The insider: How to make your home smell nice

Diptyque candles smell divine. So do Jo Malone's. These are the staples of the home scent arena. But, at £38 a pop, they are perhaps not the most realistic daily option. So what else can you do?

Hit the hot spot

The base for every sweet-smelling home is fresh air and cleanliness and you can't beat polished furniture. But an all-time top tip comes via a documentary about cleaners tricking clients into thinking they'd been busy by spraying Mr Sheen behind the radiators in winter. Genius.

Wax on...

I have fond memories of my father buffing 1970s pine floors with Johnson's floor wax (above). The heavenly, comforting, smell would last for days.

Floral tribute

Flowers do the trick – but they have to be the right ones. Mairead Curtin of celebrity-loved florist Rebel Rebel, adores Scilly Isles scented narcissi. But "plain daffodils have a lovely fragrance, too", she adds. "Try also mimosa, genista, lilac, scented roses."

So fresh and so clean

Dilute fabric softener in a water-spray bottle for proper eau-de-fresh laundry. On that tip, while air fresheners are generally vile, I was shocked to fall for Glade's Clean Linen after discovering it made a friend's bathroom so seductive.

Man up

I had to be forcibly removed from a True Grace "library" candle last year – all beeswax and peppery leather-bound books. Most masculine. The room-diffuser version is pricey, but lasts for ages.

Burning love

Tried all this but still can't kick the candle habit? Classy cheapies include Muji's glass candles (£10.95) and St Eval's lovely Victorian Herb range (£8.95). Burn generously. kate burt

Find Kate's blog on affordable interiors at