Nate Berkus And Jeremiah Brent's Simple Tip For Making Any Home Smell Amazing

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Picture this: you're in the market for a new home. You've just found a place that looks fantastic and checks all your non-negotiables. The one thing you can't get over? It smells weird.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether your home has the coolest furniture or the trendiest carpet colors if it smells bad. You're there day in and day out, and our sense of smell is often more powerful than we give it credit for. That makes a home with a bad aroma pretty much unlivable. But the good news is that there are plenty of small habits that will help make a home smell better than ever. And when it comes to home advice, no one knows better than HGTV personalities like Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent, stars of "Nate & Jeremiah by Design."

Rather than decorating with candles, Berkus and Brent like its stronger cousin, incense, for banishing unpleasant odors. This is because burning incense in your home carries benefits beyond simply making a space smell good. Historically, burning incense has been used as a form of aromatherapy that may help alleviate stress and even promote better sleep quality. Certain scents are also thought to boost creativity and reduce headaches, making incense burning an experience that makes your house feel more like a home. After all, your home is a place where you go to recharge, to cozy up, to dream about your future — and fragrance can positively contribute to that atmosphere!

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent love incense

HGTV stars Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent are open about how much they love incense, but it was Brent who first introduced it to Berkus. "I used to pad around these spaces without music, without scent," Berkus shared in an interview with Domino. "I had candles, but they went on the table when I entertained — not at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning." Thanks to Brent's guidance, Berkus learned about incense's potential to transform a space and create a specific mood indoors. For example, dim lighting, fresh incense, and groovy music can do so much to stimulate a design experience and help a room transition from day to night. These tweaks prove that coziness doesn't always come from a throw rug or comfy couch. "There's something really beautiful about the ceremony of [incense] and I'm grateful to Jeremiah for bringing it into my world," Berkus added.

For Berkus and Brent, incense has changed the way they experience their home. Both candles and incense have the potential to create a relaxing environment, but incense takes it one step further because of its connection to the spiritual world. For example, burning incense is traditionally linked with meditation, and can help foster greater self-reflection. So, if you're a creative — like Berkus and Brent — there's no need to head to your local Kava bar or painting gallery for some inspiration; you can transform your home into a creative haven with the help of a few incense sticks.

Tips for choosing your incense scent

Jeremiah Brent and Nate Berkus are serious about passing on their love of incense to fellow homeowners. In 2022, Brent partnered with Grove Collaborative to release a line of home accessories, which included Himalayan Sea Salt & Sage incense. "Every piece is tied to the hope that you'll create your own practices of ceremony within your home and that these products will make it easier to live a more eco-conscious life," Brent told GreenMatters

Previously, the designer featured Morning Star Patchouli incense and Sandalwood incense as "must-have" accessories for fall and winter. Palo Santo, a traditional natural remedy, is also one of the couple's go-to incense choices. Palo Santo is rooted in the spiritual world; traditionally used by present-day shamans, its smoke is believed to help purify any space. Lastly, Brent is partial to "grounding, earthy smells," as he told Living Spaces. "This smell always reminds me of home," he explained, referencing his hometown of Modesto, CA. 

As Brent and Berkus' changing tastes tell us, it can be helpful to switch out incense scents to suit the changing weather. While aroma is a personal preference, there are traditional incense fragrances linked to each season — for example, cinnamon or sage for fall, cherry blossom or jasmine for spring, passionfruit or rosemary for summer, and lavender for winter. Switching up your incense scents will help shift your outlook, in addition to making your house smell amazing.