The Most Unexpected Fall Home Scents to Start Using Now

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We're still at least a few weeks away from starting to feel the cooler temps of fall, but for the most ardent Autumn aficionados, it's never too early to start ramping up. The quickest way to get in the fall spirit when the weather isn't cooperating? Strategically deploying cozy seasonal scents inside. Just the slightest whiff of a woodsy candle or bit of heady incense is enough to get us in the mood to curl up on the couch with a sweater blanket and a cup of tea ... even if we have to crank the A.C. for a bit to make it feasible.

And while favorite scents from past years — like PSL and the ever-present vanilla — are still going strong, this year we're seeing something a bit different trending at the homes of those in the know. "Although pumpkin spice has been the signature fall scent these past few years, I'm excited to see other scents take center stage during the cooler months," explains Etsy trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson. "We've already seen an increase in searches on Etsy for maple items in the last three months, and I'm predicting maple bourbon scents will be taking over homes this fall." Etsy's experts also report that searches for vanilla are up from previous years, alluding to the fact that an olfactory sweet tooth still prevails around this time of year.

A less-expected top trend? Earthy Palo Santo, either in its natural wood form or transformed into a top-note on candles, is rising through the ranks in a big way. "Trends are leaning toward more complex blends of patchouli and Palo Santo this year," notes Wax Buffalo Founder and CEO Alicia Reisinger. "Cider and pumpkin will always be classically loved, but the latest trend of embracing the sweet notes of citrus and woody embers of Palo Santo is everywhere ... and for good reason!"

Here, our favorite ways to get these buzzy seasonal scents into your airspace, ASAP.


1. Calyan Wax Co. Apples + Maple Bourbon Candle, $24

This is straight up fall in a jar, with fresh orchard apples, plus on-trend maple bourbon notes, finished with a bit of cinnamon and vanilla. What more could you possibly want for cozy autumn weekends in? Oh, and each candle sold helps raise funds for organizations that aid victims of human trafficking — just in case you need an extra nudge to add it to your cart.

2. Ritual Marfa Special Edition Seduction Yang Candle, $85

Cozy notes of leather and patchouli with a hint of spicy black pepper give this candle from boutique studio Ritual Marfa an irresistible scent . . . hence its name. The special edition gilded-interior vessel adds an extra-hygge element, in our opinion.

3. Revisions Designs Palo Santo Sticks With Burning Tray, $25

One of the top trending scents may be something you're already stocking at home, provided you're someone with a smudging practice. Palo Santo wood smells spicy and warm when burned, and the little bundle from Etsy will look appropriately autumnal on your coffee table, too.


4. Wax Buffalo Golden Hour Candle, $28

We're loving Wax Buffalo's new range of fall candles — and their unique Golden Hour scent is no exception. "Our golden hour candle is highly on trend this year. With ginger, saffron, warm vanilla, black pepper, and a touch of Palo Santo, we're super excited to burn this candle late into the evening with a glass of whiskey as the campfire embers dwindle," says Founder Alicia Reisinger.

5. IIUVO Woodgrain Candle, $42

If you really need your pumpkin spice fix, this is undoubtedly the most sophisticated way to get it. Cardamom and nutmeg mix with patchouli and cedar to create a grown-up take that's a far cry from the saccharine Starbucks version.

6. Lola James Harper The Brooklyn Bakery Candle, $50

Another chic take on seasonal spices, which blends beloved favorites like cinnamon and vanilla with edgier notes including amber and cedarwood.

7. BLACKBIRD Malus Incense Pyres, $3.50


If you're someone who can't resist sipping some Scotch beside a good bonfire when the weather cools down, BLACKBIRD's Malus incense cones will make you feel right at home. Tobacco, vanilla, and leather add depth to this outdoorsy, whisky-tinged scent.

8. Esteban Paris Cedre Incense Sticks, $22

If you prefer incense sticks, legendary scent house Esteban Paris has you covered. Nutmeg, clove and vanilla are juxtaposed with a bright pop of grapefruit and, of course, cedar for a complex — but decidedly cozy — effect. Plus, each box of 40 sticks comes with a minimalist burner, so you don't have to dig up the old one from your college incense phase.

9. Otherland Manor House Weekend Collection, $89

The highly-Instagrammable brand's new Manor House Weekend collection hits all the most covetable scent notes of the season, with on-trend cardamom, saffron, and "burnt maple" mingling with elevated notes like pink peppercorn, praline, and oud, respectively. Good luck picking just one — we suggest opting for the three-pack to gift yourself an entire season of good smells.