The Top 5 Best Smelling Wood To Liven Up Your Home

Listing the “best” wood scents is very subjective, but some choices are clearly better than others! Some of these smells are so popular that they come as candles, incense, and sprays. But why not go right to the source and bring the actual wood into your home? 

Here are the top five best-smelling kinds of wood you can use to liven up your home, all with wood you can find in the Wood On Steel studio. One note: as time goes by, the natural smell may go away as the wood loses its volatilizing abilities. You can renew these characteristics on some types of wood, but for others, enjoy the scents while you can!



Cedar is almost the perfect wood for furniture, as it has properties that naturally repel and resist insects and moisture. Most types of cedar, like the Eastern Red and Spanish cedars, have a strong lingering scent. This scent is why cedar is a common choice for closet liners, chests, and many household goods. Lightly sanding the surface can restore the aroma.


The sweet, sharp scents of Christmas are tied to pinewood, and many people find it refreshing all year! This odor comes from chemical compounds called terpenes, especially pinene, which is piney, and a citrusy terpene called limonene.


For working with it in the shop, few types of woods can match the smell of walnut. Freshly cut, it smells amazing, and you can take some of this into your home. It’s also resistant to water and mold, meaning it’s less likely to take on foul-smelling odors. 


Cherry offers a unique aroma, which makes it an ideal choice for the fireplace. But can get a sweet, subtle odor when adding it to your home, too! Lightly-finished cherry wood can give continue releasing the fragrance into the air for quite a long time.


When white spruce trees are still standing and have their foliage, the strong scent of crushed needles gives the tree an unpleasant nickname (cat owners would know the smell very well!). However, the wood smells great for the same reasons as pine – the terpenes it releases can fill your home with an aroma. Spruce isn’t as ideal for home furniture because even for softwoods, it’s soft. It’s great for cottages and outdoor retreats!


Why Doesn’t My Wooden Furniture Have A Smell?

Finished wood does not always have a scent because not all woods can be left unfinished or given a protective layer that retains the smell. Depending on your finishing preferences – dyes, stains, paint, etc. – the natural aromas may not be able to come off the wood. If the smell of the wood is one of the selling points for you, talk to us about the right finish for your needs.

Older wooden furniture also has an odor, and it could be a bad one. Moldy-smelling wood comes from bacteria and germs that have permeated the porous wood. Don’t worry – there are some easy ways to remove the musty, mothball smells from this type of wood. Kill the odor-causing agents by cleaning the surfaces and insides of drawers with wood soap or a vinegar-dampened sponge. Leaving it in a sunlit room with a dehumidifier can also kill the bacteria. If these tactics don’t work, you may need to strip, sand, and refinish the wood.

Whether it’s an older piece of furniture or something made new for your home, the natural scents of wood can liven up your living space!



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