That stinks: 7 in 10 worry their home smells bad when they have guests over

NEW YORK — A new study finds “home sweet home” is taking on a whole new meaning. It turns out the way your home smells may be a direct reflection of who you are, according to a survey of 2,000 U.S. adults.

Three in four respondents echo that sentiment, with the same percentage of people saying the way a person’s home smells can leave a long-lasting impression.

How does your home smell?

Sixty-nine percent of respondents worry their homes may smell bad to others. That may be why seven in 10 will do anything to ensure their digs have a good scent.

The average respondent spends $221 per year on items to improve their home’s aroma. Survey-takers shared how they keep their space smelling fresh – from purchasing liquid potpourri, to live pinecones, to cookie dough, and even a dill pickle-scented air freshener.

Commissioned by Scentsy and conducted by OnePoll, the study also revealed that when having company over, 72 percent say their homes must smell good beforehand, and 61 percent hold off from having guests over entirely if their homes aren’t smelling so nice.

According to respondents, the worst smells that can keep guests away are smoke (58%), sink water (57%), and pets (51%). Meanwhile, Americans want to be greeted with something sweet (63%), floral (61%), or even savory (51%) when visiting someone else’s home.

People are also concerned about how clean their homes are (45%) and their appearance (42%). Overall, most love how their home smells (70%), with a similar percentage of people saying they’re used to the scent it has (68%).

“Fragrance is processed in the brain’s olfactory bulb — which is why it’s so closely tied to memory,” a Scentsy spokesperson says in a statement. “Senses like touch, vision and auditory stimulus are processed through a completely different part of the brain — that’s why smells are often more powerful than any other human sense.”

Signature scents

Further, two in three Americans have given their home a “signature scent.” Many describe that smell as sweet (49%), consistent with their cooking habits (47%), their favorite candle (46%), or floral (44%). Respondents add that their home’s scent makes them feel relaxed (63%), happy (54%), or even energetic (53%).

Seventy-seven percent of people believe their entire day could be improved when they surround themselves with something that smells good. Nine in 10 people who occasionally work from home feel their workspace is more enjoyable if their house smells good. Similarly, 77 percent of people say doing chores around the home is more enjoyable if their house has a pleasant scent.

“When you’re feeling low or having trouble focusing, the right scent can make you feel more alert and proactive,” the spokesperson adds.

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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