The Scent Guide: What Does the Desert Smell Like?

Escape to the Arizona desert without ever leaving home by indulging in the intoxicating aroma of our Phoenix candle. Or experience the scents of the American Southwest with fragrances inspired by New Mexico, Nevada and Las Vegas. With Homesick candles, the scent of the desert is never more than a flick of a lighter away. If you have never visited a desert, you might be wondering what this type of environment smells like. Even if you have been to one, you might be unsure how to describe the unique aromas of these arid landscapes and how they can be translated into home fragrance products.

a sunset in the sonoran desert

Source: Brent Coulter/

So, what does the desert smell like? Whether you’ve never experienced it yourself or aren’t quite sure how to describe it, keep reading to discover the answer! 

Escape to the Desert with Homesick Candles

What Does the Desert Smell Like? 

While deserts may appear to consist only of sand, they are made up of so much more. There is, of course, lots of sand, but there are also rocks, plants and animal matter. Blue agave is one of the most prevalent plant fragrances associated with the deserts of the American Southwest. What does blue agave smell like?  It is a fresh, uplifting scent with citrus, floral and woodsy notes. Typically regarded as a spa fragrance, it is also commonly used in desert-inspired home fragrance products. 

Not all deserts smell the same, but, generally, they have an overall clean, earthy aroma punctuated by herbal and floral notes. The seasons play a significant role in how any landscape smells. During the spring, desert flowers produce a beautiful bouquet of floral fragrances. And during the drier winter months, you may be able to detect the smell of creosote. Fragrances inspired by deserts in the United States also commonly include notes of orange, lemon, cactus blossom, musk, sandalwood, amber, patchouli and other intoxicating scents that invoke feelings of warmth. 

Desert-Inspired Candles from Homesick

If you wish you could experience the aromas of the desert from the comfort of your home, we have some excellent solutions. Our collection includes several candles featuring desert scents. 

Phoenix Candle

a homesick phoenix candle

Check out our Phoenix candle to enjoy quintessential southwestern scents. Reminiscent of hot, dry air filled with the aromas of sand and citrus, this is one of our favorite desert-inspired fragrances. It features top notes of orange flower and lime, sandalwood and desert bush mid notes and musk tonka bean base notes. 

Plan Your Next Adventure with Our Road Trip Candle

Arizona Candle

Part of our Road Trip collection, our Arizona candle smells like the Grand Canyon. It features top notes of lime, orange and musk with blue agave and sand mid notes. Tonka bean and amber base notes round out this fragrance that will let you enjoy the invigorating aroma of the Arizona outdoors, no matter where you live. 

Nevada Candle

The Nevada candle is also part of our Road Trip collection and is filled with desert-inspired fragrances. It begins with warm top scents of patchouli, orange and lemon that trigger memories of the hot, dry desert air. Next, cedarwood and cactus blossom mid notes further transport you into the desert landscape. Base notes of sandalwood, musk and aroma complete this scent you have to experience for yourself to fully appreciate. 

New Mexico Candle

The New Mexico candle is the next stop on Homesick’s Road Trip through the southwest. This scent starts with spicy top notes of nutmeg and chili pepper paired with cactus. Next come mid notes of sandalwood, musk and clover. Lastly, bay leaf and cedarwood base notes cool things down a bit and balance out the warmer scents. 

Las Vegas Candle

If your idea of the perfect desert getaway includes some time on the Las Vegas Strip, you’ll love our Las Vegas candle. Earthy desert aromas pair with hints of fine dining and cold, hard cash from the Strip to form this one-of-a-kind scent. Top notes of basil, amber and fir needle are followed by cinnamon, clove and oakmoss mid notes. Base notes of tonka bean and peppermint round this candle out with a cool, sweet finish. 

Los Angeles Candle

a homesick los angeles candle

Experience the City of Angels with our Los Angeles candle that perfectly blends sand and sea. It starts with top notes of rose, bergamot and orange. Mid notes of lemon and ylang-ylang and base note of musk and jasmine round out this lovely and complex scent. 

Indulge in Desert Scents from Homesick

Browse our complete collection today to find a perfect desert-inspired candle for your home.