How To Make Your House Smell Amazing According To Home Fragrance Expert

If you're inviting people to your home again now that the pandemic has become more of a seasonal flu-like focus, you may want to come up with some ways to make your space more attractive to those future guests. While you may be eager to throw your next big dinner party, you could also be feeling a little rusty. One of the most important parts of creating a welcoming environment is making sure your home smells clean without feeling sterile and cozily scented without becoming overwhelmed. 

So how can you make your house smell fresh and inviting before you have the gang over? Instagram influencer and home fragrance expert Kristen Pumphrey @_longbranch is here to help you. Pumphrey is co-owner of the LA candle shop P.F. Candle Co. and author of the book "At Home With Fragrance." She believes fragrance is one of the essential layers of creating a home, just as important as paint color and couch comfort. Read on to get her tips for creating a beautifully scented home for your guests.

Open your windows up

Instead of just reaching for your aerosol spray can of air freshener, Kristen instead recommends opening your windows up and letting fresh air in. In one of her videos, she notes that just covering the smells up in your home isn't making the change that fresh air does. Getting fresh air can get rid of funky odors that may be leftover from last night's dinner, pets, or kids and gently push stale air out. To give your airflow a boost, consider turning on a few floor or ceiling fans. 

Additionally, because outdoor air is naturally purified thanks to plants, you're pushing cleaner air into your home, which is better for your long-term health, as well as extending the life of your HVAC system. Just be sure to turn off your air conditioner or heater before opening the windows up, so you don't waste energy and end up with a big power bill at the end of the month. 

Burn incense in your home

While candles are a great addition to your home's scent scape, you will likely need something more powerful than even the mightiest triple wick candle. When guests are coming over, it's a great idea to light some incense, according to Pumphrey. You can use natural white sage that is used in ceremonial "smudging" or opt for more convenient incense sticks that come in a variety of scents. Our top recommended scents include cedar and sandalwood, patchouli, and bergamot, which are warming, smokey, and not too feminine or masculine. 

Incense is extremely pungent, and its warm aromatics can fill up a space of any size. Be careful about layering scents with these, as they can quickly become overwhelming. If you don't have a proper incense holder for the long sticks, consider incense cones, like these ones from P.F. Candle Co. The most important thing is choosing smoking, strongly scented incense. You may need to light two or three if you live in a larger home, but should only need 1 in an apartment setting.

Do a bit of cleaning

On top of all the regular dusting of shelves and tidying of coffee tables, it is essential to do a bit of actual cleaning before your guests arrive to get rid of malodors, says Pumphrey. Some of the places that cause unpleasant stagnant odor are in the kitchen and bathroom, so these are great places to start. Be sure to do all of your dishes and have your sink totally clean. If you have a garbage disposal, try putting a lemon wedge in it while you run warm water. This will immediately give your sink a fresh smell and get rid of icky, stale food odors.

It's ideal to take at all of the trash in your home at once, but if you're pressed for time, definitely gather and replace the bag liners from each room your guests will be in. You may also want to give your toilet bowl a quick scrub down, even if there isn't visible grime. This will give the bathroom a clean scent that will put guests at ease. 

Finally, light a few unscented candles for mood and coziness, and you've got the perfect scent scape for making your guests feel instantly at home.