The smell of citrus, such as lemon, lemon verbena or grapefruit essential oils, are often interpreted by the senses as energizing. The citrus smell also conjures up a youthfulness and cleanliness, one of the reasons it is popular in so many cleaning products. In fact, during a smell test, participating subjects usually thought the wearer of the grapefruit essential oil was much younger than their actual age.

The citrus scent is uplifting and refreshing, hence, it will make your guests feel energized, positive, and welcome. If you are looking for an aroma that says sunshine, energy and focus, use lemon essential oils or other oils in the citrus category, such as grapefruit and, a favorite, verbena. throughout your home. Bear in mind that it is also a particularly good aroma for your office because it can aid in focus, especially when you are in need of a boost of energy and creativity. A mix I have tried lately is lemon and sage. Double focus!

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The citrus scent found in lemons is often associated with cleanliness.

The citrus scent found in lemons is often associated with cleanliness.

Sandalwood and Cloves

Help your guests shake off stress; choose sandalwood essential oil. Historically, sandalwood has also been particularly useful during meditation because of its soothing affects it is purported to trigger in the brain. The exotic scent is rich and sweet, evoking the sense of luxury and splendor, sometimes associated with creating a sensual mood. Consider using it as a compliment to the rose scent. A mixture of the two will have a calming effect on the nerves.

Unless you are a cook, the scent of cloves don't automatically come to mind, but the essential oil of cloves is an inviting spicy scent with a woody scented quality to it. Think: Christmas cookies. Known as attar of cloves, its strong scent also evokes calming feeling of safety - qualities we like to associate with the home. We most often see cloves used in pomander balls, the whole cloves decoratively stuck in oranges and hung in strategic places throughout the home. It is especially popular during the holiday season. As aromatherapy, the scent of clove helps dispel depression and lethargy and may be the reason for its Christmas popularity, not to mention the extensive use in holiday cookies and cakes.

Peppermint is another scent that is often associated with Christmas. The smell of peppermint can transform bad moods into positive ones. The smell of candy canes throughout the house can, like cloves, replace lethargy and produce energy and a sense of excitement.

Cloves in arranged in oranges and placed throughout the home creates subtle scent from the essential oil of the orange and the clove.

Cloves in arranged in oranges and placed throughout the home creates subtle scent from the essential oil of the orange and the clove.

The Synergy of Scents

Synergy is defined as a mix of ingredients. In essential oils, synergy is achieved with the undiluted mix of two or more essential oils. Historical documents portray the Ancient Egyptians as masters of synergy - of mixing essential oils for use in the important rooms of the temples. The oils were part of offerings to the gods. They were burned in incense, smeared on ancient writings on the walls, and used as part of mummification. Frankincense, sandalwood, patchouli and others evoke a sense of reverence and calm today and were certain to have had the same effect on temple worshippers thousands of years ago.

The therapeutic grade of the essential oils, when combined, creates scents that are new and different. The mixes often have an enhanced aromatherapy affect. But using the therapeutic grades of essential oils can be most effective, aiding in healing, energy and mood enhancement. For instance, mix vanilla with rose and, in the proper proportion, the result is a pleasant calming mood reminiscent of warm summer evenings, thereby aiding in anxiety.

Mix sandalwood, lavender and chamomile essential oils and you may improve your reaction to stress; bergamot and neroli essential oils help dispel sadness since each has an effect on stress. Mix rosemary, sage and thyme essential oils for a stimulating scent and healing can be aided by mixing rose and thyme essential oils.

Meditation can be improved if the scent of ylang ylang and jasmine essential oils fills the air. In short, the combinations are innumerable.

The vanilla orchid.

The vanilla orchid.

I want my home to look good, feel good, and smell good...

— Cindy Crawford

Dispersing the Aroma of Essential Oils

Use humidifiers, candles, diffusers and sprays and the home smells created by essential oils will waft from room to room. Add an essential oil or mix of oils to your vacuum and you create an additional means of dispersing fragrances through the air of your home. As you clean, the scent will linger.

An even easier way to surround yourself and your guest with a subtle scent, merely fill a cup with hot water, add the scent and let the steam do the work.

If you wish, each room can smell different. To envelope your guest in subtle coziness when you show them to the guest room, use vanilla candles in the room and in the guest bathroom. In your office, use lemon or lemon verbena in a diffuser to spur energy and creativity. Or fill a spray bottle with lavender and water to spritz in the entrance to your home so that your guests immediately feel calmer and more relaxed.

When essential oils have been added, candles can be used to create relaxing home smells.

When essential oils have been added, candles can be used to create relaxing home smells.

Scents As Powerful Memory Triggers

As you can see, creating a relaxing home using essential oils can be accomplished in a number of ways, using a variety of essential oils. We know that home smells can be powerful triggers in the brain. Take advantage of that knowledge, create your own signature aroma for your home and leave your family and guests feeling better about themselves and their environment.

Don't be afraid to experiment with different combinations and to explore the many ways home smells can make a difference. Use fragrances to clear the air of negativity, relax your guests, energize your children, or to seduce your partner. It's very simple - scents are powerful. Choose your home smells and scents wisely, and reap the benefits of using essentials oils to create relaxing and welcoming home scents.

