Skip to content

7 Surprising Ways to Make Your Bathroom Smell Good, Experts Say

Test out these tried-and-true tactics next time you're expecting guests.

We don't have to tell you all the reasons why this room might not have such a pleasant odor, but if you're wondering how to make your bathroom smell good, you've come to the right place.

"Your bathroom should be a place where you can come to relax, reset and recharge," says Shantae Duckworth, professional organizer and founder of Shantaeize Your Space. "Obviously, you also want your bathroom to smell inviting for other people, too—like guests."

According to experts, candles and air fresheners aren't the only ways to upgrade the aroma in this space. Keep reading for their simple yet unique alternatives that can help make your bathroom smell better than ever.

READ THIS NEXT: 6 Scents That Will Help You Relax, According to Aromatherapy Experts.

How to Make Your Bathroom Smell Good

1. Hang eucalyptus or lavender in the shower

Eucalyptus branches hanging from shower head
New Africa / Shutterstock

Artem Kropovinsky, an interior design expert and founder of Arsight, recommends hanging a bunch of fresh eucalyptus from your showerhead with twine.

"The shower steam will release its soothing scent, transforming your bathroom into a tranquil space," he explains.

Eucalyptus leaves contain powerful essential oils that evaporate when they interact with the steam in the air, creating the same effect as a diffuser. The best part? The eucalyptus will stay fresh in your shower for two to four weeks.

If you don't enjoy the scent of eucalyptus, Chantelle Hartman Malarkey, interior designer and hosting expert, recommends hanging lavender.

It's an excellent alternative for creating a spa-like atmosphere, especially given that a 2022 study found the scent of lavender can reduce stress and promote calm.

2. Create DIY perfume-bottle diffusers

Woman placing oil diffuser on shelf
Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Don't throw away those old, empty perfume bottles. According to Kropovinsky, you can repurpose them into a DIY diffuser by filling them with a mix of baby oil and essential oils.

Use a funnel to pour your preferred oils into the bottle, and then add some diffuser sticks to soak up and spread the fragrance. Place the diffuser on your bathroom counter, a shelf, or even on the back of your toilet.

For more home advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

3. Make soap sachets

Bars of soap

Have any bars of soap on hand that smell spectacular? You can actually use them to improve the scent in your bathroom, according to Kropovinsky.

Wrap the bars of soap in mesh or tulle. Then, wrap some twine or ribbon around them and hang them from your shower curtain rod. "They will slowly disperse their scent, acting like ornamental fresheners," he explains.

4. Put together homemade potpourri

Homemade potpourri blend
FotoHelin / Shutterstock

Potpourri—a mixture of dried spices, flower petals, and herbs placed in a sack or bowl—can instantly give your bathroom a lovely scent. While you can buy pre-made mixes, Kropovinsky suggests making your own so you can customize it to your own preferences.

It's pretty simple: After air drying the materials or using silica gel to dry them out, add six to 10 drops of your favorite essential oil, mix the contents gently, and then wait a month or so for the scents to blend and intensify.

Kropovinsky advises placing the blend in an open non-metal container—such as a glass jar or bowl. "It will double as an attractive piece of décor and a natural freshener."

    READ THIS NEXT: Why Does Your House Have Its Own Smell? Experts Explain "Occupant Odor".

    5. Keep coffee grounds out

    Fresh coffee grounds ready to be brewed for morning jolt of caffeine

    Have you ever noticed that perfume departments and fragrance shops often display dishes filled with coffee grounds? There's a good reason for this.

    Coffee grounds essentially act as an olfactory "palate cleanser" for your nose. That's why Duckworth recommends keeping a small bowl of them in your bathroom. "They help absorb and neutralize unwanted smells," she explains.

    6. Use shower bombs

    Pink shower or bath bomb
    w583254846 / Shutterstock

    You've likely heard of bath bombs, but have you ever used their shower counterparts? Shower bombs are one of Malarkey's favorite ways to make a bathroom smell better because they have a much higher concentration of essential oils than bath bombs. When you take a shower, the steam releases those oils into the air.

    All you have to do is drop the bomb on the shower floor, turn on the water, and wait for the steam to spread a delightful aroma throughout your bathroom.

    7. Make scented toilet paper rolls

    Woman holding toilet paper going into bathroom

    Another fun DIY option, says Kropovinsky, is to make your toilet paper scented by adding a few drops of your preferred essential oil to the cardboard inside the roll. (Note: make sure not to drop the oil directly onto the toilet paper, as direct contact with your skin could cause irritation.)

    "The spinning motion that happens when anyone dispenses the toilet paper will distribute the fragrance, keeping your bathroom air fresh," he explains.

    Rebecca Strong
    Rebecca Strong is a Boston-based freelance health/wellness, lifestyle, and travel writer. Read more
    Filed Under