This blog is updated in 2020.
Here’s the thing. My man hates artificial smells of any kind like air fresheners, candles, perfume, soaps, and anything else that is scented. We buy unscented everything. I am about to buy a car with the money I’ve saved on perfume throughout the years of our marriage.
Turns out that King-Man may just be ahead of his time. I’ve recently been investigating air fresheners and their harmful ingredients. Many of them are particularly painful for people with allergies and asthma. One more thing to stay away from.
But, the air in my house gets stinky sometimes. Or, the day after I’ve cooked with garlic, that fragrance that was so appealing when I was cooking becomes very disgusting. I want to walk into my house and have it smell good. Nothing overpowering or even that noticeable. Just pleasant.
There is an easy, all-natural, truly exquisite solution. That is to fill the air in my home with gentle scents of spices, herbs, and fruit. All I have to do is simmer some sweet-smelling ingredients in water. The steam fills the air with a pleasant scent. Truth is, I did this many years ago on the suggestion of our real estate agent when we were selling our house. Realtors often advise sellers to bake cookies or boil cinnamon water right before a potential buyer visits. That inviting aroma goes a long way to leave a nice first impression. Why I didn’t keep scenting the air in a similar way for our own joy, I am not sure. I’ve now got a daily routine going that keeps our house smelling pleasant without staleness or day-after garlic odor.
Keeping the supply list simple. I only used supplies available at the grocery store or in my yard for these scent recipes. I want this to be easy and cheap so that I can set up a sustainable routine of pleasantly scenting our home. These recipes are simple instructions and don’t have to be followed exactly. In fact, I change them up all the time based on what I have on hand in my kitchen or yard.
How to Make Natural Room Scents
Fragrant items for naturally scenting your home:
- citrus — I’ve tried other fruits. Some of them smell good initially, but they don’t hold up for more than one use. Citrus is stronger, longer-lasting, and gives these fresh-smelling house naturally recipes freshness. Lemons and oranges are particularly fragrant and have the best-staying power in a homemade lemon air freshener.
- herbs — Any herb can be used for making a room fragrance, but the ones that are stronger and on woody twigs hold up the best. My bias for room scents is rosemary and thyme.
- pine or cedar branches/needles — There may be other scented trees that will work, too; pine and cedar are the two I’ve tried for their pleasant, fresh fragrance.
- extracts — A drop of vanilla or almond extract improves most room fragrance mixtures. Mint extract has a great fresh scent. You can also use whole vanilla beans instead of vanilla extract; expensive but amazingly fragrant.
- spices — You can use ground or whole sweet spices. The whole spices look prettier if your scented water will be in a place where it will be seen. I have found that cinnamon sticks and whole cloves have the most long-lasting scent power. Cinnamon sticks can be rinsed off and reused several times. They keep on giving.
Five Natural Room Scent Recipes
These are all scents that my nose likes. But, scents that are pleasing to one person may not be to someone else. Consider how many different scents of DIY perfume, soap, and candles there are in stores in an effort to please the masses. So, use my recipe combos as directions that you can adjust and customize to suit what your nose likes.
How to make home fragrance: Place the ingredients in a 2 cup (pint) jar or container, or in a pan on the stovetop. Cover them with water and heat. I’ll explain different heating options further down. Keep scrolling down.
Scent #1: Oranges, cinnamon & cloves (allspice and anise are optional). This is my bias, both for its wonderful fragrance and for it’s staying power. This scent carries into many rooms better, and it can be reheated to fresh-smelling house naturally for several days.
Scent #2: Lemon, rosemary, & vanilla. A similar scented water is often stewing in Williams-Sonoma stores. It has a pleasing freshness to it.
Scent #3: Lime, thyme, mint & vanilla extract. This mix-and-match has such a fresh, pleasant fragrance. I initially made it without the mint extract, but have found that it really provokes the fragrance.
Scent #4: Orange, ginger (fresh or powdered), and almond extract. This is a sweet, tasty scent.
