Finding Your Scent: What Does Rosemary Smell Like?

 rosemary growing outdoors

Source: Maren Winter/

Rosemary offers a delicious herbal taste to a number of dishes and cuisines. But this herbal evergreen is used in far more than just food. The scent of rosemary is added to everything from cleaning supplies, hand soaps and shampoos to aromatic candles. And, although we might know its taste all too well, what does rosemary smell like? In this scent guide, Homesick explores the aroma of the calming rosemary herb. 

What Is Rosemary?

Today, we mainly use rosemary needle-shaped leaves as an herb. Yet, the herb derives from an evergreen bush that often grows in the Mediterranean region. However, before it was used as an herb, rosemary was used as a scent. As a mint family member, rosemary was once commonly burned like incense at both weddings and funerals for ritual cleansing, for luck and to evoke positive and long-lasting memories. It’s not surprising that it was used as a cleansing ritual in important ceremonies. Very much like sage, it has a cleansing effect and was once used to fend off witches. In addition, the direct Latin translation comes from “ros,” meaning dew and “marinus,” meaning the sea. 

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What Does Rosemary Smell Like?

candle with rosemary herbs lemons

Source: New Africa/

Since rosemary comes from the mint family, the freshness of mint does carry through. However, above all, there is almost an evergreen pine scent (it does have pine-like needles, after all) that smells more woody than herby. It can be an extremely pungent smell — often strong enough that it is used as a base note or foundation that lifts up other scents and fragrances. 

Similar Rosemary-Like Aromas

Rosemary has a very aromatic scent that is not too far off from similar herbs and woody evergreen-like plants. As mentioned, sage shares some of the same air-cleansing, disinfectant properties that rosemary does. A similar scent to this is camphor and eucalyptus. Camphor also falls in line with the purifying scent of rosemary; it’s even used as a moth repellent.  

Love Rosemary? Try These 4 Homesick Candles

San Diego Candle

#1 Gemini Candle

Light up the Gemini candle to invite heavenly florals and rosemary into the space. The rosemary top note mingles with delicate jasmine and zesty lemon, as contrasting as this mercurial sign’s dual nature. Mid notes of cyclamen, gardenia and tonka bean carry the scent of the Gemini candle and allow it to linger. Vanilla flower and cashmere musk base notes add a grounding foundation that this Air sign needs. 

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#2 South Dakota candle

The South Dakota candle features a strong top note of rosemary, married with the similar scent of lavender and carried through by a refreshing river water. Grounded by base notes of woodsy and musky sandalwood with a subtle sweet touch of tonka bean and warmth of amber, the South Dakota candle transports you to the wide open prairie grasslands of the Mount Rushmore State.

#3 San Diego Candle

If you love this southern California city with its world-renowned taco trucks and sun-kissed beaches, then you won’t get enough of the San Diego Candle. Rosemary and lavender, two similar scents, combined with marine make an elegant top note that carries the aroma through the space. Mid-notes of sea air along with sandalwood further remind you of the bay and its salty summer breezes. To add to the warmth of this candle’s scent is an amber mid note, along with a floral patchouli undertone paired with sea moss. 

#4 The Maine Candle

While our Maine candle doesn’t exactly feature rosemary as a main ingredient, it does offer many rosemary-like notes. With a lavender top note and cedarwood mid-note, it gives off an earthy scent like the evergreen-filled Appalachian Trail and Acadia National Park. Blueberry scents, of course, burst through this State candle, along with a bouquet of wildflowers like honeysuckle and its moss-covered rocky shores. 

Explore All Our Calming Homesick Candles

Rosemary, lavender and more! Explore all the calming scents we offer. Looking for a gift for someone special? Homesick candles can be customized with a personal, handwritten note on the packaging to make it extra thoughtful and meaningful. Just like the old days, give the gift of a rosemary-infused candle for a wedding to commemorate the ceremony. Create a gift basket and round it out with a wick trimmer to ensure the candle lasts as long as possible.