I Gave My Bathroom a Signature Scent, and I Only Wish I Had Done It Sooner

published Jul 11, 2023
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Credit: Liz Calka

Let’s be real — no one wants to step into a room if it doesn’t smell good, especially if it’s the bathroom. Bathrooms are obviously spaces that can collect moisture, and it can take a bit of effort to make sure the space stays fresh.  And while a clean bathroom doesn’t necessarily mean you’re overblown with fragrance (a neutral-smelling bathroom is always the goal!), having a signature scent can be a game-changer. I recently added reed diffusers to the two-and-a-half bathrooms in my home, and I’m obsessed with the vibe I’ve created. I only wish I had thought of it sooner. 

Dossier, a brand that specializes in affordable dupes of designer fragrances, very generously sent me a few of their reed diffusers to try this spring, and I’ll be honest — I was skeptical. Reed diffusers I had used in the past lost their scent very quickly, and I was left disappointed. I love Dossier’s perfumes, though, so I figured I’d give them a shot. The bathroom seemed like a perfect place for one, so after carefully smelling and assessing each scent, I placed a diffuser in each of my bathrooms. 

My home has two upstairs bathrooms and a downstairs powder room, and just like fragrance, each room has its own unique feel. The powder room off the living room is a spot not only for me and my husband, but also for guests to use as well, and I wanted to add a scent that was universally enjoyable. On the flip side, even though both my husband and I use the two bathrooms we have upstairs, we’ve jokingly dubbed them “him and hers” bathrooms — mine is in our bedroom, and his is in the second bedroom we’ve made into a home office. It was an easy decision to put the Le Labo Santal 33 dupe “woody sandalwood” in my husband’s bathroom, and I added “ambery vanilla” to mine, which is a warmer scent based on YSL’s Black Opium. “Ambery cherry” won for the downstairs powder room, which smells like Tom Ford’s Lost Cherry perfume. After just a few hours, all of our bathrooms smelled heavenly. 

I know the impact fragrance has on a home, but holy moly, I wasn’t expecting each of our bathrooms to take on a whole personality shift with the addition of these diffusers. The ambery vanilla transformed my bathroom into even more of a self-care haven than it was before. The instant I step into the bathroom and smell the diffuser, I want to slow down and breathe more deeply. It’s so lovely that it makes me want to romanticize my skincare routine and really indulge in my evening showers. Getting ready for the day is just better with the subtle, sweet, floral aroma that fills the air. 

The woody sandalwood bathroom has an entirely different energy now. The grounded scent inspired me to do a whole bathroom makeover with a new, darker shower curtain and bath mat. The powder room, meanwhile, now smells like cherries, and the vibrant, cheerful scent feels like being welcomed into our home with a big bear hug. Each bathroom now has a distinct personality and, in short, I’m in love. 

The great thing about reed diffusers is they continuously pump out scent. You can turn the reeds over every few days to keep the diffusion going, and if you’d like to save the scent for later, you can simply take the reeds out. While other brands I’ve used have lost their scent within a few days, Dossier’s reed diffusers have lasted much longer — they’re still diffusing fragrance after a month! I was most surprised by just how much the fragrance affected the mood of each bathroom. Our bathrooms now feel luxurious and indulgent, which is so special not only for us, but also for our guests as well. I love a little luxury, and these reed diffusers are just that.