(ARA) – Staging a home visually with a thorough cleaning and appealing decorative touches can help make a sale, but why stop there? Use essential oils to infuse a property with a pleasant background aroma to stealthily ply the senses and break down the defenses of potential buyers.

Shopping malls and upscale boutiques use the technique of applying ambient scents in retail spaces to not only make the place smell good, but to elicit a planned psychological response that is meant to transform all of those “no thanks, just browsing” guests into cash paying customers. You can do the same to propel sluggish real estate sales.

Known as ambient fragrancing or scent marketing, the practice has spawned a whole subcategory of experts and products within the traditional fragrance industry. The result is an exciting new diversification of a category of goods and services that has been limited to perfume and scented body care applications.

Ambient fragrance started to trickle into the real estate market years ago with savvy agents baking cookies or cinnamon rolls in the homes they were showing to create a comforting, deliciously scented atmosphere that was meant to entice buyers. If you are struggling to sell a home in today’s frozen real estate market, you may have tried this technique. But with the dismal state of the economy and the glut of available homes, you are surely going to have to bake a lot of cookies before a buyer will be impressed enough to make an offer on your house.

“The essential oils that are used in the practice of aromatherapy offer a more practical and potent way to use scent marketing to move a tired property,” says Tom Havran, branded products developer with Aura Cacia. “Using even tiny amounts of familiar, tempting aromas like the oils of cinnamon, clove, vanilla and orange can fill a whole house with pleasant ambient fragrance and make it an attractive purchase for potential buyers.”

An added bonus is that since essential oils are all-natural and distilled from plants, they are less likely to illicit the kind of adverse reactions that often come with harshly synthetic wall socket plug-ins or spray fragrances. Learn more at www.auracacia.com.

Create a warm, comforting atmosphere that can help put potential property buyers at ease with Vanilla Amber Aroma Crystals. Use real vanilla (such as Vanilla Precious Essentials oil from Aura Cacia).


1 cup coarse-grained, chunky sea salt

1 teaspoon jojoba or grapeseed oil (just enough to make the salts glisten and gleam)

20 drops vanilla Precious Essential oil

10 drops lavender essential oil

10 drops sweet orange essential oil


Mix salt and oils, pour into a classy-looking dish or bowl and set out on a table. Placing the crystals in a warm sunny window or near a heat register will help diffuse the delicious aroma throughout the room. Stir in additional essential oils to boost the scent as needed. This recipe sets a restful and romantic mood in the bedroom area.

The light floral/citrus scent of Fresh Flowers and Bergamot Vacuum Powder will create a cheerful, friendly and clean atmosphere to impress visitors. Since you need to vacuum before each property showing anyway, this is a great way to turn the chore into a smart real estate marketing move.


1 cup baking soda

35 drops bergamot essential oil

5 drops ylang ylang or neroli essential oil


Mix baking soda and essential oils in a canister and lightly sprinkle over carpets then vacuum.

If baking cookies or apple pie sounds too involved, simply create an Apple & Spice Simmer. Here is an easy way to fill a house with the alluring, homespun fragrance of baked goods without the toil and mess of baking.


5 dried apple slices

5 sticks cinnamon bark (or 2 to 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon)

1 vanilla bean

1 tablespoon whole cloves

Medium size pan of simmering water (approximately 5 cups)

30 drops cinnamon essential oil

5 drops clove essential oil

5 drops lemon essential oil


Toss apples slices, cinnamon, vanilla bean and cloves with essential oils. Place in simmering water on the stovetop. Add more water and oils as needed.

Natural, familiar aromas of essential oils are more recognizable and appreciated than the harsh and strange scents of many synthetic fragrances. Using essential oils to craft your own bit of psychological scent marketing could provide a big return on a small investment when you finally sell that home. The home you need to sell is one of thousands available in the current market and aromatherapy may give you a much needed unique and surprising edge.