As Autumn arrives, bringing with it the cooler weather, we also begin to move our lives back indoors. Maintaining a fresh and pleasant-smelling home is an important aspect of creating a welcoming environment. From candles to incense, air fresheners to diffusers, many of the products that we use to scent our homes actually contain a range of harmful chemicals. Yet, scenting our homes with natural home-made products is actually quite simple and easy to do. Moreover, it’s another small but doable step we can take in our attempt to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.
Of course, you can also scent your home effortlessly in other ways too. One of the simplest things we can all do is to open the windows. Allowing the fresh air into our homes is great for our wellbeing, as is natural sunlight. You can also bake or cook your favourite meal and allow the lovely smell to disperse throughout your home. You might even like to boil some cinnamon sticks and orange slices and allow the warming scent to emanate from your kitchen into the other rooms in your house. For longer-lasting scents, try one of these 6 simple ways to naturally scent your home.
1. Home-Made Room Spray
Making your own room spray couldn’t be easier! It’s a great way to naturally fragrance any room in the house, especially the bathroom, without using any harmful chemicals.
Mix 170ml of distilled water, with 30ml of vodka/gin and 25-30 drops of your chosen essential oils in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle well before use and spray liberally to your chosen room.
Top tip for scenting the bathroom – hang eucalyptus in the shower. The steam from the shower will act as a diffuser, leaving your bathroom smelling wonderful.
2. Home-Made Potpourri
Whilst many people consider potpourri a bit old-fashioned, it is actually one of the simplest ways to create natural fragrances for your home. Even better, you can make it from what would be otherwise wasted ingredients.
Dry some citrus peel and slices. Mix these together with cinnamon sticks and star anise. For decorative purposes, you can also add some sprigs of fir and a few pine cones. Arrange them in a bowl and simply place on your coffee table or in the hallway to create a warming, spiced fragrance for your home.
Top tip – you can also make potpourri using rosemary, lavender and dried eucalyptus if you prefer a more herbal scent.
3. DIY Air Freshener in a Jar
Creating your own homemade air freshener in a jar is not only simple, but it can be used anywhere in your home. It will last for a couple of weeks and is a great alternative to diffusers and incense.
Take a small jar and poke some small holes into the lid. Alternatively, use a cloth and elastic band if you don’t have a suitable jar cap. Add ½ cup of bicarbonate of soda and approximately six drops of your chosen essential oil to the jar. For a stronger smell, use a blend of orange and sandalwood (ideal for bathrooms). Place the lid on the jar and it is ready to be used in any room of your home.
Top tip – if the fragrance begins to fade, simply stir or shake the powder gently, or add a few more drops of essential oils.
4. DIY Gel Room Scent
Although gel air fresheners take a little longer to make, they are worth the effort. One of the best things about them is that they also make for lovely decorations. You can add some food colouring and flower petals to them to make them look more aesthetically pleasing.
Boil one cup of water in a medium pan and then add four packets of unflavoured gelatine. Whisk until it has dissolved and add one teaspoon of your chosen essential oil. You can also add food colouring for a hint of colour.
Mix another cup of water and one tablespoon of salt and stir. Pour the mixture into small glass jars and allow it to cool, until the gel has become solid. You can add petals for decoration. Place the jars on any chosen location, without the lid, to release the scent.
5. Essential Oils on Pine Cones
This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to fragrance your home. All you need are some pine cones (that you can easily gather on a walk outdoors) and a few drops of essential oils. Lavender and cinnamon work particularly well for this recipe.
Collect some pine cones and arrange them in a basket. Add a couple of drops of your chosen essential oil to each pine cone.
6. Herb Sachets for Drawers and Wardrobes
One of the easiest ways to help keep your clothes smelling fresh is to add some herb sachets to your wardrobes and drawers.
Gather a collection of your favourite dried herbs, spices and flowers and use them to fill a small cotton or muslin bag. Place the bags in your cupboards, wardrobes and drawers.
As with other sustainable living practices, scenting our homes can be a fun activity that we can do individually or with our families. Involving children in the making process is a lovely way to spend some shared time together, as well as providing an important opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation about sustainability and our lifestyle choices.
As we shift our lives back indoors, we invite you to think of scenting your home as a way to also create some space for yourself and your family to relax and unwind. Using natural scents and objects that allow you to connect with the outdoors can be particularly effective for supporting your mental wellbeing. Why not collect some natural items on a family walk outdoors, such as pine cones and leaves?
You can even create a small space within your home dedicated to the outdoors. Allow this space to become somewhere where you can engage in mindful practice and connect with the outdoors, even as you retreat back indoors. In so doing, you can promote greater balance for yourself and your wellbeing.
Most importantly, perhaps, remember to allow fresh air to circulate throughout your house. Not only will this help disperse unpleasant odours, but it is also key to helping to remove stale air that may contain harmful particles, including viruses.
As always, we would love to hear your feedback in the comments below or on our Facebook page. Do you have any other top tips to naturally scent your home?