13 Best-Smelling Houseplants to Transform Your Home into a Fragrant Oasis

Picture this: you come home after a long day, step through the door, and are instantly greeted by the subtle, delightful aroma of fresh greenery. Sounds perfect, right? Well, it’s easily achievable.

Introducing houseplants into your space isn’t just about boosting aesthetics—some plants can envelop your home in luxurious scents that relax, invigorate, and delight the senses. Below are thirteen of the best-smelling houseplants that promise to transform your home into a fragrant paradise.

1. Gardenia: An Enchanting Aroma

Gardenias are renowned for their strong, sweet scent and waxy white flowers, which can fill any room with a summery fragrance reminiscent of jasmine. They thrive in bright, indirect light and high humidity, which makes them perfect for a well-lit bathroom.

Consistent watering and care will reward you with blooms that not only look beautiful but also emit a soothing fragrance, making gardenias a top choice for indoor plant enthusiasts.

Gardenias are known to evoke a sense of tranquility. They have been studied for their ability to lower stress and promote a more restful sleep environment. (ref) Thanks to their calming aroma, placing these near your bed can help enhance the quality of your sleep.

2. Jasmine: A Whiff of Romantic Splendor

Jasmine is a star houseplant with a potent, sweet fragrance. This plant blooms in late winter or early spring, producing pinkish-white flowers. The scent of jasmine is often described as both relaxing and romantic, making it a popular choice for bedrooms or living areas where its delightful fragrance can be enjoyed to the fullest.

Additionally, jasmine is relatively easy to care for. It prefers cooler temperatures and a bit of direct sunlight but will also do well under fluorescent lights, making it adaptable to various home environments.

3. Scented Geranium: A Symphony of Fragrances

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Scented Geraniums offer a variety of fragrances, including rose, lemon, mint, apple, and even chocolate! These plants are particularly valued for their scented leaves, which release a burst of fragrance when touched or gently brushed. Beyond their aroma, scented geraniums can also bring a playful touch of color to your indoor spaces, with flowers ranging from white to pink to deep purple. (ref)

Geraniums are easy to grow and do well in moderate conditions, but they thrive best with plenty of light. A sunny windowsill is ideal for keeping your scented geraniums healthy and aromatic.

4. Lavender: Serenity in Every Bloom

lavender plants

Lavender is often associated with its calming and therapeutic properties. It’s a wonderful option for bedrooms and bathrooms, where its soothing scent can help create a relaxing atmosphere. Lavender is best grown under full sunlight and in well-drained soil, making it a good fit for sunny windowsills.

Research has shown that lavender’s aroma can aid in relaxation and improve sleep quality by lowering heart rate and blood pressure. It’s a natural remedy for stress and anxiety, perfect for a peaceful home environment. (ref)

5. Eucalyptus: A Breath of Fresh Air

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Eucalyptus plants are known for their distinctive, refreshing aroma and health benefits. The leaves can be used in a shower for a spa-like experience. When steamed, they release their minty scent, which helps clear nasal passages and relax the muscles.

While eucalyptus can grow quite large, smaller varieties are available that are suitable for indoor gardening. They prefer bright, indirect light and well-drained soil. As a bonus, keeping eucalyptus at home can also help ward off pests like mosquitoes.

6. Lemon Balm: Citrusy Zest for Your Home

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Lemon Balm, a member of the mint family, emits a gentle lemon scent that can enhance mood and mental clarity. This hardy plant is incredibly easy to grow and can do well in both sunny and partially shaded areas. Its leaves can be used to make a refreshing tea that carries the same stress-relieving properties as the plant’s aroma.

The fragrance of lemon balm has been linked to improved mood and cognitive function, making it a smart choice for a home office or study area.

7. Basil: From the Garden to Your Living Room

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Basil isn’t just for cooking; its sweet, peppery scent makes it an excellent addition to any indoor garden. Thriving in warm environments with plenty of sunlight, basil is perfect for a kitchen windowsill, where its scent can complement your culinary adventures.

Studies have shown that the scent of basil can help reduce stress and promote a sense of well-being, making it a worthwhile addition to any home looking to enhance its atmosphere with natural, uplifting aromas. (ref)

8. Mint: Cool and Refreshing

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Mint plants are as beneficial for their aroma as they are for their culinary uses. With a cool, crisp fragrance, mint is especially refreshing in hot weather and can help to invigorate the senses. It’s incredibly easy to grow, even thriving in less ideal conditions, which makes it a great plant for beginners.

The aroma of mint has been noted for its ability to enhance alertness and memory, making it another excellent plant choice for study spaces or work areas.

9. Orchid: Subtle Elegance

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Orchids are not only visually stunning, but some varieties, like the moth orchid, offer a light, pleasant scent. Orchids require a bit more care and specific growing conditions, including indirect light and high humidity, but their exotic appearance and subtle fragrance make the effort worthwhile.

Orchids’ unique ability to bloom for several months provides a long-lasting source of natural beauty and fragrance in your home.

10. Plumeria: A Tropical Scented Escape

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Plumeria, also known as frangipani, is celebrated for its intensely fragrant flowers, which come in a variety of colors. Plumeria can be grown indoors with sufficient light, and it brings a tropical, sweet scent into the home. It requires a warm environment and plenty of sunlight to thrive, making it ideal for sunny indoor spaces.

In addition to its intoxicating scent, plumeria is often associated with relaxation and tranquility. Its aroma and visually striking flowers enhance living spaces.

11. African Violet: Delicate & Sweet

African Violets are a popular choice for indoor plants due to their vibrant flowers and ease of care. While they are not known for a strong fragrance, some varieties do offer a subtle, sweet aroma. They prefer lower light conditions and consistent moisture, making them suitable for less sunny areas of your home.

With proper care, African violets can bloom several times a year, providing a continuous splash of color and a hint of fragrance to your indoor environment.

12. Rosemary: A Fragrant Herb of Remembrance

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Rosemary is another herb that’s fantastic for both its culinary and aromatic qualities. Its scent is immediately recognizable and can help to improve focus and memory. Rosemary is best grown in a sunny spot with well-drained soil, making it suitable for windowsills that receive a lot of light.

Beyond its scent, rosemary has been shown to have antioxidant properties, which can contribute to a healthier home environment.

13. Sweet Bay: The Noble Aroma

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Sweet Bay or bay laurel, known for its role in cooking, also provides a rich, woodsy aroma. This evergreen shrub can grow quite large but can be pruned into a manageable size for indoor growth. It prefers full sun to partial shade and requires regular watering to thrive.

The aroma of the sweet bay has been noted for its calming effects and can bring a subtle, natural scent to any room in your home.

These thirteen plants are more than pleasant to the nose; they can transform your home into a more relaxing, invigorative, and inviting space. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice looking to start your indoor plant collection, these aromatic choices are sure to enhance your living environment in delightful ways.

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.