Hygge Scents: Living a Hygge Life

Over the past month or so, I’ve been diving deeper and deeper into the world of hygge; I can’t seem to get enough of it. I’m fascinated with the lifestyle and its celebration of simplicity, comfort, and all things cosy.

A few weeks ago, I shared my favorite ways to create a hygge home, and last week I offered my top strategies to bring hygge into spring.

Well guess what. I’m at it again. Yep, as I was making dinner tonight, I was inspired to expand even further.

You see, I was pulling a hot dish of apple crisp out of the oven, and the warm scent of cinnamon, nutmeg, apples, and brown sugar filled my senses. It brought me immediately back to my childhood when my mom would make her special crisps; apple and cherry were my two favorites. I would always eat the warm fruit filling first, and then savor the buttery, crumbly, brown sugar topping for as long as possible.

By inhaling that wonderful fragrance this evening, I experienced the warmth of contentment. I felt comfort from the familiar and immediate gratitude toward my mom for creating those special childhood memories. The simple joy of reliving these these special memories were – in a word – hygge.

All from the smell of apple crisp.
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That experience reminded me of how powerful our sense of smell truly is. In fact, studies have shown that “smells tend to trigger stronger emotional memories than our other senses.” That’s certainly the case for me!

Discussing the power of smell in connection to hygge, author Meik Wiking explains, “what makes a smell hyggelig differs very much from person to person, because smells relate a situation to ones experienced with that smell in the past…One common element of all the smells of hygge is that they remind us of safety and being cared for…The smell of hygge is the smell that tells you to put down your guard completely. The smell of cooking, the smell of a blanket you use at home, or the smell of a certain place we perceive as safe can be very hyggeligt because it reminds us of a state of mind we experienced when we felt completely safe.”

The smells of hygge remind us of safety and being cared for. #hygge #hyggeliving Click To Tweet

What scents make you feel safe and cared for? Which ones bring you back to your childhood innocence?

As Wiking notes, these fragrances are unique to each person; so take some time to highlight which scents connect with you.

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Some of my most hygge scents include:

Camp Fires:

Tuesday Night Cookout and Fourth of July.

Charcoal Grill:

Dinner in the summertime.

Chlorine Swimming Pools:

Summertime. Lifeguarding.

Fallen Leaves:

Making leaf piles and leaf houses with my sisters.

Fresh Baked Caramel Rolls:

Grandma’s House. Cousins. Laughter.

Irish Spring Soap:

My dad.

Library Books:

Childhood.

Lilacs:

Springtime.

New Crayons:

School and new beginnings. Creativity.

Pine:

Christmas time. My family always had a real tree in our house, and that smell will forever remind me of home and the holidays.

Popcorn:

My family and our regular “bedtime snack.”

Rosemary and Thyme:

My mom and her herb garden.

Sunscreen:

The beach. Spring and summer vacation.

Warm hay:

Horseback riding. Caring for horses. Camp.

Wild Rice Soup:

Home.

Other favorite hygge scents include:

  • Fresh baked bread
  • Vanilla
  • Coffee
  • Bacon
  • Hot cookies from the oven
  • Coconut
  • Thanksgiving dinner
  • Lavender
  • Freshly washed clothes
  • Cinnamon
  • New car
  • Rain
  • Flowers
  • Chocolate
  • The ocean

Creating Hygge Scents

So if scents can bring a warm hygge feeling, how can we incorporate them in our lives more regularly? How can we maintain hygge without keeping a Christmas tree all year long? There are a few different options:

The Real Deal

Luckily, some of these comforting hygge scents are easy to experience first hand. All you need to do is make that pot of coffee. Fry up some bacon. Buy fresh cut flowers. Pop some popcorn. Then, savor the aroma.

So surround yourself with these natural hygge scents as often as you can, and evoke feelings of comfort, coziness, and familiarity with ease.

Essential Oils and Diffusers

When “the real deal” isn’t possible, my next favorite options are cold air diffusers and essential oils. Whether you’re yearning for the comfort of pumpkin spice, warm vanilla, natural pine, or relaxing lavender, you can create the perfect hygge atmosphere with these natural scents.

Lotions or perfumes

Is your mother’s perfume one of your favorite hygge scents? Do you have a nostalgic memory of a particular Bath and Body Works fragrance? In addition to essential oils, lotions and perfumes are another way to create hygge with ease.


As Skagen describes it, hygge is the “ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Friends. Family. Graciousness. Contentment. Good feelings. A warm glow.” So next time you’re in need of hygge, surround yourself with some favorite scents, and feel instantly warm, cosy, and content.

Looking for more ways to embrace a hygge life? Get my free checklist here!

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Question:

What are your favorite hygge scents? Are there any particular fragrances that evoke nostalgia or happiness for you? Let me know below!

24 thoughts on “Hygge Scents: Living a Hygge Life”

  1. This is so helpful! I have been seeing this all around and have been wondering what it is. Thank you!

    1. What a fantastic list! And I agree – I love the smell of my dog, too 🙂 It’s pure comfort.

  2. Oh, I just love reading about Hygge. Other people’s experiences already make me feel so relaxed, haha. For me Hygge scents are definitely blowing out a candle, the smell of bbq (we don’t do it very often here in this cold country so it reminds me of my dad barbecuing when we were young and Zwitsal!

    1. Yes, I love reading about it, too 🙂 And YES! Blowing out a candle smell and BBQ are SO hygge 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    1. Me too! It doesn’t matter what time of year. The smell of pine makes me want Christmas movies, sweatpants, and hot cocoa 🙂

    1. I’m so glad to hear it 🙂 It’s always fun for me to reminisce over things like this. There’s so much joy involved.

    1. YES! Those are two EXCELLENT hygge scents. Thanks so much for sharing. Just thinking of those smells brought a big smile to my face 🙂

  3. Lauren Becker

    The smell of things can definitely take your back to childhood, or just certain memories. I love the smell of a fire…and a chlorinated pool! I’m also obsessed with the smell of books, library or otherwise.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

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