Want to make your home smell more inviting when guests are coming over? Or maybe you want to feel cocooned when you’re at home in your sanctuary. Here are 7 ways you can make your home smell so good you may not want to leave again!
1. Potpourri (traditional)
With a bit of creativity, you can conjure up potpourri that will put those in the shops to shame. Here are just a few recipes you can follow and tweak depending on the time of year and your mood.
When making potpourri, think of spices, herbs, citrus, and flowers and the kind of emotion that you want to evoke through the scent. Perhaps you want to relax, in which case lavender and vanilla pods potpourri (scrape the vanilla seeds out and put them into your white or brown sugar to make vanilla sugar for your tea and coffee — yum!) is simply perfect.
- If you want a more woody scent for the living area or study, opt for cedar wood chips, roughly broken cinnamon sticks, pine cones, and a few whole cloves.
- Of course, traditional is always good with a twist — use dried rose petals or rosebuds, cornflowers, and a roughly broken cinnamon stick for a true trip down memory lane. You can always add a drop (two at the most) of rose essential oil if the room is large.
- Create a fresh, springtime scent by combining citrus, lavender, rosemary, and a few drops of eucalyptus oil or some eucalyptus leaves.
- You can also take the flowers from a special bouquet, dry them completely (otherwise they will go mouldy) and use that as your potpourri. Add a few drops of lavender, rosemary, or rose geranium, etc. essential oil to bring out your favourite scent.
- If the winter holidays are approaching, a blend of citrus, dried cranberries, pine cones, broken cinnamon sticks, and a few star anise and whole cloves will set the scene.
2. Stovetop potpourri
Stovetop potpourri is a mixture of ingredients, heated on very low heat or in a crock pot/slow cooker to release their scents into the air. What’s great about these is that you can also use fresh ingredients in your mixtures and don’t have to wait for anything to dry out.
Here are some of our favourite stovetop potpourri recipes:
- For a fresh kitchen, combine rosemary and lemon or lavender and lemon. Only have lemon essential oil? No need to worry – use a few drops in the water. The same can be done for the other ingredients.
- If you want the smell of spicy biscuits, but don’t have time to bake, use citrus, star anise, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Divine!
- Another fresh scent can be created by mixing citrus, thyme, mint, and a drop or two of tea tree oil.
- Classic scents include cinnamon and vanilla (you can use a vanilla pod with the seeds scraped out) or cinnamon and almond. Then, for coffee lovers, there’s coffee beans or coffee grounds and cinnamon sticks. Add some cacao powder for chocolaty undertones or a vanilla pod (or a drop or two of vanilla extract).
- Fall stove top potpourri can be made by mixing and boiling apple slices, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, dried cranberries, and one star anise.
- A woody scent can be created by mixing cedar chips or cedar essential oil, a few pine cones, and one or two eucalyptus leaves. (Add more eucalyptus if you’re suffering from a cold to help clear your airways.)
3. Candles and more candles
Scented candles are always a winner when it comes to setting a mood. But candles needn’t be just for romantic nights in or the odd soak in a long bubble bath. Create scents that you can use every day or even change as often as the fancy takes you.
Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
Tea lights or votive candles
Tea lights and their larger cousins, votive candles, are perfect to use when you want to make a room smell wonderful because you can use them in so many different types of holders. (Safety tip: for most of these ideas, however, make sure that the pine cones, etc. cannot catch on fire while the candle is burning!)
Place your tea light or votive in a glass holder within a bowl or deep plate. Around the glass, place coffee beans, lavender flowers, herbs, or cinnamon sticks. The heat from the candle will release the scents into the air. Use lightly scented or unscented soy or beeswax candles for the best results.
Tall candles made from rolled beeswax sheets are – and smells – heavenly. The yellowish colour of the wax also gives a rustic look that you can pair with some cinnamon sticks, etc. to give off an even better and richer scent.
4. Diffusers and Essential Oils
Diffusers and essential oils are a good way to scent your home without having an open flame as you do with a tea light or other candle.
While diffusers are found in most shops where homeware is sold, you can also make your own diffuser with a scent to suit your taste. All you need is some almond oil, rubbing alcohol, and a few drops of your favourite mix of essential oils.
Here’s an article about using essential oils throughout your home.
5. Light some incense
The aromatic smoke of incense is closely related to religious practices, but are not only used in ceremonies. In the home they can be used during meditation or simply as an aid to make the home smell good; with no extra meaning prescribed to the type of incense used.
If you are not used to incense, rather start off with a simple scent like vanilla, rosemary or rose before moving on to more intricate scents like frankincense.
Looking for some meditative incense holders? We also wrote an article on that.
6. Plants or cut flowers
Whether it’s roses, tulips and chrysanthemums, or peace lilies and succulents, we all have our favourite plants, many of which can be kept indoors.
If you have an event, for instance, a dinner party, coming up, you may want to get a bouquet or two of sweet-smelling cut flowers that you can use and then later turn into dry potpourri.
A windowsill herb garden in the kitchen can also lend its fragrance to your kitchen without much trouble on your side!
7. Bake some cookies
Few things make the home smell as good as freshly baked cookies. To top it off, you then also have some treats for your guests coming over! Here are some of our best cookie recipes to make your home smell heavenly:
- 9 tablespoons butter, softened
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Beat margarine and brown sugar until fluffy in large bowl; mix in molasses and egg. Mix in combined flour, baking soda, spices, dry mustard, and pepper. Refrigerate, covered, 2 to 3 hours.
- Measure granulated sugar into a pie pan or shallow bowl. Drop dough by tsp fulls into sugar and roll into balls (dough will be sticky). Place cookies on greased cookie sheets; flatten with fork or bottom of a glass. Bake at 350 degrees F until firm to touch, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
Vegan Lemon Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup turbinado sugar (also called raw sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 Zest of half a large lemon (more if you prefer)
- 1/2 Juice from half a large lemon
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/4 cup applesauce mixed with ½ teaspoon baking powder (used as egg replacement)
- Extra sugar to coat cookies before baking
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients and sift.
- In a small bowl, mix the applesauce and baking powder.
- Mix the remaining wet ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and add the applesauce mixture to it. Stir well.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, a little at a time until combined.
- Form the dough into a large ball.
- Add about 1/4 cup sugar (add more as needed) into a shallow bowl.
- Form small balls from the dough, about 1-1/2-inch in diameter. Roll the cookies in the sugar to coat.
- Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten them a little with your fingers.
- Bake for 7-9 minutes
Talk about different ways of making your home smell better. If you thought that spraying your rooms with your favorite perfume was the only way to infuse your home with a nice scent, well then hopefully you just learned a couple new things you can do when it comes to creating a lovely smell.
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