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How using home fragrance can enhance every part of your space this winter

Alice McGhee, Soho Home’s Home Fragrance Manager, shares her expertise on the scents to use in different areas – from the entrance hall to the bedroom

By Megan Murray

'Your home is an extension of you,' says Alice McGhee, Soho Home's Home Fragrance Manager. 'It's a sanctuary away from the hustle of everyday life; a place to relax and shut off.'

'Home fragrance can help in creating that environment. It can translate a mood, complement colour palettes, and even enhance how you functionally use a space.'

Indeed, the right scent brings a home to life - but one size does not fit all. Different areas call for a bespoke fragrance approach; warming notes in a living room on a blustery day or a relaxing, floral scent in a bedroom.

'Scent is a personal thing. Everyone's interpretation is different, but I would advise trying richer fragrances in entertaining spaces, while keeping the bedroom light,' McGhee explains.

Read on for her guide on which scents complement areas for welcoming guests, socialising around the dinner table, and taking time for yourself.

Entrance hall

'A slightly heavier fragrance works well for a walk-through space, as it makes an impact without becoming overpowering. If there's an unusual home fragrance that you're excited to try, put it by your front door on a console table to test it.

'I think smoky fragrances are great for this. To welcome guests, especially for a dinner party, I would choose Leather & Oud as it has aromatic base notes of sandalwood and patchouli that set an evening tone.'

Living space

'This is where most people relax with family and friends, so at this time of year it's nice to choose a warming fragrance with cosy connotations like Clove & Cinnamon.

'It's everything you would expect from a festive fragrance - for me, it's the smell of the holidays. If you're having people over, this will get everyone in the spirit, especially if you use scented candles to create an ambient glow.'


'A kitchen scent should harmonise with food smells, not jar against them - Sicilian Thyme is complementary while cooking.

'Or opt for a fresh, citrus scent. Pomelo has top notes of mandarin with a heart of grapefruit and jasmine, which is bright and cleansing.'

Dining room

'In an entertaining space, a notable fragrance enhances a sense of occasion. Patchouli is my go-to for a dining room because the spicy, woody elements evoke a dinner party vibe.

'In candle form, this will really set the mood. The Patchouli blend is quite singular, too, which gives it depth and drama.'


'A place for calm and comfort, the ideal bedroom scent would be light, fruity, and floral. It should be just perceptible, but fade into the background.

'Rose Water is an obvious choice for a bedroom. With notes of lemon, geranium and guaiac wood, it's clean and modern, steering away from the traditionalism that can be associated with this flower. Yes, there's a prettiness to it, but the citrus elements give it an edge.'


'The bathroom can be difficult because while citrus scents lend themselves well to this space, they can be reminiscent of cleaning products. That's why I like to choose a blend that offers a variation on this theme.

'Bergamot & Mandarin Zest is one of our bestselling home fragrances. While it works anywhere in the home, for me, it's perfect for the bathroom.

'Top notes of lime and mandarin tick the citrus box, but not in an obvious way.'