The Power of Smell

Smell is the only one of our five senses that is directly  hardwired to our brains and  connected to our memories and emotions.

The “smell to sell” is commonly used in real estate to help potential buyers feel at home in your home. Often scents such as fresh baking and flowers will trigger warm feelings and move the purchase of your home along more quickly.

Scent is also an easy, fast way to prep your home for a showing when you don’t have much notice. It creates good energy and encourages a positive emotional response, which in turn will result in positive selling effects for you.


Here are 10 easy tips to help your home smell like a million bucks:

Empty garbage cans. Leftover food and waste can emit quite powerful odours that linger and spread like wildfire. Make sure you regularly empty your garbage cans, especially right before showings.

Deodorize. We all know you can place an opened box of baking soda in your fridge to keep food smells to a minimum, but you can also use a deodorizing powder or simple baking soda throughout your home. Sprinkle a little bit of the powder on carpets, fabric furniture and rugs and vacuum up the visible powder to keep imbedded odours at bay. Baking soda is also great at removing pet smells from your carpets and furniture.

Boil cinnamon or cedar. It’s simple and it’s effective. Add a teaspoon or two of cinnamon or a couple sprigs of cedar to a boiling pot. Keep the mixture hot as long as you like, topping up the water as it evapourates. Remember to never leave the stove unattended while using this pleasing scent-diffusing method.

Use lemon as your cleaner. Mix lemon and baking soda with water for an all-natural,  powerful cleaning agent. This mixture can be used to clean everything in your home from your bathroom to your surfaces. The lemon scent will give your home a fresh vibrancy.

Bake cookies or bread. The ultimate homey scent, fresh baking is key to making your house smell like a cosy home. It doesn’t have to be much, just a dozen cookies will do. And you get to eat them after as celebration for a successful showing!

Light scented candles. Choose scented candles that are subtle and suit your personality. Burning a scent that resembles baked goods or fresh laundry will do more for the atmosphere of your home than an overpowering, flowery scent that smells more like a dinner date than a welcoming home.

Use a  reed diffuser. These are the ultimate in subtle, lasting home scents and come in some decorative vases and oil lamps, so you don’t even notice them working.

Set out some fresh flowers. Whether they come from the local flourist, the supermarket or your own garden, fresh flowers provide a natural, energetic fragrance as well as added colour. It’s a two for one deal!

Make coffee. Even those who don’t like the taste of coffee often enjoy the smell of it brewing. Let the aroma of freshly brewed coffee filter through your home and liven up your living space.

Dab on some essential oil. Not on your skin, but on your furniture. Just a touch of an effective essential oil on the back of your couch or under a bed or on the corner of the rug will make a big difference in the overall smell of your home. Try cinnamon, peppermint, orange, clove or lavender and dab a bit onto your finger and transfer to wherever you wish.


  1. Matthew Collis 09/07/2011 at 1:49 PM

    Good article! Believe it or not, smell definitely does play into a buyer's purchase decision!

  2. Chris Newald 09/08/2011 at 4:54 PM

    Diffusers work great but you have to be careful as they do produce a powerful scent. Also, be sure to stick to neutral ones as people with allergies or those who are sensitive to smells may get turned away. A trick that works is to only put one or two of the wicks inside to lighten the scent. My wife once had a cinnamon one that made me never want to leave the house. Great article!

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