Scent # 5: Pine or cedar twigs (or other fragrant twigs), bay leaves, and nutmeg. These fragrances combine for a sophisticated aroma. If you have the whole nutmeg, use a Microplane to grinding the outer surface–this will release the scent. Add the whole nutmeg piece along with the gratings.
View on Amazon: Microplane
Here’s the gang of five. Aren’t they pretty? I like to make these up in pint jars and keep them on hand in the fridge so I’m ready to start a pot of simmering scents as needed.
All the content in this blog is the property of aninspiring. Kindly refrain from plagiarising the content of this blog.
Make ahead and…
- …store in the fridge. Uncooked jars of scented waters will keep in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks, so you can make these ahead to have on hand. I suggest adding all of the ingredients, including the water, to the jars before refrigerating them. I’ve tried refrigerating the fruit/spice/herb combos in a DIY home diffuser without the water, but they don’t last as long that way.
- …freeze them. I’ve tried freezing them both with and without the water added, and both ways are fine. I haven’t tested them in the freezer longer than 2 weeks, but I’m confident that they can be frozen for a month or longer. Make sure you use freezer-safe jars like these pint wide-mouth mason jars. (Not all mason jars are freezer-safe.)
How to heat the scented mixtures
I’ve tried various methods and all of these work to varying degrees. Some of them provide a more powerful fragrance than others. Just like the air fresheners you buy, none of these will scent a whole house; but I’ll show you some ways to set up individual DIY air fresheners in multiple rooms. Hopefully, you already have what you need to try out one or more of these alternatives.
Stovetop method. This is by far the best way I’ve found to get the most powerful scent that will spread to more rooms the fastest. It’s simple as can be. Simply put all the ingredients in a pot on the stove, bring them to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. The DIY room spray will quickly begin to scent your kitchen and spread to other rooms. How far the scent spreads depends on the size and layout of your house. A simmering pot like this makes all four rooms on our first floor smell good. The only disadvantage of this method is that you have to keep a close eye on the water level. If the pan dries out, you’ll be smelling burned citrus instead of sweet, fragrant citrus. NOTE: For a stronger scent, simply double or triple the recipe.
Uncovered Slow Cooker Method. This is my personal bias. I use a small slow cooker–the kind made for keeping dips and juices warm. Mine only has one low heat setting. The combination never actually bubbles and visibly steams. I leave it uncovered on my kitchen counter to slowly spread the scent throughout the day. It’s fine but creates a pleasant smell in my kitchen and a hint of scent in surrounding rooms. When I’m home, I keep my mini slow cooker going. It’s simple and uses very limited electricity. When I fill mine in the morning, it won’t dry out for the whole day. If you’re concerned about accidentally letting it run dry, you can put a lamp timer on it so that it automatically shuts off at the desired time. I put a scented jar mixture in the microwave for 2 minutes to get it heats before I add it to the slow cooker. That gives it a quick start on releasing the scent. NOTE: For a stronger scent, simply double or triple the recipe in a larger, full-size slow cooker and set it on high.
View on Amazon:
♦16 oz. mini slow cooker –holds a single batch–compact & economical–removable insert for easy cleaning; this is the size I use for regularly simmering scented water in my kitchen and is a perfect size for gift giving, too.
♦1-1/2 qt. small slow cooker –holds double or triple batch–portable insert for easy cleaning; the larger size doesn’t have to be refilled as often.
♦on-off lamp timer –for auto shut-off
Fondue Pot Method. If you have a fondue pot, then you have a movable scent station. Place it up in any room you’d like to scent. Below is a small ceramic fondue pot I have that uses a tea light for heat. So, this will only maintain warm as long as the candle lasts–3-1/2 to 4 hours. Like the slow cooker, this is a low level of heat and releases a very subtle fragrance–enough for a small room. Get the scent mixture boiling hot before adding it to the fondue pot. I like to set this up in our entryway when we have guests. It makes it smell amazing when you walk through our front door. And, it looks beautiful.
