5 Houseplants That Make Your House Smell Amazing

Madagascar Jasmine (Stephanotis floribunda) in greenhouse, Moscow region, Russia
© Nick Pecker/Shutterstock.com

Written by Trista Sobeck

Updated: November 8, 2023

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Have you ever been told that you’ve gone “nose blind” to what your home smells like? We all indeed have our specific scent, but unfortunately, we can’t smell it ourselves. According to Reader’s Digest, humans suffer from olfactory fatigue. Our sense of smell gets tired and overwhelmed and stops reporting to our brains what we smell like. If you’re into the natural route of things, turn to houseplants that make your house smell amazing.

This particular fascinating little trick that our brains perform is a good thing. This “nose blindness” helps you recognize new smells like smoke (an emergency) or pizza (for pleasure). So, it helps keep us safe and fed. 

But, on the downside, if we end up smelling less than desirable and get used to it, we’re kind of stuck. So, how do you change how you and your dwelling smell? You could rely on perfumed room sprays, but those can be toxic and, frankly, overwhelming. For a natural change in personal space smells, check out houseplants! 

Houseplant Detox

Not only do houseplants clean the air in your personal space, they can detoxify the air from dust, germs, and toxins that enter the air from furniture and cooking. Plants don’t always have to emit a flowery smell to help clear the air. They end up cleaning the air by doing what they do best: growing. 

Through photosynthesis and respiration, plants take in carbon dioxide and emit fresh oxygen. It’s like your own natural personal air purification system. Plus, houseplants give a pop of color to even the darkest corner. Check out these 5 that will help clear your air for good.

Luminous leaf with graphic Natural Air Purifier and symbol of Oxygen, Human and Carbon dioxide which means tree is the best air purifier and most of all, it's free.

Just by doing what plants do naturally through photosynthesis and respiration, they detoxify the air.

©P. OCHASANOND/Shutterstock.com

1. Barberton Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)

Not only do their blooms put on an electric display of bright orange or yellow, and sometimes pink, these bright babies cleanse the air of formaldehyde that’s found in household items.

2. Snake Plant (Dracaena trifasciata)

Two Dracaena trifasciata snake plants (Sansevieria trifasciata) and a small one on a wooden table at home

Also called “Mother-in-law tongue,” the snake plant is perfect for any bedroom.

©Adam Yee/Shutterstock.com

These plants are incredibly popular, and for good reason. Not only are they hearty, but they can help clean the air overnight. This is why most people keep them in their bedrooms. It’s better than melatonin for a good night’s sleep!

3. Jasmine (Jasminum officinale)

White scented flowering Stephanotis plant with arch shape in flower pot against dark colored wall background. Stephanotis Floribunda, Madagascar Jasmine.

The smell of jasmine can transport you to paradise. The look of jasmine can, too.

©Nancy Pauwels/Shutterstock.com

By far, the creator of perhaps one of the dreamiest scents on earth, this little flowering plant is used in luxury perfumes in the most expensive perfumeries in the world. The blooms can be yellow, white, or rarely pink. And when they blossom, get ready to be transported to paradise. If you choose to start your jasmine plant outside, hummingbirds and other pollinators will be drawn to it. This is great for the environment, so feel free to try your hand at growing it outside and then bringing it in!

4. Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)

a small ficus tree in a turquoise pot against a neutral background

The weeping fig can be hard to keep happy, but the work it does in detoxifying the air is worth it!

©loflo69/Shutterstock.com

This dramatic-appearing plant has been popular since Victorian times and is fairly fussy. But keep them healthy and happy, and they will clear the air of formaldehyde and xylene. This plant is known as the “Tree of Abundance” in the Middle East and represents unity and universal knowledge. While your weeping fig is cleaning your air, you may need to play with some different spots to see where it is happiest. It hates drafts. Once it’s unhappy, it will turn its leaves yellow and drop leaves. If you like challenges, you’ll love this.

5. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Composition of fresh basil and kitchen utensils, spices, on the kitchen table.

Keep a basil plant in your kitchen. You can use it for cooking, drying, and just smelling great!


©PandaStudio/Shutterstock.com

Ah, the fresh, clean scent of a garden in the spring. That’s Basil! This herb is part of the mint family and is edible right off the vine. Many people keep their growing, live herbs in their kitchens to add a boost to their nightly meals. Dry the leaves, and they will emit a warm, sweet scent of anise. If you keep a basil plant around, just be cognizant that small fruit flies may be drawn to it. You can prevent them by creating an alcohol spray that will keep them at bay.


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About the Author

Writer. Thinker. Human. Fan of octopods, sloths, and big green plants. Currently roller skating without knee pads. I live dangerously.

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