Written by Grove Collaborative

Top 6 products to make your house smell good naturally.

Last Updated: January 21, 2021

Learn about natural home fragrances, why they're better for you, and the top 6 natural home fragrances we recommend.

Here at Grove Collaborative, we’re big believers in the power of natural products — both for ourselves and for the planet. But we know making the switch can be daunting, especially if you’re accustomed to conventional products and are new to the world of natural, eco-friendly alternatives. That’s why we’ve created Beginner’s Guides to Natural. Each week, we’ll give you a primer on the ins and outs of transitioning to a natural version of a common household item, plus a few of our favorite brands for making the switch. Let’s get to swapping!

What scents make you happy? Maybe vanilla, all warm and sweet? Or spicy, comforting cinnamon? Fresh balsam fir, or clean, cottony linen? Scents can transport you to a place of comfort and well being, and in no place is this more important — especially these days — than at home.

But even more important is knowing exactly what you're breathing into your lungs, not just how it smells. So to help you make your home smell good naturally, we've compiled some great info for you. Here, we describe 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 recos for natural home fragrances — including brand new, all-natural Grove Co. home fragrances.

What are natural fragrances?

The best way to answer this question is to look at what natural fragrances aren't. Unlike conventional home fragrances, natural fragrances are less likely to contain a multitude of commonly used chemicals that are harmful to your health.

To smell the truth

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.

When Grove recommends natural fragrances, rest assured we've read the labels (or, you know, created the highest quality natural scents and written the truthful labels ourselves!) You can rest assured they list exactly what’s found in the product — nothing less, nothing more, nothing hidden.

Stay far away from these:

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

But happily and safely indulge in these:

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

Benefits of using natural home fragrances

Nothing compares to walking into a room and being hit with a pleasing scent that makes you feel comforted and relaxed. Heady fragrance is a key part of a solid self-care routine, helping to create a sense of overall wellness that is so vital to our lives. So the biggest benefit of using natural home fragrances is your well being! Different scents elicit different emotional effects, so you can key in on specific ways to achieve a well-balanced, happy living environment.

Top essential oils and their aroma-therapeutic effects

Orange: uplifting, energizing, perfect for holidays as well as summer; nice for a home's entryway or kitchen

Lemon: fresh, clean, and energizing, great in spring and summer, especially appropriate in the kitchen

Lavender: calming, soothing, lightly floral scent that's wonderful for the bedroom to relax and restore the senses

Eucalyptus: fresh, spa-like scent, stimulating and soothing for respiratory system, excellent for the bathroom

Peppermint: invigorating, refreshing scent, great for the office or study; a delight during holiday time

Tea tree: purifying, fresh, woody scent; great for the bathroom, basement, or workout room

Best natural home fragrances

Here are our customer and staff favorite natural home fragrances, air fresheners, and candles, including Grove Co.'s brand-new and already-beloved special home fragrance blends. Whether for your own home or a meaningful, caring gift, any one of these items makes good scents. (Sorry not sorry. Couldn't resist.)

Room sprays

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 scents that customers favor. Though some of their ingredient lists are lengthy, we appreciate the disclosure. Customers rave about holiday favorites Iowa Pine, Peppermint, Orange Clove, and Snowdrop blend. And of course we love this room spray because it's paraben- and animal testing-free, non-aerosol, and longlasting.

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.

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.)

Essential Oils

Grove Co. Essential Oils & Essential Oil Blends

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 your unique, perfectly scented space. Eucalyptus, orange, lavender, tea tree, lemon, and more allow you to have a variety of sensory experiences and can be purchased with our top-grade oil diffusers and burner sets.

And because it's us, we make sure that not only are our products clean, but also the packaging in which they arrive is made from sustainable, earth-friendly materials.


Grove Co. Holiday Soy Candle

Why we love it: Cult-status favorite Limited-Edition Holiday Soy Candle in Evergreen is one our customers swear by. 100% natural fresh evergreen fragrance, along with a clean-burning — never petroleum — soy wax creates an amazing scent for the holidays.

NEW Grove Co. Candles!

Our brand new collection of home fragrances is available in candle form, too! Soothing Sanctuary, fresh Stargazing, comforting Homemade, and invigorating Al Fresco each burn for 40+ hours and come in reusable glass jars with cotton wicks.

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.


New from Grove!

Our customers already love these delicious home fragrance blends from Grove:

  • Sanctuary: Notes of soothing lavender, blue sage, and clove create a relaxing, healthful ambience.
  • Homemade: Comforting scents of vanilla, sandalwood, and brown sugar promote warmth and serenity.
  • Al fresco: Uplifting aromas of pink grapefruit, jasmine, and vanilla combine for a refreshing vibe.
  • Stargazing: woodsy juniper, invigorating eucalyptus, and bright, sweet orange bring the wonder of nature to your senses.

DIY home fragrance ideas

If you have a kitchen, you can have a fragrant, inviting home — but if you’re making stovetop potpourri, keep an eye on anything you simmer. Burnt potpourri has many a pan ruined and a domestic argument ignited. There’s no such thing as hard-and-fast rules when you’re making your own clean fragrances for your home. 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-ish 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 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: for extra oomph, you can add a few drops of essential oils like lavender or rose.
  • Place anywhere you'd like a subtle floral scent.

Shop natural home fragrance

Looking for more cleaning how-tos and other sustainable swaps you can make at home? Grove has you covered with our buying and cleaning guides. And let us know how if you have any cleaning questions (or share your own tips using #grovehome) by following Grove Collaborative on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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