The Top Home Luxury Scents of 2021, Ranked by Popularity

Luxury home scents are unique fragrances that we infuse into a room to subconsciously evoke pleasant feelings and emotions. 

Whether you’re at home relaxing, entertaining guests, celebrating with friends, or focusing on work, filling your room with a luxurious home scent is a wonderful way to enhance the mood and atmosphere. 

With several hundred types of home fragrances on the market in the form of luxury candles, room sprays, reed diffusers, and more, we know how hard it is to find the perfect scents to fall in love with. But here’s a good place to start -- a list of this year’s most popular home luxury scents by demand. 

We looked at 64 of our favorite fragrance notes and ranked them based on sales and reviews of our luxury candles as well as how often people search for each specific fragrance online.

Top 10 Most Popular Home Luxury Scents

1. Lavender

Native to mountainous regions in the Mediterranean, the lavender flower has been helping people relax and de-stress since ancient times. Lavender oil was first used as a perfume by the Egyptians approximately 2,500 years ago, and it also became popular among the Greeks and Romans for both its fragrance and its healing properties. 

Breathing in the floral scent of lavender has been scientifically proven to combat stress and lower your anxiety. This calming effect stems from one of the chemical components in lavender oil, linanool, which triggers certain brain receptors that make us feel relaxed. People also claim that the lavender scent can also help fight depression, reduce insomnia, and even act as a mild pain reliever. 

Given it’s benefits, it’s no surprise that lavender tops our list of most popular home luxury scents for 2021. At the Harlem Candle Company, we use lavender in several of our original candle fragrances, including Dream, Langston, Ellington, and Sugar Hill

2. Palo Santo

Palo Santo is a wild tree native to the dry tropical forests of South America, traditionally used by natives there as a remedy for pain, inflammation, and stress. It’s name means “holy wood” in Spanish, reflecting the energizing and healing properties that indigenous Latin American cultures believed Palo Santo to have.  

The smell of Palo Santo is subtle, sweet, and woodsy, with hints of mint and citrus. Traditionally used as incense to clear out negative energy, Palo Santo can be a wonderful home fragrance that brings fresh, positive vibes. It’s also said that its uplifting aroma can relieve stress and enhance creativity. 

We feature the essence of Palo Santo in our Speakeasy candle, which immerses you in the forbidden thrill of the Harlem Renaissance's nightlife.

3. Coffee

Coffee is part of a daily ritual for many -- if not most -- people around the world. More than just a stimulating drink, coffee has a warm, comforting aroma that even non-coffee drinkers appreciate. In fact, research has shown that just the smell of coffee can give you a cognitive boost, improving memory and alertness.  

The complex aroma of roasted coffee is a product of the Maillard reaction, which describes the interaction between sugars and various proteins and amino acids to form aroma and flavor compounds when catalyzed by heat. These compounds include 2-furfurylthiol, which is the main source of “roasted coffee” smell, supported by fruity aldehydes, caramel-like furans, earthy pyrazines, and smoky phenolics.

4. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is considered a holy tree by Australia’s Aboriginals, symbolizing the division of heaven, earth, and the underworld. Its distinctive leaves are well-loved by both koalas and people. To koalas, it’s the main source of their diet; to people, it’s a distinctive, minty fragrance often described as a refreshing forest scent with a touch of honey. 

The smell of eucalyptus is commonly used in meditative practices and home spa remedies as an ingredient that promotes relaxation and facilitates breathing. It’s crisp, camphoraceous scent soothes and revitalizes, gracing your indoor space with a sensation of purity and freshness.

Learn more: What Does Eucalyptus Smell Like?

5. Fir

Fir is an evergreen coniferous tree with sturdy branches and soft needles. They normally prefer to grow in spacious, mountainous areas, but during the winter you’ll often find them in people’s homes under decorative lights and Christmas ornaments. 

The piney, earthy, and slightly citrusy scent of fir balsam is practically synonymous with the holiday season, evoking feelings of warmth, comfort, and nostalgia. People love its pleasant, forest-like aroma that invigorates the senses and stimulates energy.  

You can enjoy the full-bodied fragrance of fir balsam, together with eucalyptus, in our seasonal Holiday candle, which pays tribute to Billie Holiday and her favorite scents.

6. Vanilla

Known as the world’s favorite flavor, vanilla was first cultivated and harvested around 900 years ago by the ancient Totonac tribe in Mexico. After the Totonacs were conquered by the Aztecs, vanilla became a unique offering of tribute to Aztec kings.  

Since then, the humble vanilla bean has become a staple scent in many perfumes and luxury home fragrances. The smell of vanilla is described as sweet, creamy, comforting, with a touch of exotic. Historically, vanilla is classified as a representative note of the “oriental” fragrance family, imparting a heavy, diffusive richness that underlies seductive and voluptuous scents. 

The rich, luxurious scent of vanilla is featured as a base for several of our candle fragrances, including Josephine, Langston, Speakeasy, and Lenox.

7. Pumpkin Spice

Most people assume that the modern pumpkin spice craze started with the latte flavor introduced by Starbucks in 2003, but in fact it was first popularized eight years earlier by a candle company in New Mexico.  

Pumpkin spice is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves (it doesn’t actually contain pumpkin) that seems to be everywhere in the fall. The aroma of pumpkin spice is commonly described as warm, spicy, and inviting, making it a holiday favorite for gatherings and get-togethers.

8. Peppermint

Peppermint is an aromatic herb that grows perennially throughout Europe and North America. Like lavender, its history dates back to the ancient Egyptians, who used peppermint leaves as a medicine for indigestion.  

Compared to other members of the mint family, peppermint has the highest concentration of menthol, the organic compound responsible for its cool, refreshing flavor and aroma. Despite its sharpness, peppermint is actually a very calming scent that helps relax our muscles and reduces anxiety. At the same time, studies have shown that the smell of peppermint increases alertness, memory, and cognitive processing. 

9. Sandalwood

Sandalwood is one of the most expensive types of wood in the world, with a 4,000 years of historical and spiritual significance in Buddhist and Indian culture. Because of its soft yet sophisticated qualities, its fragrance is sometimes called a “gateway note” to luxury home scents. 

The distinctively deep, woody, and milky soft fragrance of sandalwood comes from essential oils extracted from the wood and roots of these evergreen trees. It’s alluring, sophisticated, and exotic. A pinch of sandalwood works wonders when blended together with other woody or earthy scents such as cedar, patchouli, vetiver, and vanilla to create warm, uplifting fragrances with genuine depth and complexity. 

At the Harlem Candle Company, we fully utilize the sensual notes of sandalwood to craft some of our most intoxicating blends, including Savoy, Lenox, Love, Langston, and Josephine.

Learn more: What Does Sandalwood Smell Like?

10. Rose

Symbolizing romance, passion, and ethereal beauty for more than a thousand years, roses are the perfect scent to show how much we love someone. Its usage dates back to the story of Cleopatra, who filled her boudoir with a foot and a half of fresh-plucked rose petals to help her charm Mark Antony. Nowadays, rose is almost synonymous with modern female fragrances. 

The unique smell of rose comes from rose oxides, which produce a floral green top note, plus a bit of sweetness, fruitiness, and mintiness. The fragrance of rose is lovely, mysterious, and evocative, perfect for perfuming a room in anticipation of a romantic evening. Rose can also work wonders for a relaxing solo night in, treating you to a calming and restorative aroma that promotes breathing and has also been shown to improve memory

The versatility of rose is featured in a variety of our favorite luxury candles, including Josephine, Ellington, and Love.