Christmas is right around the corner, friends, and the hunt for the perfect tree is not to be taken lightly. After all, a fresh tree can be truly magical—unless you spend a hundred bucks on one that sheds pine needles everywhere and smells like nothing, that is. Fortunately, we got the full scoop on the best smelling Christmas trees from Tim O’Connor, executive director of the National Christmas Tree Association (yes, it’s a real thing), so you can take home the most fragrant your area has to offer. (Psst: O’Connor emphasizes that the availability of any given tree variety depends largely upon the region in which you live, so pay attention to geography when determining your top choice.)
The 6 Best Smelling Christmas Trees to Buy in 2022
The Best Smelling Christmas Trees at a Glance
- Best Overall: Balsam Fir
- Best Showstopper: Grand Fir
- Best Full-Bodied Tree: Monterey Pine
- Best for Decorating: Fraser Fir
- Most Beautiful: Noble Fir
- Most Widely Available: Douglas Fir
1. Balsam Fir
- Best Overall
The balsam fir—a variety most commonly found in the Northeast and Great Lake states—tops the list of most fragrant Christmas trees. Per O’Connor, the balsam fir is widely known for its strong Christmas tree scent. Another bonus of the balsam fir is that it’s hardy and tends to retain its needles better than some other types of Christmas trees.
2. Grand Fir
- Best Showstopper
Native to the Pacific Northwest and named for its impressive stature, the grand fir looks very similar to the balsam fir, with an attractive conical shape and short, dark green needles. O’Connor says it also rivals the balsam fir in terms of fragrance—though it’s worth noting that grand firs are only available on the west coast and, even there, they are less common than other varieties.
3. Monterey Pine
- Best Full-Bodied Tree
Here, another fragrant evergreen from the western part of the country. Native to California’s central coast, the Monterey pine has a full-bodied appearance due to its particularly long needles. Monterey pines are also among the most aromatic pine trees, but they are unlikely to be shipped elsewhere (so if you don’t live on the west coast, keep scrolling).
4. Fraser Fir
- Best for Decorating
The Fraser fir is found all across the eastern part of the United States, from North Carolina and Tennessee to the upper Great Lakes, and is exceedingly popular—namely because it’s hardy enough to tolerate shipping. Indeed, the Fraser is known for its strong, sturdy branches and excellent needle retention, which means it can hold even the heftiest ornaments in your collection.
5. Noble Fir
- Most Beautiful
Basically the west coast equivalent of the Fraser, the Noble fir is a widely available and much-loved variety throughout the western part of the United States that boasts a beautiful blue-green color, soft evergreen scent and, most notably, a remarkably symmetrical silhouette.
6. Douglas Fir
- Most Widely Available
Although not a true fir, the Douglas fir is a top-selling Christmas tree that’s shipped far and wide. It isn’t the most fragrant on the list, but it does have a sweet evergreen scent, nonetheless, and it’s very easy to find no matter where you live. That said, Douglas firs shed needles like crazy when they start to dry out, so if you opt to bring one home this year, be sure to water it generously.