If you are looking for a grounding, calming scent this year, look no further than earthy scents. Earthy scents, defined by their woody, musky ingredients and distinctive smell, will help you feel closer to nature, one whiff at a time. In this guide, we’ll take a look at what makes a fragrance earthy and then introduce you to five earthy scents to try out.
What Makes a Scent “Earthy?”
Before we dive into the natural scents that will help you embrace the outdoorsy side of your personality, it’s important to understand what makes a scent earthy. In the world of fragrances, these scents tend to have natural, fresh, and plant-like aromas. Maybe it’s the smooth smell of sandalwood and moss that brings you back to your favorite hike, for example — earthy scents work to remind you of fresh air and transport you to a natural paradise (even if you’re spending your day lounging around on the couch).
The most defining characteristic of earthy scents is their natural elements. Earthy scents belong to the woody fragrance family. This fragrance family is known for being tranquil and understated. They’re the kind of scents you put on when you want to unplug, unwind, and relax.
Woody scents are usually made from the bark, leaves, roots, resins, and moss of different trees. Common ingredients in earthy fragrances include oakmoss, eucalyptus, balsam, and other natural scents.
Earthy scents are woody fragrances that combine natural elements such as plant life and grasses. The mixture of natural elements found in earthy scents is meant to transport you to an idyllic outdoor oasis, even if you’re just relaxing on the couch.
You’ll also know an earthy scent because of its fresh aroma. Think about a forest after a summer rainstorm or the smells you’d find by a river in spring — these are both earthy scents that are commonly replicated in fragrances.
However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that because earthy scents are subtle, they’re simple. Earthy scents can be layered with other floral, spicy, and fruity scents to make complex fragrances. As we’ll see when we look at our best-selling earthy scents, there’s nothing boring about this fragrance category.
Another distinctive characteristic of earthy scents is the plant-like tones that are often present. You can easily identify an earthy tone if you have the experience of walking into a platshop or greenhouse when you get a whiff. For this reason, these scents are known to be centering and help you concentrate, bringing a little bit of the serenity of nature to your most chaotic moments.
Why Do We Love Earthy Scents?
We love earthy scents for the same reason we love being in nature. There’s nothing as relaxing and soothing as bringing something from the outdoors into your space in the form of a home fragrance or scent.
Earthy scents are perfect for outdoorsy people who want to wear their love of nature on their sleeve (or their neck or their wrist). Even if you find yourself living in a hectic city, you can bring some of the calming effects of nature to your life with a spritz of an earthy scent.
What Are Some of the Best Earthy Scents?
Now that you know all about earthy scents and why we love them, it’s time to explore five of the best earthy scents. Whether you want to stand out in a crowd or welcome the feeling of subtle tranquility, there’s an earthy scent for you.
Cedarwood is a smooth, warm scent that smells ever so slightly like a woody mixture of balsamic and citrus. The creamy smell of cedarwood is known and beloved for its tension-reducing properties, making it a go-to for anyone looking for an earthy scent that’s calming but still citrusy and bright.
The Vow Factor scent combines cedarwood, green fig, mandarin, galbanum, neroli, rose, orris, tonka bean, and ambrette seeds. This scent is a fresh, fruity ode to figs and flowers. Given its floral, earthy ingredients, there’s something undeniably romantic about Vow Factor. As one of our best-selling scents, it often sells out, so grab a bottle while you can.
Derived from a perennial grass with the same name, vetiver is a subtly complex fragrance. It’s primarily known for being earthy and woody, but we can’t describe vetiver without also mentioning the slight addition of leathery, smoky undertones that make it so distinct.
When you think of vetiver, think of an earthy, smoky scent. Depending on where it comes from, vetiver can smell more bright, like lemongrass, or more rich, like tobacco.
One of our fan-favorite fragrances, Way With Woods, features vetiver along with white tea, mandarin, sandalwood, amber woods, and musk. This scent is earthy without being overwhelming, making it an ideal option for anyone looking for a fragrance that will seamlessly transition with them from day to night.
Often confused with other woods like teakwood and cedarwood, sandalwood has its own unmistakable scent. Sandalwood is a sweet, creamy scent that blends and layers well with other fragrances. Unlike cedarwood which can be a little spicy, sandalwood has a silky, smooth earthy scent.
House of 8 is a fragrance that plays with the creaminess of sandalwood, combining it with chocolate, sage, heliotrope, vanilla, iris, and lavender flower. This fragrance expertly mixes darker scents like chocolate, vanilla, and sandalwood with light, subtle scents like sage and iris. The combination makes for an intriguing, mysterious mix that will have you oozing luxury.
Patchouli is a woodsy, musky scent that’s used for its distinctive richness and depth. Unlike other earthy scents, patchouli packs a punch and is stronger than other fragrances in this category. Known for being sweet, spicy, and somewhat intoxicating, patchouli often reminds people of wet soil and citrus combined.
To get a sense of this captivating scent, try Sweet Ash, featuring patchouli, white moss, vanilla bean, tonka, fir balsam, bergamot, and juniper. The richer smell of patchouli is mixed with other, lighter scents to make a sweet fragrance that you can wear for hours.
If you’ve had a cup of Earl Grey tea, then you were unknowingly acquainted with bergamot. This sweet, refreshing citrus scent is tart due to hints of lime while still being spicy and round. It’s slightly orangey but isn’t overpowering in the way that some citrus fragrances tend to be.
The Golden Ticket scent brings together bergamot, black tea, green tea, golden maté, sage, galbanum, incense, amber, and vetiver to make a fragrance that everyone, especially tea lovers, will be entranced by.
Bring the Outdoors, Indoors
With earthy scents, you’re invited to bring the outdoors into your home through decor items like reed diffusers and room sprays and personal care items like body wash and fragrances from Snif. Regardless of how you incorporate earthy scents into your life, they’re sure to be a calming, grounding presence that will help you take a break (and a much-needed deep breath) whenever you need it.
From the intriguing mystery of House of 8 to the subtle richness of Sweet Ash, we’ve taken a look at five earthy scents that will help you connect to your outdoorsy side and harness the power of nature, no matter where you are.