Essential Oils & Real Estate

Oils, and their magic to sell a home.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
Picture via Architectural Digest

Having a tidy and picture-perfect abode is not the only element in the process of selling a home. Essential oils and real estate are the latest and greatest marriage.

The magic of oils being diffused can expel a home of stale scents while establishing a refreshing and clean aroma that sets a positive tone and experience for the potential buyer.

Aroma has a grand impact on the home-buying process, therefore selecting the right scent is the first step. Researcher Eric Spangenberg of Washington State University noted that complex smells, like baked goods, can be a distraction to potential home buyers because they will subconsciously dedicate time to try to figure out what the scent is. But at a real estate open house, you want a potential buyer not to be distracted by processing a smell. For an aroma to work properly scents must be subtle – lemon, pine or orange – aiming for pleasant and natural rather than powerful and toxic like an air freshener spray.

In the Australian chapter of, they ran a test with forty-four prospective home buyers and arranged them into separate groups to view the same home on different occasions with the aroma of baked goods, fresh coffee, and citrus.

The end results indicated that citrus was more popular with the majority due to the simplicity and freshness it offered the space, while baked goods evoked feelings of confusion or hunger and deterred the buyers from purchasing the property.

Dr. Megan Thornton, a lecturer in food science at Deakin University acknowledges the past belief of baking cookies or doing a Sunday roast as the scent to sell, but “today’s research is showing the simple, subtle scents are most effective. These aromas have to be ambient in that you do not notice them; they are in the background gently awakening simple, clean type memories.” When people connect an aroma with a joyful life event, this impact becomes the secret ingredient to selling a home. 

So, next time you’re looking for a place to rent, buy or sell, consider how a faint scent may impact a prospective deal. 

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


6 Ways to Incorporate Relaxing Aromatherapy Into Your Day

by Kari Oakely

Scent of a Woman; Scent of a Man

by Catherine Cunningham, PhD

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.