Take a whiff: dorm room scents for every type of UP student

You’ll never again have to worry if your room stinks with this aromatic Beacon guide.

By Camille Kuroiwa-Lewis | March 22, 2024 9:00am
by Camille Kuroiwa-Lewis / The Beacon

By spring semester, you’ve settled into your dorm room — there’s a white rug on the hardwood floor, a swiffer hanging from a command hook and your mattress topper is at least 1.5 inches of memory foam heaven. 

The worst thing that can happen now is for friends to stop by one afternoon, commenting not on your artful poster placement but rather scrunching their noses and asking the dreaded question: “What’s that smell?”

Whether it's the fumes that creep in from the communal bathroom nearby, or from the Pilot House takeout you’ve left in the sun a touch too long — unwanted scents linger embarrassingly past their due.

For the problem on every dorm resident’s mind, The Beacon recommends room fragrances for every type of UP student.

For the classic Portlander

Courtesy of Craft & Kin

Craft & Kin Reed Diffuser Set in Amber Moss ($19.99)

One way to become more Portland is to have your room smelling like the trendiest bathroom in all of NoPo. This scent comes straight from the restroom of Cafe Olli and manages to disguise the smell of fresh pizza with something sweet and earthy.

For the student who regrets going to school in Portland

Courtesy of Von Maur

Mersea Room Spray in Saltaire ($20)

Smell and memory are intertwined, which is maybe why homesickness can be remedied through a room spray that reminds you of the drive up to UP on Highway 1. If the Portland rain is making you miss the sweet, salty air, this might be for you.

For the student who wants to look no further than the UP bookstore

Courtesy of Target

Lifelines Essential Oil Blends ($19.99)

These fragrances hail from the student bookstore and feature a smell for every need. You might want to start with “In Bloom,” which has notes of Jasmine to energize you to finish those dishes left in your sink.

For the student this close to breaking dorm rules and lighting a candle

Courtesy of Nordstrom

Le Labo Home Fragrance in Figue 15 ($132)

Living Section Editor Noah Carandanis refrigerates his Le Labo perfume to maintain its aromatic integrity. Le Labo is just that fancy. While luxurious, this room spray will also have your dorm smelling like home. It’s cozy, ash-y and a pleasant-smelling way of getting around those sensitive smoke detectors.

For the student who loves walking by Christie Hall purely for the laundry detergent smells

Courtesy of Pourri

Home-Pourri in Fresh Air ($12.99)

While fragrance scientists didn’t fly into PDX and Uber to Christie Hall to capture the olfactory particles permeating from Christie’s basement, this room spray is the next best thing.

For the student who goes to every Beauchamp yoga class

Courtesy of Muse Apothecary

Muse Apothecary Room Mist in Room Ritual ($9.98)

If you’re able to resist the temptation of falling asleep in a child’s pose, you might notice the refreshing air of the Beauchamp studios — giving you the time to wonder which Amazon link you need to get your hands on in order to get your room to feel the same.

For the student who volunteers at SLUG every Sunday morning

Courtesy of Beautyhabit

Flamingo Estate Room Spray in Roma Heirloom Tomato ($58)

Look no further than this heirloom tomato scent if you're looking to live inside of a giant fruit. Flamingo Estate makes beauty and home products from a garden-based estate in Los Angeles. Though your room won’t smell like ketchup, it may take you back home to family spaghetti dinners

For the student in need of something heavy duty

Courtesy of Menards

Brightair Air Freshener in Mandarin Orange and Fresh Lemon ($3.49)

Sometimes dorm room scents linger past their welcome. The best way to beat those smells out is by using a product labeled as industrial-strength.

For the student prone to fragrance-induced migraines

Courtesy of Arm & Hammer

Arm and Hammer Baking Soda in Fresh-N-Natural ($6.50)

Go back to basics with this simple but effective odor neutralizer. This non-fragrance will have your nose and brain thanking you. P.S.: Sprinkle some in your shoes to get rid of sweaty smells.

For the student who wants a budget air freshener that’s not Febreeze

Courtesy of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day

Mrs. Meyers Room Freshener in Lavender ($5.39)

Though Febreeze boasts an attractive $4 price tag, this is another clean-smelling option for those whiffing on a budget. Your room will be smelling more like lavender and less like you're trying to Febreeze-away a smell you can’t pinpoint the origin of. 

Camille Kuroiwa-Lewis is a reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at kuroiwal26@up.edu.