Selling your home? Gain an unexpected edge by using the right combination of fragrances.

By Lauren Wellbank
July 27, 2020
Getty / Halfdark

If you're new to the concept of scentscaping—which is the use of scent to express a mood or feeling in different rooms of your home—then you may be unfamiliar with its benefits. Since scentscaping is just another form of creative expression, it can be used as an extension of your home décor; just as you arrange art, colors, and textures to create a mood, you can use fragrance to do the same—which is particularly helpful when you're attempting to sell your home. Here, we spoke with two experts to find out how you can use scentscaping to your benefit during an open house, and here's what they had to share.

Choose the right scent.

Using the right combination of scents can instantly make someone feel right at home in your space, which is especially important when you want your home to become their home. Pam Asplund, the director of fragrance at Reckitt Benckiser, explains that certain notes work better than others in this context. "Select fragrances that can enhance the energy in busier and more active rooms," she says. "Scents that are fruity, fresh, and zesty can match the movement and activity in spaces such as kitchens and offices, where lots of energy is valued." And if you're looking to create a more relaxed feel, you'll want to go with florals, herbal teas, or creamy woods, she says.

Don't overdo it.

Scent is the easiest tool to "decorate" and "redecorate" with, says Asplund, and it can be manipulated in a number of ways—just make sure not to over do it. An overpowering fragrance, after all, could set off the allergies of a prospective buyer with a sensitive nose. Similarly, buyers may wonder if you're attempting to mask an odor if there's too much of a synthetic scent. Pet smells? A lifetime of smoking? Mildew? A subtler approach is always better.

Reinvigorate an empty space.

Tania Isacoff Friedland, a broker with Warburg Realty, says that she always brings a fragrance with her when she goes to show listing. "Usually, we prefer diffusers so we don't have to worry about them being a fire hazard as we would with candles," she says, "but we do often bring candles as they are far more beautiful and the scents tend to be more subtle." You'll want to follow her advice especially if you're showing a unit you've already moved out of, as empty spaces tend to hold onto still, stale air. The right candle or diffuser can freshen the air and remind potential buyers that even though the space is empty, it could very easily feel like home.


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