View on Amazon: small ceramic fondue pot
Mug Warmer Method. I usually keep this little mug warmer next to my computer to keep my coffee and tea warm. I’ve discovered it also can be used to keep a jar or small bowl of fragrance mixture warm. It only keeps it warm, it doesn’t actually heat it up. So again, be aware to heat the mixture before adding it to the bowl. Or microwave a jar and set it right on top of the mug warmer. This low heat puts off a soft, gentle scent that is suitable for a small area like a bathroom.
- Here’s a hint to keep it pretty. As the mixtures boil and lose their color, the DIY room sprays are not as presentable. You can spruce it up by floating a fresh slice of citrus on top. Or add a few cranberries (I keep a bag of them in my freezer); they float and add a dip of color.
View on Amazon: electric mug warmer
Candle Warmer Method. These work just like the mug warmers. Candle warmers come with a little bowl on top for melting scented candle granules. Instead, you can add some boiled scented water. Or, remove the bowl and set a jar or other bowl on top.
- Note: I tested the temperatures of these with a thermometer. The mug warmer and candle warmer both kept the mixture at about 120°F. That’s enough to let off a very subtle scent in a small area or room, but don’t expect these to strongly scent a big room. You need more heat and steam for a stronger fragrance.
View on Amazon: ceramic electric candle warmer
Tea Pot Warmer Method. My teapot warmer also uses tea lights. I can put two or three tea lights in mine to meet the temperature I want. These only last as long as the tea lights burn, but the natural home fragrance products can get hotter than the mug and candle warmers, thus spreading more scent. I can put a bowl or jar on top of my teapot warmer, as long as I put it somewhere that I can monitor it. I don’t like to leave candles unattended.
View on Amazon: cast iron teapot warmer
Add more hot water as needed. As the water evaporates from any of these warming bowls or jars, top it off with extra HOT water. It needs to be heated when it’s added so that it doesn’t cool down the temperature of the scented water. Higher heat = more fragrance.
Gift them! These make an interesting, unique hostess gift. Take one along to a party as a gift for your host that can be simmered and enjoyed the next day.
Reuse each mixture 2-3 times. After these have been heated and simmered for a while, the water becomes cloudy (as you can see in these DIY home fresheners below), and some of the ingredients lose their energetic color. The natural home fragrance products don’t look as pretty, but they still smell good. Usually, you can reheat and simmer these again 2-3 times. Jar them up and refrigerate them between uses. Open the DIY home fresheners and give it the sniff test–if it still smells good, reheats and reuses it. Add more water as needed.
You can save and reuse a number of scented ingredients. These scents can be inexpensive.
- Leftover ginger — If you ever cook with fresh ginger and end up with leftover pieces, this is a way to use them up. Cut the leftover ginger and freeze it in a bag or container to have on hand for whipping up a quick batch of scented water.
- Save your orange peels — When you eat an orange, save the peel for use in scented waters. Place them in the refrigerator or freezer until you need them.
- Save your juiced lemons and limes — After you’ve juiced these for use in a recipe, refrigerate or freeze the leftover pieces.
- Save your leftover herbs — If you have herbs in a yard or have leftover herbs that you’ve bought for cooking, the natural home fragrance products can be frozen and saved for use in these scented waters.
- Use expired juices. If you have fruit juices that are past their prime, use them as a foundation in place of the water in these mixtures. They’re both fragrant and bright.
- Use expired spices. Spices are supposed to be replaced after a year because they lose much of their smell. But, their scent is still good! Instead of throwing out old spices, use them for scenting water.
There are unlimited combinations for these scented waters. If you have some extra ideas, please share. I’m always looking for an up-to-date, pleasant scent for my home.
Oh, and good news . . . King-Man likes these natural scents!
All the content in this blog is the property of aninspiring. Kindly refrain from plagiarising the content of this blog.