Finding Your Scent: What Does Magnolia Smell Like?

a wooden bench under a blossoming magnolia tree

Source: olrat/

From the giant white Southern magnolia blossoms to the pink-hued Chinese magnolia buds, magnolia trees and their flowers are beautiful and inviting. They beckon you to take a seat on a nearby bench or fold out a picnic blanket and take a midday nap — and for a good reason! Their scent is not only lovely but gives off relaxing chemicals.

But what does magnolia smell like? In this quick guide, we break down the scent of this exquisite, lovely flower. And if it seems like a scent that you would love or which takes you home, we’ve also offered a list of candles with magnolia notes. 

What Does Magnolia Smell Like?

a white magnolia flower

Source: Olechka K/

Magnolia comes in a variety of tree species: Chinese, Yulan and Anise magnolias. However, in the United States, we are most familiar with the Southern magnolia, which grows tall in the southern regions of the country and boasts huge white blossoms that start as a goblet shape and unfold as big as your head. So, while there are many magnolias out there, each with its unique scent, the Southern magnolia scent is one that Homesick frequently uses in many of our southern State candles and more. 

So what does magnolia smell like, exactly? Overall, you can expect magnolia notes to be sweet floral punch like a rose, but with a citrusy lemon edge and a slightly earthy, musk undertone. Sometimes, you can pick up the scent of anise, licorice or vanilla too. 

Jasmine pairs quite well with magnolia. What does jasmine smell like? With an exotic, super-sweet floral scent, jasmine alone can be a bit too much. But when paired with magnolia, the overly saccharine smell of jasmine can be tamped down, bringing balance to a candle or other scented product. 

The Benefits of Magnolia Scents

As we mentioned, resting beneath a Magnolia tree can bring you relaxation. This is due to its linalool alcohol, a natural compound that calms the brain. Linalool essential oils are commonly used in aromatherapy and are traditionally used as a sedative. As a candle or reed diffuser, magnolia scents can make a room or space feel peaceful and inviting and help to relieve anxiety and reduce stress. Paired with the right scents –– like lavender or citrus –– it can either help you fall to sleep or give you a boost of optimistic energy. 

Enjoy the Smell of Magnolia? You’ll Love Our Flower-Scented Candles

8 Homesick Magnolia-Scented Candles

a homesick wildflowers candle on top of a stack of books on a coffee table

The scent of magnolia can bring back memories for some folk, especially those who hail from the southern states. But magnolia is simply a wonderful floral scent for everyone. So whether it’s front and center or a subtle base note, here are some of our most-loved candles that feature that sweet and lemony magnolia scent.  

#1 Flower-Scented Candle

As you might expect, the Flower-Scented candle features a variety of blossom scents. But deep down is a Magnolia base note that grounds it with Rose and Sandalwood. Top notes of Jasmine are balanced out with the magnolia base note, while top notes of lavender lend a restful scent, making it perfect for bedrooms too. 

#2 Indiana Candle

If you love a bold magnolia scent, then the Indiana candle is a must-have. This magnolia-scented candle can transport you to the Hoosier state with magnolia trees lining cotton and cornfields. With base notes of vanilla and sugar, it brings forth the subtle muskiness of magnolia even more. 

Transport Yourself Home with an Indiana Candle

#3 South Carolina Candle

Paired with Grapefruit and Lemon, the mid notes of magnolia shine through in the South Carolina candle. Grounded with Vanilla and Black Tea base notes, this candle smells like a refreshing glass of sweet tea on a humid southern day. 

#4 Louisiana Candle

Like the magnolia-lined Bourbon Street, the Louisiana candle will transport you to the Deep South, where southern hospitality reigns. Mid notes of Magnolia and Honeysuckle paired with citrusy top notes of Orange and base notes of Tonka Bean, Vanilla and Musk bring out the full complexity of the magnolia aroma. 

#5 Tennessee Candle

a homesick tennessee candle on a pedestal

The scent of Southern magnolia trees mingle with the citrusy scent of Lemon in the Tennessee candle. Top that off with a splash of Tennessee Whiskey and Guaiac Wood and Musk undertones, and this Homesick candle will transport you to the Blue Ridge Mountains or Nashville –– wherever you call home. 

#6 Georgia Candle

If Georgia is on your mind, then you need the Georgia candle. With top notes of Peach and base notes of Musk and Coconut Water, you can travel the entire state from the hot concrete landscape of Atlanta to the magnolia-peppered Savannah squares and the shores of Tybee Island. 

#7 Alabama Candle

With notes of Maple, Blackberry, Orange and Musk, the Alabama candle calls to mind giant southern magnolias wet after a summer storm. Sweet Caramel and Sugar notes along with Orange and Blackberry also give off a lively, invigorating scent. 

#8 Arkansas Candle

Revisit the Ozarks with the Arkansas candle, featuring notes of Maple, Pecan, Sugar and base notes of Vanilla and Musk that call to mind the freshly blossomed magnolia trees that line the great Natural State.

Love the scent of magnolia? Then you’ll love any one of these eight magnolia-scented candles with their uniquely sweet, citrusy, floral scent.