Spray bottle, essential oil dropper and candle on a table with a plant

What are natural fragrances? The 8 best products to scent your home naturally.

Last Updated: March 11, 2022

Love yummy smells? Us, too—as long as they aren’t artificial fragrances. Learn the difference between artificial and natural, and browse our eight favorite home scents too.

What’s your happy scent? Maybe it’s vanilla, all warm and sweet. Or spicy cinnamon, reminiscent of baked goods and cozy snow days. Fresh balsam fir, clean linen, soothing lavender—scents can transport you to a place of comfort and well-being, and in no place is this more important than at home.

But even more important is knowing exactly what you're breathing into your lungs, not just how it smells. To help make your home smell good naturally, we've created a handy dandy guide that describes what to look out for in home fragrances, why natural fragrance is better for you, and what we love—and you will too—about our top recs for natural home fragrances.

First, what are natural fragrances?

The best way to answer this question is to look at what natural fragrances aren't.

Unlike synthetic fragrances, natural fragrances are less likely to contain a multitude of commonly used chemicals that are harmful to your health and the environment.

What are the benefits of using natural fragrances in your home?

An article in the journal of Environmental Health Perspectives cited over 130 VOCs when 25 common household products were tested—including air fresheners and fragrances.

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are often harmful or toxic, depending on the gases they give off that interact with other chemicals in the air.

What products and ingredients should you avoid in home fragrances?

  • Many plug-in air fresheners emit formaldehyde and/or contain phthalates, which are endocrine disruptors.
  • Candles containing paraffin can emit benzene, a known carcinogen.
  • Even fragrances called "natural" can be deceiving because the word "fragrance" is unregulated on labels, thus allowing for literally thousands of chemicals to be used.

Instead, look for …

  • Ingredients/essences derived from flowers and plants
  • Essential oils, like natural lavender oil
  • Clean-burning soy or beeswax in naturally scented candles

Scent yourself naturally, too! Read up on our favorite natural perfumes too.

8 best natural home fragrances

Here are our member and staff favorites for natural home fragrances, air fresheners, and candles, including Grove Co.'s beloved special home fragrance blends.

Whether for your own home or to gift your bestie or significant other, any one of these items makes good scents. (Sorry not sorry. Couldn't resist.)

The best natural room sprays

Image of Mrs. Meyer's Room Freshener Daisy Scent

Mrs. Meyer's Room Freshener

Why we love it: A reliable brand known for its commitment to clean products at affordable prices, Mrs. Meyer's features a variety of delicious scents that Grove members love. And of course we love this room spray because it's paraben- and animal testing-free, non-aerosol, and longlasting. It also comes in 15 scent options.

Grove member Maryssa K. wrote “Do it. My significant other finds a way to burn something at least twice a week & this eliminates the smell almost instantaneously. Not an overwhelming scent, it’s perfect."

CALDREA Linen & Room Spray New Look

Caldrea Linen & Room Spray

Why we love it: Caldrea's sophisticated scents have created a loyal fan base. Ginger Pomelo, Blue Basil Sage, and Rosewater Driftwood are among some of Caldrea's most popular fragrances, and are cruelty-, paraben-, and formaldehyde-free. In addition to the scents above, this room spray comes in 7 other amazing options.

Latoyia S. says “I love that this linen & room spray lasts a while. I expected to spray it and for it to last maybe 30 minutes to an hour, but the scent fills my house all day!”

Image of GROVE CO. Room Spray Concentrate + Reusable Room Spray Bottle

Grove Co. Glass Room Spray Glass Bottle & Concentrates

Why we love them: Our reusable glass bottle will serve you year after year, saving you money and saving the earth from unnecessary waste. And that's just the start. Our concentrated blends are steam distilled or cold-pressed from plants or fresh fruit peels, all-natural, and pure. They’re more than just aromas — they create moments, whether invigorating (try our Awake blend), soothing (you’ll love our Sleep blend), or focused (as with our Purifying blend.)

The best essential oils and diffusers

Relax and Unwind Set - Ultrasonic Diffuser + Essential Oils

Grove Co. Ultrasonic Diffuser and Essential Oils

Why we love them: Made solely of natural, plant-derived ingredients, Grove Co. offers single note and blended essential oils that you can enjoy on their own or mix together and create a custom scent. This Relax and Unwind Set comes with one ultrasonic diffuser, one Unwind essential oil blend, and one organic lavender essential oil concentrate.

Grove member Samantha B. said “top quality and beautiful. really does make the whole house smell like essential oils! my old cheap one never made my house smell this strong. the essential oils are also a great quality."

The best natural soy candles

Grove Co X Jeremiah Brent Soy Candles

Why we love it: Transform everyday moments into restorative rituals that connect you back to your home with our limited edition collection by Jeremiah Brent. A clean-burning—never petroleum—soy wax creates an amazing scent for the home. Available in 2 unique scents: Himalayan Sea Salt & Sage or Eucalyptus & Cyprus.

Soy Wax Versus Paraffin Wax Hero.

Grove Co. Soy Candles

Why we love it: These scents are 100% natural, made from essential oils and other plant-based ingredients. They are also vegan, paraben-free, and cruelty-free. Soothing Sanctuary and fresh Stargazing scents each burn for 40+ hours and come in reusable glass jars with cotton wicks.

Grove member Claire R. wrote “I love grove candles they all smell good not overwhelming. They also burn slowly and are not too strong having asthma these candles don’t bother me. I give them as gifts also and everyone I’ve given them to love them. They make perfect gifts for any occasion.”

Mrs. Meyer's Soy Candles

Why we love it: Mrs. Meyer's variety of scented candles match their home cleaning products, and they burn up to 25 hours with soy wax and natural ingredients.

Grove member Velma C. said “I love the Mrs. Meyer's Soy Candle in Basil. They are my favorite candles . They have a very long burn time, and keep my house smelling really nice . I've had several visitors ask what the scent was, so they could find some of these candle for themselves.”

You can also browse Mrs. Meyer’s soy candles in an aluminum tin for a smaller candle that’s still infinitely recyclable.

DIY home fragrance ideas

If you love making things yourself and you have a kitchen, you can have a fragrant, inviting home. Of course, there’s no such thing as hard-and-fast rules when you’re DIY-ing to your heart’s content. Experiment with different ingredients until you find what you like.

Homemade holiday potpourri

In a saucepan or small slow cooker, combine:

  • 5–6 cups water
  • 2–3 T. cinnamon or 2–3 cinnamon sticks
  • Peel of one orange
  • Chunks of one apple
  • 3–4 star anise
  • 1–2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • ~5 cloves

Homemade fresh & clean potpourri

In a saucepan or small slow cooker, combine:

  • 5–6 cups water
  • Juice and peel of 1–2 fresh lemons
  • Juice and peel of 1–2 fresh oranges
  • 1–2 sprigs of rosemary

Homemade floral potpourri

  • Gather rose, gardenia, or lavender petals from fresh plants.
  • Place petals single layer on a wire rack or screen (like an old window screen) in a cool, dry place for a couple of weeks.
  • Mix petals in a jar or bowl. Optional: You can add a few drops of essential oils like lavender or rose.

Read more from Grove.