How to make your home smell great with natural home fragrances

0 comments / Posted by Andrea Tomkins

By Andrea Tomkins

I work from home, so I’m fairly oblivious to what our home smells like unless I’ve been out for the day. If the windows are closed it gets stuffy – easily remedied – but after I throw open the windows to drum up a bit of a cross breeze I sometimes turn to other ways of freshening things up.

Of course, the primary way to eliminate bad odours is to make sure the source of the smell is eliminated and that the item in question is clean. For example, stinky garbage cans will always be stinky if they’re not cleaned out! Assuming the scrubbing has been done, here are a few other ways to freshen up our homes without resorting to harsh chemical-based sprays, drops, and gels.

Fresh flowers

Lilac season is right around the corner, and the peonies are next in line, along with lily of the valley. We are fortunate to have them in our garden so I make an effort to place them in vases around the house when they’re at their peak. They look great and smell great too. It’s a win-win!

Dried flowers, a.k.a potpourri

Did everyone’s mother keep a dish in the bathroom? I have a distinct memory of sandalwood chips from way back when. This idea may be a holdover from the 1970s but some potpourris are quite attractive, especially if they’re displayed in a pretty dish. You can find ingredients to make your own potpourri in craft stores. Just make sure your blend doesn’t get dusty! A sachet of dried lavender tucked into a drawer is also a nice way to add a calming fragrance into the bedroom.

Home baking, and fake home baking

I know, who has time to bake a batch of cookies every time the hockey bag is unpacked? Baking generates great smells, no question, but they are often undone with cooking smells anyway. You can get the smell of baking without all the effort of actually baking with a tablespoon of cinnamon on a clean baking sheet. Pop it in a warm oven for 30 minutes, leaving the door ajar. (Try doing this when the oven is off and cooling down after dinnertime.)

Microwave magic

I clean the inside of our microwave by boiling a cup of water and vinegar for a few minutes and wiping down the inside, but it occurred to me that skipping the vinegar and using lemon juice works too! You can use a mixture of water and lemon juice or just pop quartered lemons in a cup of water and boil that. Wipe as needed and enjoy the lemony fresh scent afterwards.

Use the vacuum!

This is a two-in-one cleaning trick. When I vacuum I put a few drops of my favourite essential oil on the vacuum bag. Sometimes it’s peppermint, other times it’s orange. It really depends on how I’m feeling that day, but the air of the vacuum pushes the scent around the house. It’s a win-win.

Diffusers

Speaking of essential oils, diffusers have become a home décor category of their own and there are so many pretty styles to choose from. Diffusers are essentially decorative humidifiers. Plug it in and it will disperse water vapour along with any essential oils you’d like to add to it. Whether or not you believe in the benefits of aromatherapy, diffusers are a nice way to enjoy a pleasant scent at home.  

Accidental aromatherapy with castile soap

I’m a fan of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. (Read more about Castile soap in this post if you’re not sure what it is.) I was scrubbing out our recycle bin the other day and I used Dr. Bronner’s eucalyptus scented liquid soap.

The whole bathroom smelled great – clean and invigorating but not cloying – and that smell extended to our mudroom in a subtle way. Ahhh! I love it.

 

Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap Eucalyptus ($8.98)

Room sprays and candles

A room spray is a quick and handy way to freshen things up and terra20 carries many brands online and in-store. The next time I’m shopping I’m definitely going to give the No.27 Room Spray a test sniff. I like that it’s Canadian-made, free of harmful chemicals, and not tested on animals.

I also like Get the Funk Out for everyday use in the kitchen but it can be used everywhere around the house. Candles are also a common way of eliminating odours at home. (Read more about the importance of picking a good candle right here.) Even when they’re not lit they can give off a very gentle scent. I tucked one in my linen closet and it’s keeping that musty scent at bay, which I appreciate!

 

Demes Get the Funk Out Lavender Room Spray ($11.99)

Room sprays and candles

A room spray is a quick and handy way to freshen things up and terra20 carries many brands online and in-store. The next time I’m shopping I’m definitely going to give the No.27 Room Spray a test sniff. I like that it’s Canadian-made, free of harmful chemicals, and not tested on animals.

I also like Get the Funk Out for everyday use in the kitchen but it can be used everywhere around the house. Candles are also a common way of eliminating odours at home. (Read more about the importance of picking a good candle right here.) Even when they’re not lit they can give off a very gentle scent. I tucked one in my linen closet and it’s keeping that musty scent at bay, which I appreciate!

 

Demes Get the Funk Out Lavender Room Spray ($11.99)

About the Author

Andrea Tomkins

Andrea Tomkins is an informavore with a passion for social media and multimedia storytelling. She is the editor of a community newspaper in Ottawa as well as a freelance writer. She’s also is a veteran of the Canadian blogging scene.

First conceived in 1999, her blog – a peek inside the fishbowl – has been featured in notable publications such as the Toronto Star, Chatelaine, Canadian Family Magazine, and The Globe and Mail. Today, she loves to write about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, and good food.

Follow Andrea on Twitter: @missfish

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