Savor Natural Scents at Home
Bread fresh from the oven, luscious lavender, just-mown grass ... the loveliest fragrances for the home are also the most natural
Houzz Contributor. You can also find me on Lolalina (http://www.lolalina.com/), my blog devoted to all of the things that make a house a home - decorating from the heart, living with intention, and savoring life's simple pleasures.
They say that scent is the sense most closely tied to memory, which explains why that whiff of lilac brings you back to your wedding day or the smell of wet dog calls up memories of childhood summers. From the moment you walk in the door, your home greets you with a highly individual profile of scents, and if you have been relying on artificially scented products, it's time for an upgrade. Join me as we go back to the basics with these easy-to-implement ideas that will make your home smell absolutely divine.
A fresh breeze. Fling open all the windows on a sunny, breezy morning to give your home a fresh spring scent. Want to get an even greater benefit from the fresh air? String up a laundry line outside and let your sheets and towels dry in the sun.
Clean laundry. Speaking of laundry, is your laundry soap doing the trick? So many detergents on the market are formulated with overly strong artificial fragrances. Once you give a natural brand a try, you won't want to go back.
Lavender-scented sheets. Lavender is said to promote relaxation and sleep, so why not use some to scent your bedding? You could use a purchased linen spray, mix up your own with an essential oil blend or place a few lavender sachets between the sheets during the day. Real linen or other natural-fiber sheets will hold the scent best and feel delicious to boot.
A posy of cut flowers. Sometimes we bring in big bouquets for the more public areas of our homes but neglect the private zones, where we will really appreciate them. The next time you buy flowers, try trimming down a few blooms to pop in a bud vase on your nightstand or by the bathroom sink.
A big hunk of French soap. There is nothing like real Marseille or Provence soap milled in the traditional way and scented with real essential oils. Plus, the great big cube looks so appealing sinkside, it's hard to resist.
Potted herbs. Culinary herbs are great to have on hand for more than cooking; these fragrant plants will add a delicious aroma to the room anytime you brush by.
Clean-burning candles. In amazingly real scents like fresh-cut grass and green clover, these candles from Canvas will add an appealingly fresh note to any room. Even if you are not wild about most scented candles, these may just win you over.
A luxury indulgence. On the other end of the scent spectrum, luxury brand Diptyque has a cult following for its sophisticated perfumed products. The 34 Boulevard St. Germain candle sounds amazing, with notes of "damp mosses" and "crumpled blackcurrant leaves" in wax poured into a gorgeous handmade porcelain jar. Scented drawer liners or a scent diffuser would be great indulgences as well.
Baking bread. Is there anything more comforting than the aroma of baked goods wafting from the oven? If baking from scratch has you flummoxed, don't let that stop you from savoring this pleasure. Try brushing ready-to-bake pizza dough with olive oil and sprinkling it with rosemary and flaky sea salt for a semihomemade take on focaccia that will make your house smell amazing.
Beeswax candles. Subtly enhance your dining room and kitchen with the natural scent of real beeswax candles. While scented candles are wonderful in other areas of the home, unscented versions provide a warm yet unobtrusive backdrop during dinner.
Old books. You don't need to turn your home into an antiquarian bookshop to enjoy that old-book smell. Try using a spare table as an impromptu library, filling it with stacks from your collection. When you pass by, you will be tempted to pause and leaf through your favorites.
Fragrant Meyer lemons. Is there anything more refreshing than the sweet-tart scent of Meyer lemons? Having a small tree indoors works well as long as you have a sunny window. For an even easier option, scoop up an armful of Meyer lemons at the market and leave them out in a bowl. (Ones with the leaves attached will be even more fragrant.)
Good cleaning products. Natural cleaning products like Mrs. Meyer's (shown here) smell fantastic — and leave your home smelling fabulous too. If you are new to natural products, try picking up a bottle of the all-purpose cleanser; you can dilute it to make a countertop spray or use it to mop your floors.
Polished wood. Go back to the basics with a product like Murphy's Oil Soap or a beeswax-based floor polish to give your home that good, clean church-pew smell and make the wood gleam.
Ideabook published on May 28, 2012.
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