Every home has a smell, for better or worse. Growing up, my neighbors' house always had the distinct aroma of a rich, simmering tomato sauce. The delicious smell was always there, welcoming me before I rang their bell and occasionally wafting in through an open kitchen window on a warm day. Whenever I smell sauce simmering, I'm transported back to sweet memories of my Brooklyn childhood.
Sometimes a home can take on a smell we like and sometimes not so much. Culprits like a beloved pet, a neighbor's cigarette smoke, pungent food or stale air can be unpleasant on the olfactory sense. The good news, freshening up the smell of your home can be simple and natural.
Here are our 7 favorite ways to refresh the air at home:
- Aerate. Open a few windows or a door to let fresh air in.
- Place activated charcoal, a natural air purifier, around the home. Binchotan charcoal absorbs odors, moisture and some allergens. Charcoal is easily recharged with a few hours of direct sunlight to stay effective for months.
- Keep plants. Many are beautiful and some even help absorb everything from CO2 to formaldehyde according to NASA. If your thumb isn't quite green, try fresh cut flowers or eucalyptus cuttings.
- Light a candle. Candles can help burn off smells or lend a scent to your home. Try a beeswax option made with natural fragrance.
- Diffuse essential oils. Diffusers can add a subtle, pleasant smell to any room. Choose essential oils like grapefruit, ginger or eucalyptus which not only help purify air but also promise a boost in mood. Always choose natural. Skip synthetic oils.
- Make your own air freshener. Skip store bought chemical-laden sprays. A little water, alcohol and essential oil is all you need to make a customized spray. Spray liberally in the air or on sofas, curtains and rugs.
- Smudge with sage. Burning sage not only alters the smell of a room but also improves air quality by killing harmful airborne bacteria. Amazingly, the effect lasts for hours, often into the next day.
Smell has the ability to comfort so fill your home with a scent that welcomes and calms you. Set sweet new memories with a fresher smelling home.
(Image courtesy of Jeffrey Wegrzyn)