You walk into your neighbor’s home, and it smells incredible. While the house itself is lovely, there is something about the way it smells that is at once comforting and inspiring. Notes of lemon, sandalwood, and perhaps some nutmeg, cinnamon, or pine waft through the room. The scent is so enchanting you hasten to leave, even though you’ve only come by to borrow some sugar.
When you finally amble back home and walk through your front door, you’re met with what smells like wet dog, and perhaps, is that eggs? YOu light a candle, open a window, and try to figure out how to get your home smelling beautifully like your neighbor’s.
While scent is not exactly akin to decorating, let’s remember that we experience home with all of our senses, not just visually but physically, even aromatically! How can you make your farmhouse smell as good as it looks? Read on for a roundup of the best hacks for getting your home to smell scent-sational!
First off, remember, masking nasty odors only makes a more significant nasty odor! The key is to make sure you’re using tools and products to remove/absorb the foul smell and then natural products to create subtle appealing scents throughout the house.
Deodorize your carpets. Spilled juice, milk, or even slight remnants of Fluffy, the poodle’s last accident, can, over time, settle into your carpets or rugs and cause a persistent funky smell. Mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil with baking soda, sprinkle over the carpet, leave for 15 minutes, and then vacuum. I love baking soda because it absorbs and removes odors rather than just masking them, while the essential oil adds a subtle clean fragrance.
Deodorize your drains. You can use this trick for any drain in the house. It works exceptionally well in the kitchen, where funky food smells can build up—1/2 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup white vinegar, then flush with boiling water.
Get rid of lingering cooking odors (especially last night’s tuna steak) by bringing boiling water and slices of lemons, oranges, and white vinegar to a boil, then allow the mixture to simmer until most of the water evaporates.
Put a pound or so of activated charcoal into a porous bag and leave it hanging from or inside your kitchen trash can. It absorbs kitchen vapors, and gross trash smells very well.
Make an herbal tea room spray. Did you know that tea leaves are natural odor absorbers? Soak your favorite tea blend (use black or green tea leaves with your favorite herbal tea) in water (similar to making a small batch of sun tea) for a few hours, strain (if using loose leaf tea), and pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray it all around your home.
Get that cozy coffeehouse smell by “roasting” coffee beans in the oven. Sprinkle a handful of coffee beans on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven at 400 degrees for seven to 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave it open so the warm aroma wafts throughout the kitchen and the rest of the house.
Make stovetop potpourri! Simmer a pot of apple and orange slices with cinnamon sticks and cloves in water. Add other whole herbs like vanilla beans, rosemary, nutmeg, or anise! You can even add cranberries! Simmer on low. Add water as it begins to evaporate.
Try the vanilla citrus cake trick by putting some vanilla extract and lemon zest in a ramekin with some water, then pop it into the oven on a cookie sheet. Turn the oven to 300 and wait for the magic to happen. It will give off a lovely soft aroma of cake baking. Be sure to turn the oven down after about 30 minutes.
Diffuse essential oils. Create a signature scent with a compilation of your favorite essential oils. These provide a much more natural scent than burning a scented candle or using toxic air fresheners like Febreeze. My favorite combinations are grapefruit and rosemary, lemon and mint, and cinnamon! Play around and see what appeals to you. If you don’t own a diffuser, place 5-10 drops of the essential oils into a small pan of water and let simmer on the stove.
Fill a coffee filter or other porous bag with baking soda and about five drops of your favorite essential oil. Tie off and add these sachets to your sock drawer or other areas where you’d like a slight whiff of a pretty scent.
I’m sure you have some ideas for keeping your home sweet-smelling that we haven’t mentioned here! Please share them in the comments below!