The 12 Best Trader Joe’s Buys That’ll Make Your Kitchen Smell Amazing

published Aug 2, 2021
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Trader Joe's canvas bag filled with groceries on countertop.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Trader Joe’s is one of our favorite places for frozen food scores, weekly groceries, and pantry items. Of course, you probably already knew that — and likely even have a long list of your own personal favorites! But even if you’ve already figured out the store’s best-kept secrets (hint: their cracker aisle is amazing), you may be overlooking one brilliant reason to shop there.

Turns out, Trader Joe’s has lots of finds that’ll make our kitchens smell so much better than, uh, whatever odor that is that’s lingering in the air. So, grab a cart, follow your nose, and let’s get shopping!

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

1. Lavender, from $4.99

Lavender extract is used in many cleaning products, and for good reason: It has a floral smell that’s not overwhelming. It also has natural calming properties, too. Investing in a potted lavender plant will bring spa-like vibes to your kitchen for months to come — just be sure to water it when the soil is dry, and keep it in a warm spot with plenty of natural light. If your local TJ’s doesn’t carry lavender, check the rest of the plant selection: Potted rosemary or basil are also common finds, and they both smell just as nice!

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

2. Eucalyptus, $3.99

Hanging eucalyptus from your shower head is a smart way to fill the bathroom with a citrusy, floral scent. The idea works in the kitchen, too. Gently crush the branches to release natural oils, then place the eucalyptus in a vase near the sink. You’ll catch a whiff every time you walk by — or wash dishes. Change the water daily to keep branches perky for up to a week.

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

3. Cinnamon Sugar Bread, $3.99

Obviously this sweet, cinnamon-y bread tastes ridiculously yummy. But can you imagine the way your kitchen would smell if you warmed the loaf in the oven for five to 10 minutes before slicing and serving it with butter? It’s just as inviting and cozy as freshly baked bread — without even having to break out the KitchenAid mixer.

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

4. Ground Cinnamon, $1.99

This is a little bit of a cheat, but it’s so inexpensive and easy, we had to include it. Shaking a teaspoon of cinnamon into a small saucepan of water and simmering it on the back burner of your stove is an all-natural way to bring that hay-rides-and-pumpkin-pies feel to the kitchen — any time of the year. Add in cloves or allspice for a very wintery scent.

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

5. Banana Bread Mix, $2.69

This one requires a little work. But you’ll get banana bread for dessert, so it’s totally worth it. The mix contains all of the dry ingredients you need, so put that ripe banana to work and enjoy the brown sugar-y, buttery smells coming from your oven as the loaf bakes.

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

6. Super Lemon Room Spritz, $1.99

Breathe deeply. This natural room refresher is 100% natural and is made primarily from water and lemon myrtle and spearmint oils. It’s super bright and citrusy, making it an ideal choice to “cut through” any room that smells funky. 

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

7. Lavender Dryer Bags, $3.99

While these are technically made for scenting laundry in the dryer, they’re also perfect for scenting your kitchen. Tuck one or two bags in between your stashed-away hand towels and dish cloths — you’ll be surprised by how long they last and how robust they smell. Before you toss one, the team at TJ’s recommends sprinkling the contents of the bag on the floor, then vacuuming it all up for a quick refresher.

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

8. Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Soap, $12.99

This is a classic and one of the best. Dr. Bronner’s can be used for everything (think: shampoo, dish cleaner, a floor cleaner, etc!). We’re not the only ones who love Dr. Bronner’s — pastry chef and cookbook author Zoë Francois uses the tried-and-true peppermint variety to clean her kitchen. And guess what? It’s as fresh-smelling as it is versatile!

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

9. Cedarwood & Sage Multi-Purpose Cleaner, $2.99

Some household cleaners work great, but have a chemical smell — not exactly the mood we want to set in our kitchens. The Cedarwood & Sage Multi-Purpose Cleaner smells so good, we’re secretly hoping they make it into a body lotion. The cleaner is awesome for countertops, sinks, and any other greasy surface in the kitchen — and biodegradable, to boot.

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

10. Spicy Chai Tea Latte Mix, $3.99

Simmer a big scoop of masala chai mix with water or milk on the stove, and your kitchen will transform into a trendy coffeehouse (without the crowds of people, WiFi passwords, and extravagant prices). What we’re trying to say is that this stuff not only tastes delicious, but it also smells inviting. You better bet we’ll be making this easy beverage on repeat all fall and winter long!

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

11. Peach Black Tea Scented Candle, $3.99

This candle mimics the scent of TJ’s popular, fruity black tea blends (mango black tea and apricot black tea are big sellers). Made with a soy blend base, it comes in a small tin, which you could easily reuse as a handy container once the candle is spent!

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

12. Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, $3.49

This ultra-chunky, super-chocolatey dough smells so good while it’s baking, you may attract a neighbor or two. Of course, the scent of warm cookies won’t last forever, so stock up on a few packages!

What do you buy at Trader Joe’s to make your home smell amazing? Share your favorite finds with us in the comments below.