Making your artificial flowers smell great

Annabel Thain Content marketing executive 🌱

Artificial flowers look great, but they lack the scent of the real thing. Here are our tips & tricks to making your artificial flowers not only look good, but smell good too!

Artificial cottage garden floral arrangement by fireplace in rustic urn vase

Its not uncommon for artificial flowers and plants to be scentless or have a slight, less-than-desirable, plasticky smell. Don't let this stop you from going faux! It's easy to level up your artificial flowers (and plants) by making them smell as good as they look.

Whether you want a strong scent or something more delicate, we have tried and tested several types of scent, and application methods, so you don’t have to!

Before we begin adding scents, it’s important to clean your artificial flowers regularly to stop the build-up of dust and mildew. The build-up of mildew could be causing your flowers to have a bad smell. For more information or advice on cleaning, check out our how to clean artificial flowers blog.

A blooming good bunch!

Check out our beautiful range of faux flower arrangements!

Shop flower arrangements.

Can you scent artificial flowers?

The short answer is yes, you can add scents to artificial flowers.

What sprays can I use to make my flowers smell good?

From essential oils to perfumes, there are many options for how you may choose to scent your fauxs. It is important to consider that different methods could alter the appearance of your flower or plant - i.e. using an essential oil on a 'waxy' leaf, may give the leaf a shiny, 'wet' appearance.

Popular methods used to scent faux flowers and plants are:

  • Perfume

  • Essential oil

  • Scented lotion / scented creams

We have tried and tested the different methods of scenting artificial flowers. To find out more about our in-house testing, the results and our recommendations, see 'our in-house testing' below.

How do you add scent to artificial flowers?

It is important to consider what texture your fauxs are; 'waxy' artificial flowers and leaves may not hold scents the same as 'fabric' artificial flowers and leaves. To find out what methods we found worked best for both 'waxy' and fabric fauxs, read on.

Before you begin adding scents to your faux foliage, ensure you are in a well-ventilated space.

Using perfume

For sprayed scents, you can either hold the plant or faux stem at a distance and lightly spray the plant all over, or for a more realistic effect, you can use the spray close up and spray just the flowers.

Using essential oils or diffuser liquid

One to two drops of essential oil or liquid diffuser scent can be added directly to the centre of a flower.

To add the scent to artificial leaves, add one to two drops of scent to a cloth and 'buff' into the leaf.

To prevent any colour distortion to your artificial stems, we advise opting for an alcohol free diffuser liquid.

Using scented lotions

For scented creams or lotions, simply add a pea-sized amount to your hand and 'massage' into the plant.

Be inspired!

Want some inspiration? Don't worry, we have you covered. Check out our incredible inspirations gallery.

Be inspired

What scents should you use?

To enhance your artificial experience, try finding the matching scent of your faux. Applying a rose scent to a fabulous faux rose will easily make it mistakable for the real thing!

For flowers, gentle, floral scents will create the most realistic tone; as for foliage, a menthol or woody pine scent will work best.

Essential oils are often very strong and can be too overpowering. Try to find essential oils that best suit your type of faux, for example, using lemon grass essential oil on a grass plant could be effective as well as realistic.

Our in-house testing...

We conducted an experiment to see which methods work best for scenting your artificial flowers and leaves.

To ensure the test was fair, each application method has one scent that was used across both products being tested on. The different scenting methods were tested on our cabbage rose stem, which features light, fabric-type petals, and our pothos leaf stem which has a hardier, 'waxy' texture.

Each method was given a strong, unique scent - so the scent that lasts the longest and is most effective could be easily identified.

The scents used:

  • Essential oil: tea tree

  • Diffuser liquid: echinacea & elderberry

  • Perfume: raspberry & orange blossom

  • Scented lotion: sweet lime & vanilla

Scented products were tested against an unscented product, products were tested immediately after scent was applied and In hourly intervals to check which method was the most effective – The results display which method created the most realistic effect

Our results...

Product Tested:Method:Result:
Cabbage RoseScentlessNo notable smell
Cabbage RoseEssential oilVery strong scent - too overwhelming for a flower
Cabbage RoseDiffuser liquidStrong but realistic scent - effective
Cabbage RosePerfumeStrong scent - limitations with scent options
Cabbage RoseScented lotionScent is too weak
Pothos LeafScentlessSlight plastic scent – not realistic
Pothos LeafEssential oilStrong but realistic scent - effective
Pothos LeafDiffuser liquidScent is too weak
Pothos LeafPerfumeScent is too weak
Pothos LeafScented lotionScent is too weak
We haven’t tested the long term effects of adding scents to artificial products – long term repeated scent use could damage the visual appearance of the product.

Our recommendations

For fabric-textured polyester flowers and foliage, our recommended method is to use a diffuser liquid.

This method not only created the most realistic effect, but also lasted the longest for this type of foliage/flowers. To ensure you're stems don't discolour, we advise opting for an alcohol-free diffuser liquid.

As for 'waxy' hardier flowers and foliage, we found essential oils to work best.

Using essential oils may create a ‘wet' or 'shiny’ look to the leaf or flower, if this is undesirable, take a cotton wool pad and dab to remove excess oils. This method lasted the longest and was the most realistic for this type of foliage/flower.

Need some more tips?

In need of some more help and advice? Check out our help centre for more information.