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A Guide to Home Fragrances

Mark Twain once said that “the clothes make the man,” but we might have to disagree with the great American writer on this one. Outfits may come and go, but your fragrance makes an impact day after day (both at work and at home). In recent years, men have actually been picking up the slack on their personal scents – fragrances generate by far the most sales in the burgeoning men’s grooming market – but home fragrances are still by and large unexplored territory.

Candles, diffusers and room sprays has historically catered to feminine tastes – for evidence, just browse through the endless floral and cupcake-scented iterations at your local lifestyle store. However, Japanese lifestyle label RetaW changes the game with their line of home fragrances that convey elegance and sophistication minus the girliness. For men looking to transform their household ambiance, here’s a starter’s guide to all things home fragrance.


Long-lasting and low-maintenance, diffusers are the perfect choice for home fragrance novices. Without the flames of a candle, you can simply set a diffuser on your desk and leave it to fill your interiors with subtle scent for weeks – no upkeep required. Featuring natural rattan reeds and a tinted glass bottle for holding essential oils, diffusers make for elegant centerpieces as well. RetaW’s Evelyn desktop diffuser hints of champagne and citrus bergamot, a sweet but refreshing combination. Almost good enough to drink, this scent is bound to revitalize your senses. The brand’s Natural Mystic diffuser is a sophisticated but masculine choice, featuring notes of earthly patchouli and soft vanilla that will give your rooms a rich, heady quality.


Candles may conjure up the romantic clichés of bubble baths and dinner dates, but it’s undeniable that a powerfully scented candle can set the tone of an evening. They may have shorter lifespans than their reed diffuser counterparts, but candles are great for transforming your home with their exotic ambiance, evoking far flung destinations in your own home. With its festive, iridescent blue colorway, RetaW’s Clooney candle works double time as a table centerpiece and fragrance, its rich rosewood scent bringing to mind rainforests in distant Brazil. The J.J. gel candle is a more subdued option for minimalists, featuring a translucent exterior and blooming magnolia scent that transports us to faraway Japan.

Room Sprays

If you’re seeking temporary fragrances of the non-flammable kind, room sprays are your match. Spritzed on your linens or upholstery, room sprays will infuse a subtle and ephemeral scent that leaves visitors guessing. With its clean and minimal scent of soap, RetaW’s Barney room spray will make your home smell freshly showered. If you’re going for a more intoxicating and bewitching scents that make an impact, the Allen room spray will fill your interiors with a spicy but floral lily fragrance. With their matte white glass bottles, the RetaW room sprays are minimal statement pieces in themselves that can definitely take a place of honor in your home.

Find your fragrance now on HBX.

Alex Lau / HBX

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