Most people like to fragrance their homes in some way.
Commercial air freshner aerosols, plug-ins and scented paraffin candles are common.
These are generally made with a cocktail of synthetic fragrances that work well at masking unwanted odours but can be toxic to our lungs and the environment when used on a regular basis.
There is a natural alternative that is effective, affordable, beneficial and creative.
You can make your own Aromatherapy home fragrance solutions using Essential Oils.
Essential oils are concentrated botanic essences distilled or expressed from the plant. Well known examples are rose, lavender, lemon, geranium, sandalwood and rosemary.
The term “aromatherapy” is often mis-used as a commercial marketing device on many products including laundry liquid, air freshners etc but using pure essential oils in a variety of mediums will not only help you to fragrance you house naturally, you will benefit from the properties of the essential oils as you inhale them.
You can make a blend of oils with an aroma that you love that will be calming, revitalising, balancing, refreshing etc according the essential oils that you use.
Essential oils have a fragrance energy that can be ascertained by smelling them and noting what you feel. What they smell like will often be an indication of what they “do” – ie the fresh smell of Lemon is refreshing and uplifting. If you combine it with other citruses like Lime or Grapefruit you will have a zingy, reviving blend.
Peppermint and Spearmint are cooling and refreshing. Ginger and cinnamon are spicy, warming and energising. Rosemary and Pine clear the head and are revitalising. Rose and Jasmine are sweet and sensual. Frankincense and Sandalwood are sweet woody and calming.
With a bit of knowledge about the properties of essential oils you can design a blend to help change a negative atmosphere, clear unwanted odours, prevent the spread of unwanted cold and flu germs, or ease stress and tension after a hard day at work for example.
One of the most straightforward ways to use essential oils as a natural room fragrance is to put up to 10 drops of a single oil or a blend into water and heat the water with a tea-light candle in an oil burner. When the water has nearly evaporated blow out the candle. You can use an electric diffuser or similar.
Romantic blend: Sandalwood, Patchouli, Jasmine and Orange
Sleep blend: Roman Chamomile, Mandarin, Lavender, Vetiver
De-stress blend: Bergamot, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender
Another really simple solution is to make your own spritzers. You can use these as room sprays or as linen sprays.
Room sprays will need approximately 2-3% of essential oil to the base water and linen sprays approximately 1%.
I use floral waters, also known as hydrolats, as the base for my botanic room sprays but you can use Spring Water if you prefer. Hydrolats are formed naturally during the distillation of the plant material in essential oil production.
Lavender, Orange Blossom, Rose, Chamomile, Lemonbalm, Juniper, Tea Tree and many more hydrolats are available. They smell like the essential oil and have their own properties. You can simply add the required amount of essential oil that you want to use to the hydrolat, bottle in a suitable container with an atomiser and then shake and spritz for a wonderful and therapeutic fragrance without the chemicals.
You can find beautiful perfume atomisers or vintage bottles to keep your room/linen fragrance in.
Lavender water with English Lavender Essential oil is lovely for your sheets and as a pillow spray to get a good nights sleep.
Lemonbalm water with Essential oils of Lemongrass and Rosemary is fantastic in the bathroom or kitchen to clear unwanted smells.
Juniper Water with Juniper, Spanish Sage and Cedarwood essential oils is a protective blend that helps banish a negative atmosphere.
Rose Water with a few drops of Rose and Jasmine Absolutes or Geranium essential oil will make a romantic floral spray that can be used to delicately fragrance your underwear or you can wear it as a natural perfume.
Another natural home fragrance solution is to make Lavender bags to fragrance your drawers or airing cupboard and help keep the moths away. You can make simple bags, hearts to hang or simply fill a pretty organza bag.
Save Lavender when you cut it back at the end of the summer, dry it and strip or cut off the petals. You can add a few drops of Lavender Essential oil to freshen the bag if you like.
You could make bags or pouches with other natural materials such as hops or wheat and fragrance the “stuffing” with essential oil.
Cedarwood is traditional for keeping moths at bay
May Chang, Lemongrass and Lemon Eucalyptus have a lovely lemon sherbert fragrance that freshen a room and helps keep biting insects at bay.
A natural and contemporary pot pourri can be made with any dried flowers, leaves, fruits, cones, spices etc and fragranced according to the seasons.
You will need some Orris root as a fixative and essential oils for the aroma.
Fresh citrus aromas are welcome in summer
Cinnamon, cloves, orange are traditional at Christmas.
You can make your own fragranced beeswax furniture polish.
Add any essential oils you like to the polish base once it has cooled a little, before pouring into your container.
Sweet Orange, Patchouli, Pine, Lavender an Cedarwood all smell fantastic in polish or you can make a blend that you love.
You can make your own scented soy candles too. Kind to your lungs, no soot or toxins
Use sturdy glasses (these are empty nutella jars), pretty hexagonal jam jars, vintage tea cups or other suitable container.
Measure how much water the container will take leaving approximately 1cm at the top. This is how many ml/g of wax you will need.
Weigh your soy wax and melt it in a heat proof jug using a microwave or over a bain marie.
Using a suitable wick for the diameter of the container you are making, glue the wick sustainer to the bottom of the container and centre it with a wick holder, using masking tape to keep the holder in place if necessary.
You will need to cool your soy wax before adding essential oils; check with the supplier as to the correct temperature but it will often need cooling at room temperature for about half an hour or till he wax is on the verge of turning slushy and opaque. Add approximately 3% volume of essential oils to wax with a pipette and stir well before carefully pouring the wax into the container.
Allow to set until completely solid; remove the wick holder and trim the wick to about 1cm. Allow to rest for 24 hours before lighting.
I like to fragrance candles with:
Sweet Orange and Geranium
Grapefruit and Ylang Ylang
You can use any essential oils but some do seem to hold their fragrance in candles more than others. Anything that smells very intense like Patchouli, Geranium or Lemongrass will work well in a candle.
You will probably be guided by cost. It is key to let the wax cool before adding the essential otherwise they will evaporate and your candle will have a disappointing scent.
Beautiful Pot Pourri as pictured in the Lavender Organza Bag and Rose Cone are available from:
Candles, Lavender Bags, Botanic Room Fragrance Sprays and Natural Room Fragrance Kits are available from my websites: