Pets, sports socks, cooking smells, even traffic exhaust can penetrate your home and leave lingering unpleasant odors. Commercial air fresheners are full of chemicals that are dangerous to curios little fingers and paws. Many people also experience stinging eyes and breathing problems with commercial sprays, gels and plug-in room fresheners. We recommend natural alternatives, which are safe, healthy and inexpensive ways to keep your home smelling fresh.
Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts, like lavender, peppermint and pine. Just a few drops of oil will permeate a small room. Since the oil doesn’t evaporate, the scent lingers. A good way to use essential oils is by placing a few drops on a cotton ball, and putting the cotton ball in a discreet place, such as behind the commode or inside an open windowsill. The oil will quickly permeate the room, bringing a light pleasant aroma to the air. Another way to use essential oil is to mix it with water, in a ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part oil. Put in a spray bottle and spritz around the room. Essential oils are readily available at home, hobby and craft stores.
Vanilla makes your home smell both exotic and delicious. Derived from an orchid pod, vanilla has a familiar delicate aroma that evokes the both the warmth of baking and the allure of the islands. Place a very small amount of vanilla extract onto the light bulbs in your lamps. When the bulb heats up, the water in the extract starts to evaporate, vaporizing the vanilla scent along with it.
Apples and Spice
Your oven isn’t just for baking. It’s a great tool to waft the aroma of apple pie throughout your home. Pierce a few cloves, a stick of cinnamon or both into an apple. Place the apple in a baking dish, and fill the dish an inch high with water. Set the pan in your oven at 300 degrees and leave until the water evaporates, about 1-2 hours, depending on the size of your pan. The scent of apple pie will fill your home. Beware, hunger often ensues.
Citrus fruits and herbs are highly aromatic, and their scent lingers for days. To make them into a natural potpourri, slice lemons, oranges, grapefruit or a combination of citrus fruits into thick discs. Keep the skin on. Place into a small saucepan filled a third of the way high with water. Add star anise, stick cinnamon, whole nutmeg, bay leaves, or a combination. Bring to a gentle simmer, keeping the lid off. Reduce heat to very low and continue to heat until the water has completely evaporated. Spread the citrus and herbs on a towel or newspapers to dry. When the mixture has dried, place it in bowls around your house.
Scent triggers powerful memories. Your home is a place where you make memories everyday for people you love. Take a few moments to fill your home with natural fragrances. The effects will linger for a very long time.
Photo by markuso courtesy of freedigitalimages.net