How to Make Your Home Smell Like a Spa

It doesn’t matter if it’s the spa at Canyon Ranch or the spa in your living room while you’re watching Netflix, one component is the same: the heavenly aromas that waft through the air while you’re enjoying a massage, a manicure or some light meditation. A spa day is all about helping you sink into a deep state of joy and relaxation while you check your day-to-day stressors at the door. The goal is to re-enter real-life feeling more peaceful, productive and positive. 

Here’s how the best spas in the world transform basic spaces into wonderlands of wellness (hint: it’s all about the smells).

1. Build a Library of Relaxing Scents—With the help of aromatherapy experts, scientists and our first-hand experience (tough job, we know), here’s the ultimate list of spa smells you need to make your space feel totally blissed out:

    • Chamomile—Just a quick whiff of a chamomile essential oil or candle and you’ll physically feel all your stressors melt away. Not that we didn’t know this already, but studies show that chamomile has therapeutic effects and can even help ease symptoms of anxiety
    • Lavender—Much like chamomile, lavender is believed to offer a subtle anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and sedative effect, which will pacify you and make you feel completely at ease. Burn a lavender, rosemary and moss candle for a relaxed, earthy vibe in your at-home spa. 
    • Sandalwood—Have you been looking for an excuse to buy that lemon and sandalwood candle you’ve been eyeing? Go for it—it’s for your mental health! Sandalwood is a smooth yet woody oil that offers a transformative effect, making you feel like you’re somewhere else entirely, whether that be the beach or forest, to help you fight off stress.
    • Cucumber—Sure, it’s mainly about the floral, herby and earthy when it comes to crafting a solid spa scent, but don’t forget the refreshed, invigorated feel you come away with after a facial or a soaking treatment. Pepper in some fresh cucumber or citrus to recreate this effect.

    natural spa treatment

    2. Craft Custom Essential Oil Blends—There’s a reason why so many relaxation experts recommend essential oils for aromatherapy. One main benefit is that you can build your own one-of-a-kind scents to help you craft the ideal ambiance for your home spa. Play around with earthy, tranquil scents and mix in pops of citrus and flowers until you’ve nailed one that feels just right.
    3. Strategically Place Your Diffusers—As tempting as it is, resist the urge to crank up your aromatherapy diffuser to the highest possible setting in the middle of the living room. Consider practicing passive diffusion—placing a few drops of essential oil in a tissue, cotton ball, etc.—in bathrooms, hallways and corners to pepper in soothing aromas throughout your home and then using your diffuser in the main areas. The key is to gently cloak the space in a lightly scented mist, not to pump it in by the bucketful so that it’s overpowering, irritating or distracting. 
    4. Pepper in Some Candles—Oils are amazing, but there is no real substitute for a richly scented candle at the spa. The soft, flickering glow of a candle’s flame works with the aroma to help gently coax you into a tranquil state. Whether it’s our citrus and mint Montana candle or something featuring fresh, uplifting aromas, you can count on candles to help you craft the ideal ambiance.
    5. Pick Your Beauty Products Carefully—In addition to the aromas that we add ourselves, spas have their own natural smells that make them feel special. Choose lotions, creams, serums and massage oils that fit into your aroma strategy and add something pleasant to the atmosphere. Where candles and oils help ease the mind into relaxation, great-smelling products help keep it in that deeply peaceful state.

    bottle essential oil herbs

    The Self-Care Heroes

    As far as we’re concerned, nobody deserves the designation of self-care MVP as much as candles and aromatherapy oils. There’s simply nothing else in the world that does a better job of setting the stage and getting you into a chill state of mind, so don’t be shy! Go crazy with the candles and oils until your entire house smells like a five-star spa.