How to Make Your House Smell Like a Bougie Hotel Lobby

October 7, 2022 Off By Nicolette Accardi

First impressions are more than just looking good and acting like a fine, young gentleman (or gentlewoman, or gentleperson). Things have gotta smell good, mate. Your (hopefully enchanting) bodily aroma is your first priority when it comes to passing the smell test, to be sure, but your living quarters are just as important. You know that laundry-detergent-commercial-like sigh and whiff you take when you walk into a hotel lobby that faintly smells like geranium, or the “hellllllll yeah” feeling you get when you step into a home where someone has clearly been baking a GGBO-worthy batch of scones? We want you to have that, but with minimal effort.

Say what you will about overpriced products or meme-worthy fragrances, but you’ll be a lot closer to getting laid if your place smells like your nearest Le Labo retail location. Don’t worry, we found everything you need on how to make your house smell good. Candles, room spray, diffusers—yep, the gang's all here. Read on and take in the aroma. 

Dripping wax

It’s not rocket science to get things smelling fresh at home. Sometimes you just need the basics: a great-smelling candle. You can’t go wrong with the smell of French roast, and who doesn’t enjoy the roasty, comforting scent of a coffee shop? Anecdote’s Coffee Break candle is perfect for mimicking the aura of Central Perk from Friends

Diptyque’s Citrouille is a stroll through Paris in autumn for your nasal passages, with its notes of chestnut and vegetal pumpkin pumped up by an enhanced spiciness for autumn. Thankfully, it isn’t a cloying pumpkin spice Yankee nightmare—this is all sophistication.

That said, if you are firmly engrossed in the cult of pumpkin spice, Glade’s pumpkin spice candle (not to mention all of its massive selection of scents) embodies bang-for-your-buck potential. The scent is potent and will fill your room with spooky-season delight. Not to mention, it’s affordable AF???

And, of course, keeping a massage candle with a sexy scent on your nightstand can really help set the ambiance in more ways than one. Grab this candle from Maude to set the mood; its earthy combo of eucalyptus, vetiver, cassis, and sandalwood will get engines purring.

Looking for more of a fresh, spring-garden type of scent? We never say no to a Bloody Mary, and this Vodka Tomate candle by Le Monde Gourmand simulates the vibes sans the hangover.

The Ritz-Carlton hotel lobby definitely has at least five men that reek of tobacco and Old Spice, but we must say they have the rizz. We’re getting charmed the same way with this Aganice Aromatique Candle by Aesop.

Perfume for your sexy dungeon 

Room spray is a hit or miss. Sometimes it lasts for hours, while other times the scent is gone faster than a left swipe on Tinder. But we found the gewd stuff. Nest is a pioneer in home fragrance, and the ratings prove it. The room and linen spray in Wild Mint and Eucalyptus has a 4.4-star rating on its website and gets loads of acclaim for its fresh, relaxing aroma. “Soft, subtle fragrance, somewhat energizing and very ‘spa-like,” wrote one reviewer.

Besides top-tier bedding, sheets, robes, and silk eye masks, Brooklinen also makes room spray. The invigorating scent Bright Idea turns on our noggin light bulbs with its notes of cardamom, germanium, and vetiver. Happy Hour makes us want to wait in line at Le Bain for an hour and smell the necks of rich socialites, with its infusion of mandarin, lavender, and oak. 

Jo Malone has gone viral for its earthy perfumes and colognes, and this English Pear & Freesia Room Spray also deserves the spotlight with its notes of fresh ripe pear “wrapped in elegant white freesias.” Damn.

Rid negative energy with… potpourri?

Hear us out—potpourri isn’t just in the sale bin at strip mall home-goods stores; your grandma knows what she’s doing when she puts out a bowl of this magical scented stuff. These crystals aren’t just for charging under the moon or whatever; they’re scented. Transform your body’s aura (LOL), get things smellin’ good, and banish any bad vibes in your casa with this box of healing energy. The crystals are infused with woodsy, musky notes of crisp fig leaf, sweet cassis, fig milk, and white cyclamen petals. They’re molded with “love and craftsmanship” by local French artisans themselves. Dare we say potpourr-oui? (Don’t worry, we’ll show ourselves out). 

Potpourri may be associated with old ladies, but we’ll happily channel wholesome grandma vibes with a regular, old-fashioned bag of potpourri. We found cooler editions on Etsy than those you’ll stumble across at Home Goods, such as this bag of “Dragon’s Blood” with a potent blend of cedarwood, orange, clove, and patchouli essential oils. 

You can’t go wrong with lemon zest and thyme, especially when there are actual dried lemons emitting the scent for a true citrus delight.

There’s nothing wrong with scented pinecones

It’s the 21st century, my guy; if someone calls you a soft boi for having a bowl of scented pinecones sitting on your coffee table, they are the ones with issues, not you. They’re festive, au naturel, and smell good as hell. Check out these cinnamon and berry variations. 

Lost in the reeds

If you’ve noticed a small vase full of sticks in a nice-smelling bathroom and wondered, uhhh, what that whole setup is, those are diffuser sticks, dummy—they soak up scented oils from the bottom of the vessel and slowly diffuse it into the room’s air over time, and they’re a great way to make your home smell good. Apotheke’s Sea Salt Grapefruit Reed Diffuser emits tangy ripe grapefruit, black pepper, sea salt, and tarragon into your lovely dwelling. Shedding that unending feeling that the world is slowly crumbling around us… well, that’s something you’ll need to work out on your own time. 

This white linen scent from Amazon is also a great one given its very affordable price point. It has a four-star rating from over 4,500 customer reviews claiming the scent gasp actually lasts, and makes your home smell like fresh laundry (washed with expensive detergent). Looks like you can’t beat a classic.

P.F. Candle Co. is slaying with its scents such as “Wild Herb Tonic,” which sounds like a cocktail TBH. Indulge in earthy notes of lemon balm, crushed thyme, orange rind, and fir while sipping a gin and tonic to escape from reality.

If you’ve made it this far, know you’re now well-equipped to keep your dwelling smelling incredible (just remember to shower, please.) 

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter