My friends and family often comment on how homey my personal space feels. I purposely fragrance my entryway and living room with a welcoming aroma. Lately, I've used a summery combination of diffused frankincense and lavender essential oils. Other days, it's the woodiness of smoldering, sustainably sourced palo santo wood.
Does the thought of learning how to make your home smell fresh naturally sound enticing? You can easily avoid store-bought room sprays, like I did, and take a simpler, natural approach.
Why I Switched to Natural Scents
As I continue to green my routine, I decided I wanted to reduce my use of candles and sprays that were created with scents that didn't come straight from nature. According to a study published in the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere, and Health, some fragranced air fresheners, personal care products, and cleansers are sources of indoor air pollutants. These can trigger "adverse health effects" including migraine headaches, asthma attacks, neurological problems, contact dermatitis, and respiratory difficulties.
When I phased out my old products and started experimenting with natural concoctions, I was surprised to notice I had fewer headaches and I actually enjoy the natural fragrances more. Why? They trigger memories of being outdoors and smelling real flowers or getting cozy next to a bonfire. I also love playing with herbs and spices since they remind me of flavorful holiday meals and joyous seasonal family gatherings.
Before you switch to naturally scenting your home, note that some plant-based aromatic compounds can trigger allergic reactions in people. If you have a known allergy to a specific type of tree, flower, or other plant, avoid scenting your home using any part of the plant or any essential oils derived from it.
5 Ways to Naturally Scent Your Home
Let's get back to basics and take advantage of all the wonderful scents available to us through nature. With these five ideas, you'll learn how to make your home smell fresh naturally.
Use Essential Oil Diffusers
I keep small, electric-powered diffusers in most rooms of my home, including the bathrooms. I fill them with water and a few drops of essential oils. The machine creates a fine mist of liquids to lightly scent the room. Various scents, such as lavender and jasmine, can help you relax, according to Psychology Today. I enjoy using cinnamon leaf oil (sometimes called cassia) because it reminds me of baking—a calming hobby that makes me happy.
Light Naturally Scented Candles
When I shop for candles, I look for ones made from renewable resources, such as soy or beeswax. If you're feeling crafty, you can even make your own soy candles and add any essential oil you like. Lighting candles makes my home feel warm and inviting all while creating a soft, lingering scent.
Simmer Citrus Peels
One of my go-to simple snacks are clementines. They're easy to take in a pool bag or purse for a quick bite to eat, and the peels are rich with citrus oils that smell fabulous. Once, I accidentally left some peels in my car on a hot day, and when I returned after running an errand, the interior smelled fresh and inviting. Now, I leave peels there purposely for a day or two before disposing of them. I also like to simmer a few sliced oranges and lemons with two to three whole cloves in water on the stove top to make my kitchen and dining room smell nice.
Make Your Own DIY Room Spray
Is your bathroom a little stinky? Why not make a homemade spray cleanser featuring a few drops of essential oils? You'll clean the dirty surfaces while leaving behind a fresh, natural scent that's plant-derived. Sometimes, I use the leftover water from my stove top citrus recipe as the base for my cleanser if I don't have any essential oils on hand. It works wonders adding a fresh scent to the room I'm cleaning.
Burn Herbs and Woods
I follow a nature-based spiritual practice that often calls for the burning of herb bundles, incense, or sustainably sourced woods. These natural substances also add a warm, woody aroma to my home. I particularly enjoy lighting incense an hour before going to bed to help me relax and eventually drift off to dreamland. Once the stick is done burning, it's lights out!
As you experiment with new ways to naturally scent your home, keep safety top of mind. Don't leave candles lit or pots simmering on the stove when you're not home. It's also smart to keep essential oils out of reach of children and pets. Some essential oils can be toxic if swallowed, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
For more ideas to green your routine, follow the DIY Naturally board from @tomsofmaine on Pinterest!
Image Sources: Pexels | Angela Tague | Angela Tague
The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.
Why It's Good
Mother Nature creates amazing fragrances. The floral scent of a budding rose, the freshness of a sliced lemon, or the warmth of cinnamon bark might be just what you need to make your home smell inviting naturally. Experiment with plant-based fragrances and you may discover a new, favorite scent for your personal space that also aligns with your environmentally friendly lifestyle.