8 Easy Ways to Make Your House Smell Like Fall

updated Oct 3, 2019
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More than any other season, fall encompasses the feeling of comfort that can only be found in the warmth of hearth and togetherness. So we bring out the blankets, wrap ourselves in sweaters, and clutch our seasonal drinks amidst drifting leaves as we brace against the coming cold. 

A festive, flame-colored wreath on the door and plump pumpkins squatting among mums say fall for sure, but perhaps more than anything else it’s those seasonal scents that transport us to a place that makes us feel both nostalgic and firmly, reassuringly planted in the here and now. 

Fall scents envelop us and our families in the spirit of the season and many would argue it’s the best-smelling season. With that in mind, here are some easy ways to make your home smell like fall.

1. Hang a cinnamon broom or buy cinnamon pinecones.

Cinnamon might be the underpinning of any scent that makes us think of fall and one of the easiest ways to infuse your home with the smell of cinnamon is by picking up a cinnamon broom when you go grocery shopping. (Cinnamon brooms have a history of symbolism.) If you’d rather use something less meaningful to infuse your home with the scent of cinnamon, try cinnamon-scented pinecones, which similarly double as scent-dispenser and decor. 

Credit: Carly Diaz

2. Make a simmer pot.

There’s no wrong way to make a simmer pot. Just fill a large pot about three-quarters full with water and add any mixture of the following (or come up with your own fall-inspired add-ins): cinnamon sticks, orange peels or slices, lemon peels or slices, cranberries, cloves, star anise, vanilla, apples or apple juice, pine needles, or a few drops of similarly scented essential oils. Consider setting a timer to check on your pot so the water doesn’t completely evaporate and leave the items at risk of burning. Alternately, make a simmer pot in a slow cooker with a timer. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

3. Burn an autumn candle.

This is probably the easiest way to add an autumnal scent to your home. Not only can you get the heady scent of Pumpkin Clove, Brown Sugar Chestnut, or Clementine Honey, but you’ll also get the added ambiance offered by the flicker of a flame. 

Credit: Cat Meschia

4. Diffuse some fall-friendly essential oils.

If you prefer not to burn candles in your home, diffusing essential oils is a safe alternative. Choose single oils in seasonal scents such as rosemary, clove, orange, lemon, eucalyptus, oregano, cassia, frankincense, cinnamon, or ginger. If you’re feeling a bit more fancy, try mixing oils in your diffuser for a more layered scent. Check out suggested combinations here, here, and here.  

Credit: Martí Sans/Stocksy

5. Put a few drops of essential oils on your furnace filter.

For inexpensive and safe whole-house scenting, add about 20 drops of essential oil to your furnace filter. You can do this when it’s time to change your furnace filter, or you can add a few drops whenever you want and then put the filter back. This method infuses a subtle scent throughout your entire home. 

Credit: Lauren Volo

6. Bake something.

Baking something just to make your home smell nice might not be the most logical thing, but if you time your baking purposefully, you can have a homemade treat and a house that smells completely amazing right when your guests walk in. Classic fall-smelling baked goods include Sunken Apple Cake, Pumpkin Magic Cake, or Pear and Cinnamon Coffee Cake.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

7. Use fall-scented cleaning products.

Seasonally scented cleaning products usher you into the fall mood even as you’re doing the same mundane things you’ve done all year, like mopping the floors, wiping the counters, and washing the dishes. It’s true: When dish soap and cleaning spray smell like orange clove or apple cider, chore-doing becomes an (almost) festive experience. And afterwards, you and your loved ones will enjoy both a clean house and some cozy smells.  

Related: How To Make an All-Natural Kitchen Cleaner

Credit: Joe Lingeman

8. Plug in a candle warmer and use fall-scented melts.

These plug-in candle warmers are cozy lights, scent diffusers, conversation starters, and kitschy fun decor — all wrapped up in one. Pop in a few fall-scented candle melts (like these toasted marshmallow or banana nut bread melts) and enjoy fire-free, lingering scents.

What are you doing to make your home smell like fall?