How to Make Natural Room Scents
Fragrant items for naturally scenting your home:
- citrus -Citrus is sturdier, longer-lasting, and gives these scent recipes freshness. Lemons and oranges are particularly fragrant and have the best staying power in these scented waters.
- herbs — Any herb can be used for making a room scent, but the ones that are sturdier and on woody twigs hold up the best. My favorites for room scents are rosemary and thyme.
- pine or cedar twigs/needles — There may be other fragrant trees that will work, too; pine and cedar are the two I’ve tried for their appealing, fresh fragrance.
- extracts — A touch of vanilla or almond extract improves most room fragrance mixtures. Mint extract has a nice fresh scent. You can also use whole vanilla beans instead of vanilla extract; pricey but amazingly fragrant.
- spices — You can use ground or whole sweet spices. The whole spices look prettier, if your scented water will be in a location where it will be seen. I have found that cinnamon sticks and whole cloves have the most scent staying power. Cinnamon sticks can be rinsed off and reused several times. They keep on giving.
- Citrus, sliced — lemons, oranges, limes (may use peel only, if preferred)
- Herbs — rosemary, thyme, & bay leaves
- Spices– whole cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice (optional), anise (optional); may substitute ground/powdered spices
- Ginger (fresh or powdered)
- Extracts–vanilla, almond, mint
- Pine twigs (or other fragrant twigs)
Use a pint (2 cup) jar, container, or pot to combine scent waters. Add ingredients to container, cover with water, and choose from these options:
–simmer on stove top, topping off with more water as it evaporates
–add heated mixture to a slow cooker, fondue pot, or something similar that will keep mixture heated. Preheat waters to a boil (in microwave or on stove top). As water evaporates, always top it off with HOT water to keep the temperature as high as possible. Higher heat = more fragrance.
1. Orange, Cinnamon & Spice. 1 orange, 2 cinnamon sticks (or 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon), 1/2 tablespoon whole cloves (or 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves), 1/2 tablespoon whole allspice (or 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice), 1 anise star (optional)
This scent carries into multiple rooms better, and it can be reheated to scent your rooms for several days.
2. Lemon, Rosemary & Vanilla. 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, 2 lemons, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
3. Lime, Thyme, Mint & Vanilla. 3 limes, 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, 1/2 teaspoon mint extract, 1 teaspoon vanilla.
This combination has such a fresh, pleasant scent.
4. Orange, Ginger, & Almond. 1 orange (or peel from 2 oranges), one 4″ finger of ginger, sliced (or 1 tsp ground ginger), 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.
5. Pine, Bay Leaves, & Nutmeg. Handful of pine twigs or needles, 4 bay leaves, 1 whole nutmeg, outer layer grated into mixture.
Scented waters may be refrigerated between uses. Reuse for 2-3 days, or as long as they still have a pleasant fragrance.
These scents combine for a complex aroma. If you have whole nutmeg, use a microplane to grate off the outer surface–this will release the scent. Add the whole nutmeg piece along with the gratings.
Cost saving tips
You can save, use and reuse a number of fragrant ingredients. These scents don’t need to be expensive.
- Leftover ginger — If you ever cook with fresh ginger and end up with leftover pieces , this is a way to use them up before they spoil. Slice the leftover ginger and freeze it in a bag or container to have on hand for whipping up a quick batch of scented water.
- Save your orange peels — When you eat an orange, save the peel for use in scented waters. Store them in the refrigerator or freezer until you need them.
- Save your juiced lemons and limes — After you’ve juiced these for use in a recipe, refrigerate or freeze the leftover pieces.
- Save your leftover herbs — If you have herbs in a garden or have leftover herbs that you’ve purchased for cooking, they can be frozen and saved for use in these scented waters.
- Use expired juices. If you have fruit juices that are past their prime, use them as a base in place of the water in these mixtures. They’re both fragrant and colorful.
- Use expired spices. Spices are supposed to be replaced after a year, because they lose much of their flavor. But, they still smell good! Instead of throwing out old spices, use them for scenting water.