How to make your home smell incredible: Interior decorator shares simple tip to have house smelling like fresh baking

The fragrance hack is meant to work wonders for your home.
The fragrance hack is meant to work wonders for your home. Photo credit: Tatum Culhane / @redothezoo / TikTok

Does anyone else have a friend in their life who manages to juggle a career, a relationship and a social life while somehow maintaining a home that could feature in the pages of a glossy magazine? The definition of a domestic goddess.

While I'm not particularly qualified to give advice on how exactly one can become a domestic goddess (that would imply that I am one, which I am far, far from - successfully roasting vegetables is my definition of domesticated), TikTok contains troves of handy hacks, impressive tricks and top tips to help revamp your home with minimal effort. 

If you do have a domestic goddess in your life, you may have noticed that their dwelling tends to smell absolutely incredible. Walk into the abode of any domestic goddess and the sweet aroma of fresh baking or the scent of freshly washed linen will waft over you in a perfumed cloud. As someone who lives with two men, I can attest that this is not always the case at our Auckland casa.

However, you too can have your home smelling like the fragranced aisles of a Lush store. One interior stylist's hack promises to eliminate any funky odours and fill your home with a sweet, sugary scent sure to have your guests coming back for another sniff (that sounds odd).

US interior decorator and e-designer Tatum Culhane, who goes by the username @redothezoo, shared her top tip to TikTok earlier this week, with the clip already racking up more than 120,000 views.

Firstly, Culhane says to preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit - for Kiwis, about 150C should do the trick.

For the next step, she says to grab an oven-safe bowl and vanilla extract. Simply decant a small amount of the extract into the bowl - Culhane uses about two capfuls - before placing the bowl in the oven for roughly 20 minutes.

The end result should have your home smelling sweet and scrumptious like freshly baked goodies - even though you may have never baked in your life. 

However, some viewers were quick to point out that vanilla extract costs more than a candle in this current climate, while others wondered how long the scent would linger.

In New Zealand, you can pick up a bottle of pure vanilla extract from your local supermarket for around $11, while a more budget brand is priced at around $6. 

Alternatively, department stores such as Kmart stock a selection of vanilla-scented candles starting at just $3 - however, keep in mind that cheaper candles don't tend to maintain their scent as well as more expensive varieties. I'd recommend Glasshouse Fragrances' A Tahaar Affair for the ultimate indulgence - an infusion of vanilla bean, caramel and coconut that layers for a long-lasting and luscious fragrance.

There are a plethora of other inexpensive tricks to fragrancing your home if vanilla doesn't take your fancy. Mum and lifestyle YouTuber Brittany Vasseur, who boasts 1.5 million subscribers, also has a top tip for achieving an aromatic abode. 

In a recent video, Vasseur details how you can create a simple stovetop potpourri using lemon peels, a method she says is one of her "favourite easy ways to fragrance your house".

"It's natural and it just smells amazing," she says. 

Firstly, take some lemon peel or slice one lemon and add it to a pot of boiling water. Next, add some cinnamon sticks and sprigs of rosemary.

"That's it," she says. "Get it simmering on your stovetop and it's going to fragrance your entire house, it's so beautiful for spring."