Your living space is your haven and you want it to smell as good as it looks. "Our associations to scents are processed in the primitive part of our brain," explains Sally Augustin, PhD, an environmental psychologist who is the founder of Design With Science and editor of Research Design Connections. This is why many people like to use home fragrance to create a certain feeling or mood. Here, she shares how to use an abundance of perfume to scent your home room by room.

1. In the bedroom.

Mellow out with a lavender scent, which can help you wind down at the end of the day. Or try jasmine, which improves the quality of sleep, according to research conducted by Dr. Bryan Raudenbush and his colleagues at Wheeling Jesuit University. If you have a perfume that fits the bill, spray it on drawer lining paper (make sure it's an absorbent paper), spritz it on your nightgown, use it to refresh a sachet to stick in your pillowcase, or use it to freshen your sheets.

Augustin says toalways start with a light application to scent your home and ramp it up if you want more. Also, avoid putting perfume on anything that will directly touch your eyes or face.

2. In the bathroom.

Vanilla or almond scents evoke a zen, spa-like space, since they are known for their relaxing properties. Put a few drops of perfume into a cup of warm water on your countertop and let the scent waft through the room. You can also spray your shower curtain or use scented soaps and body lotions, since the aromas will linger long after your shower is over.

3. In the living room.

For this shared space, you'll want to use a perfume that promotes positive interactions. Augustin recommends one with a rose or other floral notes, which many people find appealing. Spray it lightly on your couch cushions (she cautions trying it on a small spot in the back to be sure it doesn't stain your fabric, though, first), spritz your curtains, or look for floral potpourri, incense, or scented candles.

4. In your home office.

Increase your productivity by using a citrus-scented perfume or room-freshening spray. Lemon is known to improve cognitive tasks and can help you to stay focused longer. Peppermint can be a good choice if you have a spot in your home where you exercise regularly, since this fragrance helps improve physical performance. (Using a lemon or peppermint body lotion in either case can be a good alternative.)

5. In your kitchen.

Cook up a pleasing blend of aromas in your kitchen by sticking with perfumes or scented sprays that compliment your foods. Sage, green tea, basil, and vanilla are all very pleasing options. Or, let the scents from your ingredients take center stage as you cook and naturally scent your room.

Shopping for Home Fragrance

No collection of half-spent perfumes? Head to the stores. When shopping for perfumes or other scented home fragrances, consider natural options that are free from dyes and chemicals. Also take the time to determine what smells are most pleasing to you and others in your household. Different cultures have different preferences so regardless what the experts suggest, Augustin points out that you'll need to find what works best for you.

Sally Augustin, PhD, reviewed this article.



Raudenbush, Dr. Bryan. "WJU Professor and Students Find Jasmine Odor Leads to More Restful Sleep, Decreased Anxiety and Greater Mental Performance." Wheeling Jesuit University (WJU). N.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2013.

The Sense of Smell Institute. "A Pleasant Scent Can Lead to a Good Night's Sleep." The Fragrance Foundation Research and Education Division. N.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2013.