Here are some fire-free options for a scent-loving college student—or anyone else who fears an open flame.
It’s back to school season, nerds. Those of you headed off to the dorms are likely making a last-minute grab for the essentials—linens, a lamp, a mini-fridge, a robe and a shower caddy, something illicit that you hope your RA won’t find. Not on your list, though, are candles, because open flames are cruelly and correctly banned by most college residential buildings. I know, it’s very sad and absolutely for your own good. So what is a collegiate scent lover to do?
Well, there are actually a number of ways to bring non-flammable scent into your dorm life—or your home life with children, or unruly pets. We’ve assembled a chic collection of them for you to peruse. So check it out, and we’ll see you around the Quad!
Two things that are essential to making dorm living manageable are, one, a way to make the space not smell disgusting and, two, a way to make the space not seem completely devoid of personality. These drawer liners do both, adding a demure little touch of beauty in an otherwise barren space, i.e., the drawers that, before you, held the clothing of countless other disgusting young adults. Make it your own by adding a bit of paisley and a floral scent, and maybe also by giving it a good cleaning.
“Wow, why does it smell so good in here?” “Wow, wait—are your parents rich?” Just two of the many fawning questions you’ll receive after hanging your Diptyque scented oval. The scented wax has a throw too weak for large spaces, but it would be perfect for a dorm room, a bathroom, or a home office. It’s a fire-safe way to show off your candle snobbery (or the fact that you have rich parents).
P.F. Candle is a budget-friendly alternative to higher-end brands, without a big loss in quality. To brighten up a space, I’d go for their grapefruit scented reed diffuser; it has a good throw, and will give you a little hit of energy with every sniff. Remember to turn the reeds over every once in a while to kick-start the scent again. (And for those who dislike citrus-forward scents, I’d go for the “Golden Coast”—warm eucalyptus, palo santo, and sage.)
As we head into autumn, I feel it is an absolute necessity to be surrounded by autumnal scents at all times. We have to make the most of it while it’s here (and then we have to make the most of winter scents). This little fragrance tag in “Hinoki,” from Swedish skincare company L:a Bruket, is an easy way to bring the warm scent of spicy cedarwood into a small space. Hang it in your closet, or get one of those little Command brand hooks and hang it wherever.
Oh my gosh, remember how you needed a lamp? Well this cute little ditty is also a candle warmer, meaning it’ll melt your candle’s wax just enough to release a scent but not enough that it will burst into flames. I’m not sure if you’re going to feel particularly rebellious for having a candle—even one you won’t light—in a space that is meant to be candle-free, but I have to imagine you’re going to be doing much worse stuff in there, too. Go to town, you’re young! (Please do not hold me accountable if you get kicked out of your dorm.)
This stuff is amazing—spray it on your linens, spray it in the air, spray it on your clothes, spray it on your rug, spray it everywhere you might want a bright, citrusy, vanilla-y, laundry-clean scent. My go-to move is to “turn down” my own bed, like I’m at a hotel—fold the covers down, plump the pillows, spray a bit of this fabric refresher, set a glass of water by the bed. Then leave the room briefly. When you come back —oh my gosh, what is this, a hotel? No. It’s just your down room or your bedroom otherwise. But it’s still nice!
I love this scent so much. Maybe you live with someone who isn’t “into” fragrances, or maybe that person is you—if so, Apotheke’s “Charcoal” might be a happy compromise. It smells a bit industrial; cool and smokey with some wood and some … well, charcoal. I promise you’ll love it and if not you can send it over to me. The reed diffuser should last you around three months.
I have to say, this is the best essential oil diffuser I’ve ever used. And I’ve used, well … I think four. Which doesn’t seem like a large number, but I think it’s large enough for our purposes. Okay??? It uses “cold air diffusion technology,” whatever that is, to periodically spray a silent little powerful spritz of whatever fragrance you choose into the air, and it works so well you’ll feel like you’re in some kind of fancy store or hotel lobby. And unlike other oil diffusers it doesn’t use water, so there’s no chance you’ll forget about it and come back to a mold infestation. This is the brand’s smallest size, which covers 250 square feet and plugs right into an outlet.
Did you know Courtney Cox had a home scent brand? It’s called Homecourt. (Get it?) This particular product is called a “room deodorant,” which is sort of a fancier Febreze. Give a generous spritz in the air when you walk into your room and know for a fact something terrible has just occurred in there. It’ll remove the odor and replace it with one of four possible Homecourt scents; I recommend “Cipres Mint.”
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