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Bring Natural Scents into Your Home

Like many other people, I enjoy entering a room that is filled with a tantalizing citrus scent or the fresh smell of pines. I used to spend...

Like many other people, I enjoy entering a room that is filled with a tantalizing citrus scent or the fresh smell of pines. I used to spend a lot of money on room fresheners and perfumers, scented candles, and the s, but I’ve been reading about all the poisons they contain and realized that a pleasant odor is not worth my, and my family’s, health. Some of the chemicals in these aerosols have been linked to the onset of asthma and allergies.

How then, did people make their homes smell nice before the invention of air fresheners? The answer is a natural one: If you’ve ever baked bread at home, you remember the incredible aroma that spreads through the house. When you mow the lawn, there’s a delightful smell of cut grass that lingers in the yard.

So how do you enjoy a lovely smelling home for more than a couple of hours? By simmering certain combinations of fresh fruits, spices, and herbs.

What you’ll need: Fruits (citrus has the longest-lasting effect), herbs of your choice, fresh pine boughs, extracts, spices.

The basics:

To get the scents you want out of your choice of ingredients, you will need to combine them all and heat them up - this article will show you a few ways to do that.

1. Stove top: This is the most efficient way to prepare and activate the scents. All you need to do is combine the ingredients in a pot, cover them with water, bring it to a boil and then lower the heat and let the mixture simmer. Make sure to watch the pot from time to time – if the water evaporates, your ingredients will burn, which doesn’t smell so nice..

2. Slow cooker: Toss the ingredients into a small slow cooker and let it work its magic. It will keep your home smelling wonderfully for hours. Keep the cooker on low heat, and watch it from time to time to make sure that the water does not evaporate.

3. Candle/teapot warmer: This method works for smaller rooms, giving off a subtle scent. (If you use extracts, you can get a stronger effect)


*These are just suggestions, feel free to experiment with your own combinations.

1. Oranges / Cinnamon / Cloves: A powerful combination that keeps the house smelling fall time. You can also add allspice and anise if you'd . This combo can be reused for several days.

1 orange
2 cinnamon sticks / 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
½ tablespoon whole cloves
1 anise star (optional)
½ tablespoon allspice (optional)

2.. Lemon / Rosemary / Vanilla: Combine fresh oranges and rosemary with a few drops of vanilla extract to gain a powerful, fresh smell that will fill the house.

3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 lemons
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3. Lime / Thyme / Mint / Vanilla: Another fresh combination that makes your house smell summer days. The mint and lime keep the smell fresh and the vanilla adds a sweetness that relaxes and delights.

3 limes
3 sprigs fresh thyme
½ teaspoon mint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4. Orange / Ginger / Almond: These are scents of the Far East. You can use fresh or powdered ginger, and use almond extract for added nutty aroma.

1 orange (or peels from 2 oranges)
Ginger root, sliced / 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
½ teaspoon almond extract

5. Pine or Cedar / Bay leaves / Nutmeg: The small aromatic twigs will make your home smell a forest, and grating some nutmeg will make the combination feel a nature stroll.

Handful of twigs (pine or cedar)
4 bay leaves
1 nutmeg (grate the outer layer into mixture)

Final piece of advice: Uncooked mixtures can be sealed in jars and kept in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. You can also freeze the mixture for even later use.