Which Wood Smells Best in a Fireplace?

Which Wood Smells Best in a Fireplace?

Not all firewood can be the same. Yes, you have to expect different results when using different types of firewood. Some wood used in fireplaces provides enough heat while others struggle to burn a marshmallow. Some wood will have a sweet aroma when burnt while others will smell like rotting manure when burnt. Everyone wishes to have a nice scent in their home and thus you have to choose the correct firewood.

Types of Firewood Smells

There are very many different types of smell that you expect from firewood. Here are the most popular smells produced when you burn firewood;

  • Classic Woodsmoke Smell

Imagine lighting a traditional campfire in the woods. The typical smell of smoke is what would dominate the air. Oak and Hickory trees are known to produce this smell among other top-tier firewood. This is the reason they are used in grilling and smoking meats to give them that unique taste.

  • Fruity and Sweet Smell

The typical wood with a fruity smell belongs to pear and apple trees. You would have a subtle smell when burning such woods. The smell is however present but just getting a hint of that tangy sweetness. They are best used in fireplaces and cooking to give that sweet aroma.

  • Nutty Smell

This is a rare smell and tends to be found in woods from nut trees. The hardwoods, when burnt, produce a big earthy smell with some smell of nuts. You would just know when you smell them. 

Top 7 Best Smelling Firewood For a Fireplace

Let us look at some of the best firewoods in the market that have a nice scent.

  1. Hickory Firewood
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Any smoky firewood can be described to have a hickory smell. This scent is easily recognizable by anyone almost instantly. The smell can get infused into anything; your meat, your warm flannel, and even the cold night air. In fact, the liquid smoke used in flavoring foods is made from hickory smoke. 

To add on the scent, Hickory is top-tier firewood. It will produce 28.6 BTUs of heat when burnt under the right conditions. This heat is enough to keep you warm throughout the night. For firewoods, 20 BTUs is considered low and 25 BTUs are considered high.

  1. Cherry Firewood

Cherry firewoods are one of the woods you should put in the bucket list. They have a sweet and lasting aroma. Imagine your living room smelling like cherry. Guests would be wondering about the fragrance you are using. The smell also fuses well with meat.

This firewood type can get a bit expensive but it is worth the money. Cherry trees are easy to cut down and split. Once you start splitting, you get to smell the fragrance. Store the firewood in a cool dry place. This is because they tend to rot and grow fungus easily compared to other types of firewood.

  1. Birch Firewood

Birch trees are common in the Northern hemisphere and other colder climates. You can find the wood in color variations of grey, white, yellow, and black silver. When you birch firewood, you get a subtle, sweet smell. This fits perfectly for a living room or a campsite.

If you plan to just relax, birch firewood produces the best aroma. Some people even considered it nature’s incense as the smell is so satisfying. Since they are softwoods, they will burn faster and can be used well as kindlings.

  1. Pine Firewood
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This is one of the most common firewoods in the world. However, it comes with its controversies. It is recommended to use it in an outdoor fireplace and not indoors. This is to avoid the risk of creosote build-up in your house. 

Pine, when burnt, gives off a happy festive smell. It is therefore the best firewood to use during a holiday season. Skip the other woods and pick pine during winter to get your holiday mood on. It is softwood thus burns for shorter periods of time. 

  1. Apple Firewood

Do you know why apples are among the most popular fruits in the world? Just take a bite of apple fruit and experience the greatness yourself. Now imagine converting that feel into firewood smell. Apple firewood when burnt has an alluring aroma that is similar to apple fruit. The smell brings everyone to their peace of mind. They burn a little bit longer compared to softwoods. 

  1. Oak Firewood

Oak firewood is a classic type of firewood that you can find in the market. When you burn oak firewood, you are reminded of a warm summer night. This is an excellent smell to help you relax over the summer. The smell is like a milder version to that of Hickory firewood. It also has a high heat output of 24 million BTUs per cord of wood.

  1. Pear Firewood

Do you know the smell of pear fruit? If you do, that is the exact smell of the pear firewood. It has a light mild smell just like that of apple firewood. The difference is in the scents of the fruit. Applewood is more popular than pear firewood. This should not mean pear firewood is not great. It depends on what smell you prefer. The main drawback is that it can get difficult to find pear firewood. 

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What Other Factors Affect the Smell of Firewood

We have looked at how different types of wood affect the smell. The level of seasoning also affects the scent of firewood. Well-seasoned firewood produces nice scents. Partially dried wood or green wood produces an awful smell. 

Also, trees can get their scent from the environment around them. So, the location of trees growing is a big factor to consider. Decaying firewood has an awful smell compared to a clean piece of firewood. 


What type of smell do you enjoy? It can be a fruity or a classic smoke smell. Choose what best suits your smell senses. You can also go with the mood. Make sure you also look at the other considerations before picking up a  piece of firewood. You can do more research on the types of wood available so as to have the best options. 

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