Friday, April 19, 2013

Home Day Fridays! Natural Ways to Scent your Home.

Ahhh!  The sweet smell of success, victory... but especially, your home! Coming into an environment that caresses your nostrils into olfactory heaven is a wonderful experience.
There are so many products out there that cost a fair fortune when it comes to giving your home a fresh scent.  However, there are plenty of things you have lying around your home or that you can purchase cheaply that are a less toxic alternative to help give your home that air of freshness!

First, let's start with the obvious.  Open the windows, especially where you can get a cross breeze to let nature do it's first run through. This gives your home that same exhilarating scent that your clothes have after you've hung them on the line outside. Glorious.
Ongoing damage control:
Vinegar, coffee beans and kitty litter.   I know, sounds like a horrible recipe but actually, each of these things placed in either small containers, jars or shallow bowls are the secret hidden army to absorbing the nasty odours that lurk about for all of us.  
Got a stinky closet with your boys' athletic shoes?  A small container of kitty litter tucked in a corner can help.  Someone STILL smoking in your home?  Little bowls with a cup of vinegar in each corner of the room will absorb that nastiness.  Coffee beans are attractive and decorative.  Place in a small dish on your coffee table, in your fridge - wherever you need a little freshening up.
Flowers.  What a beautiful way to give your rooms a lovely natural fragrance.  Too many of us buy flowers for special occasions only. Try to infuse nature's perfume at least once a week and treat yourself to a fragrant bouquet that will enhance your home.  Spend some time with your nose in some selections at the flower shop to determine what gives you that lift! 
Bake something.  Don't you just love walking into someone's home and they have something fabulous cooking their oven?  It's intoxicating what baked goods can do to our sense of smell (and hunger!)  Too pooped to bake?  Just place some apple spice or a few drops of vanilla on a tin foil dish and leave it in the oven on 250 degrees to fill your home with "yummified air"!
Similarly, you can bake a whole unpeeled lemon in the oven for an hour at 350 degrees to get that citrus swirling scent throughout.
While we're in the kitchen, try simmering a few orange peels, cinnamon sticks with some cloves in a small pot of water to freshen up the air.  You can also use those kitchen extracts such as vanilla or almond, a tablespoon in a couple of cups of water ought to do it!  If you like, you can simmer a few drops of essential oils such as eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender or rosemary.
If you do invest in some essential oils, put a drop on your light bulbs and the heat will diffuse the lovely scent throughout your space.
To make your own air freshener, buy a spray bottle from your local dollar store.  Mix in equal parts water and rubbing alcohol (1/2 C each) with about 5 drops of lemon oil.  For a change, try mixing it up with other essential oils of your liking.

Also try using the essential oils by placing a few drops on some cotton balls in a container with some holes in it (like one of those flimsy clear containers from the grocery store).  Hide discreetly (like behind the toilet).  While you're at it, place a few scented cotton balls, like lavender, into your pillow cases from some sweet slumber.

Try placing some scented dryer sheets over your heat vents to give your home a pleasant air.  On the subject of sheets, my mother-in-law inserts these into her folded bed sheet sets to ward off that "they've been in the closet too long smell".

So this weekend, get your home smelling like a rose... or, uh... whatever makes "scents" for you!