It is, in fact, very easy to make your own DIY scents for the home — from obvious things like diffusers and sprays to herbals teas and steamy waters. The plus side to making your own scents is that you can decide just how strong and efficient you want them to be, as well as exactly how you want them to smell. And no aerosol cans necessary!

What you need to make all the recipes in this whole article, is:

  • Essential oils of your choice
  • Fruits like oranges, lemons, apples, and berries (cranberries, cherries, etc.)
  • Cinnamon sticks, ginger root, star anise and whole cloves
  • Herbs, including rosemary and mint
  • Herbal teas and ground coffee
  • Some pine cones and sprigs of pine, cedar chips
  • Flowers like lavender and roses or rose buds
  • Almond oil
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Citric acid
  • White vinegar

For the kitchen

White kitchen with colourful vegetables

The kitchen — the heart of the home — deserves to be one of the best-smelling rooms in the house as so much “crucial” time is spent there. Here are just a few recipes that you can use to make your kitchen smell like the essence of the seasons, or even like coffee cake or biscuits — yum!

  • For some classic scents, combine rosemary sprigs and slices of lemon, or lavender flowers and slices of lemon in a pot or slow cooker with four cups of water. Another variation of stove top potpourri to try for the kitchen is lemon or lime, thyme, and mint along with a few drops of tea tree oil. Replace the thyme with a few eucalyptus leaves (or a drop or two of eucalyptus oil) for those mornings when someone’s sinus seems to act up. Two birds with one stone! Simmer the mixture on a low setting and delight in the fresh smell.
  • For some faux home baking smells, you can use a number of spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and vanilla extract or a vanilla pod in four cups of water. Simmer on low heat as well. For the delightful smell of coffee cake, use coffee grounds, vanilla, and a drop of almond essence. Vanilla and almond essence on their own gives a sweet but absolutely delightful scent that brings to mind butter biscuits and other yummy cookies!
  • Greet spring with rosemary, vanilla, and lemon or vanilla and cherries and summer with coconut and vanilla stove top potpourri. For a more muted scent for the whole house, try lavender flowers, rose buds or leaves and a drop of vanilla. Get into the mood for fall with a stove top potpourri of apple slices, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and cranberries. You can also try out some orange slices and cloves — add a drop or two of vanilla if you like. Welcome winter with a mixture of cedar (either chips or the essential oil), pine cones and eucalyptus leaves. You can also make it truly smell like Christmas by simmering together some cinnamon, cloves, cranberries, pine cones, and pine sprigs.
  • Herbal teas can also be used to great effect in stove top potpourri, for instance those containing fruit and flowers, those containing green tea, and those containing rooibos and honeybush tea.
In case you want to remove less desirable scents from the kitchen you can either replace them with the ones mentioned above or any other scent that you fancy. When it comes to a foul smelling fridge, try this: First unplug and then empty the fridge, and then prepare and place a rather big bowl of steamy hot lemon water inside to work its magic. This will not only neutralize the unwanted scents but also make the walls of the fridge more easily cleaned, which should ideally be done after if optimal results are wanted.

For the bathroom

The bathroom can sometimes be difficult to keep smelling fresh, but with the right scents and some creativity, that will be a problem of the past!

  • Diffusers are an easy way to get a steady scent in a room that is not as overwhelming as an aerosol air-freshener. You can make your own diffuser by using a glass jar or small vase, some almond oil, a few drops of essential oils of your choice and some rattan sticks. Try using fresh scents like lemon and mint in the bathroom, rather than heavier scents or scents that are usually associated with food and food preparation.
  • Make your own toilet bowl bombs by mixing bicarbonate of soda, citric acid, a few drops of the essential oils of your choice, and some rubbing alcohol. Put this mixture in small moulds or ice cube trays and let them harden. On contact with the water in the toilet, they will start to fizz and clean the toilet (and leave a much better odour behind). Some of our favourite scents of the bombs include lemon, lemongrass, mint, tea tree, and balsam fir mixed with tea tree. You can also opt for lavender or rose geranium, especially if it suits the scents of your cleaning products better.
  • Your own air freshener is also easy to make — the most difficult part is deciding which scent to try first! Using rubbing alcohol, water, and the essential oils of your choice is all you need. You can even use it as a “before you go” spray. We suggest trying lavender, lavender and lemon, tea tree, and witch hazel.
Another easy trick to scent your bathroom is to put a few drops of essential oil like tea tree or even rose geranium on the inside of the cardboard of the toilet roll. It will slowly diffuse from there, leaving a delightful, but not overpowering, fragrance.

For the rest of the home

Essential oils on a small table with candles on

While stove top potpourri can scent the whole home — very good for the holiday season especially — you can also use diffusers, scented candles, and potpourri throughout your home to make it smell utterly delightful.

  • Diffusers can be made in the same way as above for the bathroom diffuser, but the essential oils can simply be changed to suit the room where it will be kept. For instance, a guest room may use lavender and rose geranium, while the study can use sandalwood oil. Mixing sandalwood and cinnamon is also a good way to get a more masculine scent.
  • Scented candles is another option to make your home smell wonderful. You can also place coffee beans, or a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, and star anise around unscented tea, votive, or pillar candles. The heat from the flame will let the scent of these ingredients escape without burning them.
  • Potpourri is very easy to make and can be as intricate or as simple as you like. From a simple bowl of rose petals and a few drops of rose essential oil, to a mixture of dried citrus, and herbs or spices, the possibilities are endless. Use essential oils to enhance or enrich the scent of the potpourri when first you make it and then every few weeks as the oils diffuse and the scent fades. Some of our favourite scents include lavender flowers, rose leaves, and vanilla pods and also dried orange slices, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, pine cones, and pine sprigs.
Experiment with all the scents you love to find the best combinations. Always start with only one or two drops and make the mixture stronger from there as it is always easier to add more oil than to take away!


The scent of a home is an important thing as you know by now. This is especially noticeable when you’ve been away the whole day and then come back to the comforts of your own home. Putting in some extra time and attention to making your home smell better is an good habit for better mental and physical wellbeing. Hopefully this article has given you some good & fun ideas to try out in your next aromatic concoction for the home!