my easy guide to making your home smell amazing

Not many of you know this, but my very first job out of college was with a candle company. I designed packaging for things like candles, reed diffusers, and even a scented ceramic globe. My favorite part of the job was brainstorming how to visually represent how the product smelled. We even had meetings where we’d pass around pots of fragrance and talk about the notes and fragrance trends! I think this is why, to this day, I love home fragrance so much. I always have candles, incense, or palo santo burning — or even a mix of those all at once. I wanted to share with you some of my favorites today so help make your home smell amazing, too!

my easy guide to making your home smell amazing + how to burn palo santo! #homefragrance #candles #palosanto #incense

Candles are an easy place to start, especially because there are so many incredible options out there. I do tend to spend a bit more on candles because I am more drawn to the luxury versions. These ones tend to have more complex fragrances and I find that they make my home smell better for longer.

These are some of my absolute favorite candles:

my easy guide to making your home smell amazing + how to burn palo santo! #homefragrance #candles #palosanto #incense

My second favorite way to make my home smell amazing is palo santo. Usually I buy mine in bulk on Etsy. They are the small wooden sticks pictured here. To light them, I usually light a candle first, then hold the piece of wood over the flame until it catches. Then blow out the flame gently and place the piece on a flame-proof dish. Sometimes I will also walk around my house with the smoldering piece so that the smoke can spread to other rooms. I adore the fragrance and feel like it is a mix of spicy notes, pine, and maybe a little bit of citrus. It’s really quite a lovely fragrance!

I like to treat palo santo as a ritual. When I wake up in the morning, I light a stick and do the same when I get home from the studio at night. I just love how it sets the mood for wherever I am mood-wise.

my easy guide to making your home smell amazing + how to burn palo santo! #homefragrance #candles #palosanto #incense my easy guide to making your home smell amazing + how to burn palo santo! #homefragrance #candles #palosanto #incense

Another old school method I have recently started to love again is incense. I recently discovered these palo santo-covered incense sticks and adore them (note: the shop is sold out of them, but will probably add more!). They burn longer than normal palo santo, so I use them when I’ve been cooking to help make the house smell less like a restaurant. I don’t have a special incense holder or anything. Instead, I just stick it into a potted plant and let the ash fall into the soil.

And lastly, I adore these papier d’armenie burning papers. I stumbled across them in a local boutique and immediately had to have them. The fragrance is a bit powdery, but unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. They are also really easy to burn, too. Basically tear off a piece of the paper, fold it like an accordion, light it and then blow out the flames. Then leave it smoldering on a fire-proof dish.

my easy guide to making your home smell amazing + how to burn palo santo! #homefragrance #candles #palosanto #incense my easy guide to making your home smell amazing + how to burn palo santo! #homefragrance #candles #palosanto #incense

You can also learn how to make your own smudge sticks or even put your home fragrance on auto-pilot with the Aera.

What’s your favorite way to make your home smell good?

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

Let's stay in touch:

Shop my picks on Amazon

Shop now

Please note that I use affiliate links at times here, as well as on my social media accounts. This means that if you click on a link to a product and purchase that product, I may receive a commission based on your purchase. I only feature products that truly inspire me. Any products that have been gifted to Jojotastic for review are noted at the bottom of the post. Sponsored posts are noted as such. All opinions are my own and always will be! Thanks for supporting content that keeps Jojotastic going.

Leave a Comment


  1. 2.2.18
    Catherine Meschia said:

    These are great ideas! What kind of plant is in the first picture?

    • 2.2.18
      joanna said:

      So glad you like them! The plant is a silver pothos/philodendron.

  2. 1.25.18
    Liz Frith said:

    Yeeeesss! Thanks for all of the options. I love candles, but can’t stand spending a lot of money on them. And, of course, all of the candles I like are always 20-50 dollars. I. CANT.

    I am feeling the Palo Santo option and remember enjoying that scent before. I especially love the idea of lighting it as a ritual. And, even better, I like the price. Ordered!!!!

    • 1.25.18
      joanna said:

      So glad you liked the post and I hope you love the palo santo :) it’s gonna be addicting, I promise!