Smell is one of the earliest senses to develop in a baby.

Smell is one of the earliest senses to develop in a baby.

One company uses essential oils and sound to create a relaxing environment.

Read More about Essential Oils:

We each have different reactions to the smells around us.

Lavender fields

Lavender fields

© 2012 Cynthia B Turner


ms francesco on May 17, 2014:

Please send me emails

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on July 04, 2012:

Hello Moonlake, I love the smell of roses as well. Milkweed is apparently not so popular as an oil, but it is around. It's uses have changed over time and, interestingly, by country. Thanks so much for reading and finding the information interesting and useful. I apologize for the delay in thanking you.

moonlake from America on July 04, 2012:

I love oils and rose is my favorite. I was in the milkweed patch the other day and the minute I walked down there I could smell them. I loved the smell wish I knew a way to bottle it. I have never seen a milkweed oil. Voted up and interesting. useful.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on June 22, 2012:

Hello Vinaya, thanks for taking a read and voting up. I appreciate that.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on June 21, 2012:

Essential oils have many health benefits. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Useful and informative! Voted up!

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on May 22, 2012:

I think you're right about that. :-) Take care.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on May 22, 2012:

Hello ishwaryaa, I thank you for taking the time to read my hub and I 'm so glad your found it useful. Thank you so much for sharing it with others. I really appreciate that.

Huntgoddess from Midwest U.S.A. on May 21, 2012:

:-)) Yes, thanks, Cyndi. Your Hubs all look great. My main regret in life is that I can't spend more time on the Internet :-(

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on May 21, 2012:

An engaging hub! I like pleasant smells and they are indeed soothing to the human mind. After reading this informative hub, I am thinking of buying aromatherapic oils or spritz spray. Knowledgeable hub! Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up and Socially Shared.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on May 20, 2012:

Hi Huntgoddess, I'm happy if I provided any information that you can use. And there's no charge to you :-). Thanks so much for leaving a comment and voting. I appreciate your time.

Huntgoddess from Midwest U.S.A. on May 19, 2012:

Very informative. I've been wondering about some of these things. I never can afford to buy those expensive books on aromatherapy.

Up, interesting, useful.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on May 17, 2012:

@ dmop, again. I forgot to mention that the hero in the book Discovery of Witches, always smelled of cinnamon. The heroine thought it was quite pleasant. Have a creative day!

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on May 17, 2012:

Ahhh, cinnamon. Such a sweet, masculine (to me) aroma and a wonderful spice. It has been valued since ancient times. It has quite a few healing properties as well. You have my vote for taking an interest in the way your home smells! :-) Thank you so much for voting in my poll and taking the time to comment.

dmop from Cambridge City, IN on May 16, 2012:

Very nice article, as a man I find that I am oddly interested in how my home smells, much more than my girlfriend is. I voted vanilla in your poll, but my favorite is cinnamon. I gave you a vote up, useful, and interesting.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on April 16, 2012:

Hello Danareva, I agree, the smell of lavender is so relaxing. I like it mixed with vanilla, also. Thank you for taking time to read and comment on the article. I appreciate it.

Dana De Greff from Miami on April 16, 2012:

I love lavender for when I'm stressed out, and cinnamon for a more festive homey mood. Smells really do link to memories- of course for me, food smells are often linked to places, people and events in my life. Nice hub!

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on April 03, 2012:

Thanks for reading. Vanilla is very popular with men and women. It's such a soothing scent. You can't go wrong with vanilla.

levi byrd on April 01, 2012:



Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on March 31, 2012:

Using a stove burner is a good way to disperse the oils. Vanilla is such a wonderful scent. As you have said, very relaxing and soothing. Thank you for reading and taking the time to leave a comment.

Haydee Anderson from Hermosa Beach on March 30, 2012:

Nice hub! I like to place a small drop of vanilla on my stove burner; the delicious aroma permeates throughout the entire house and lasts for a while. It is very relaxing. :)

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on March 29, 2012:

Hello Shawn, Let me know how you like some of the combinations of oils. The mixing is what's so nice about essential oils. I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on March 29, 2012:

Hello El Ray, I like doing the same, passing through different rooms and experiencing different scents. I see you like some of the aromas I highlighted in the article. They are some of my favorites also. Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on March 29, 2012:

IHi, I am so happy that this was helpful for you. There is so much information about essential oils. I'm learning so much more, as well. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment!

Shawn May Scott on March 29, 2012:

I use essential oils all the time. I will try some of your mixes as they sound wonderful!!!

El Ray on March 29, 2012:

My wife loves placing/using potpourri and scented candles throughout our home. I have to admit I do like the different aromas from most of them - my favorites are vanilla, citrus/wood and cinnamon.

I think this hub article is very interesting and I enjoyed reading it. Voting up + interesting!

Dreamer at heart from Northern California on March 29, 2012:

I enjoy essential oils and still am learning how to use them. Your hub is helpful and explains why certain scents are beneficial. Thanks so much! I voted it up.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on March 29, 2012:

Hi Frank

LOL. A little bit odd, but that's ok! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I appreciate you.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on March 28, 2012:

I enjoy a good smell,.. did that sound right? anyhow great share :)

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