There are many harmful ingredients in artificial air fresheners. Particularly they are hard on people with asthma, hay fever and allergies.
Fragrant items for naturally scenting your home:
- citrus - 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. Use rosemary and thyme.
- pine or cedar twigs/needles -- There may be other fragrant trees that will work, too; pine and cedar have the most 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. 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.
Recipies:Scent #1: Oranges, cinnamon & cloves (allspice and anise are optional). This scent carries into multiple rooms better, and it can be reheated to scent your rooms for several days.
Scent #2: Lemon, rosemary, & vanilla. It has a lovely freshness to it.
Scent #3: Lime, thyme, mint & vanilla extract. This combination has such a fresh, pleasant scent. Mint is optional.
Scent #4: Orange, ginger (fresh or powdered), and almond extract. This is a sweet, delicious scent.
Scent # 5: Pine or cedar twigs (or other fragrant twigs), bay leaves, and nutmeg. 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.
Stove Top Method:
It's easy as can be. Simply combine the ingredients in a pot on the stove, bring them to a boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer. They will immediately begin to scent your kitchen and spread to other rooms. How far the scent spreads depends on the size and layout of your house. A simmering pot like this makes all four rooms on our first floor smell good. The only drawback of this method is that you have to keep a close eye on the water level. If the pan dries out, you'll be smelling burned citrus instead of sweet, fragrant citrus. NOTE: For a stronger scent, simply double or triple the recipe in a larger pot on the stove.
Uncovered Slow Cooker Method:Use a mini slow cooker--the kind made for keeping dips and sauces warm. Some have only one low heat setting. The mixture never actually bubbles and visibly steams. Leave it uncovered on your kitchen counter to slowly release scent throughout the day. It's subtle, but creates a pleasant smell in your kitchen and a hint of scent in surrounding rooms. It's easy and uses very little electricity. Fill in the morning; it won't dry out for an entire day. If you're concerned about accidentally letting it run dry, you can put a lamp timer on it so that it automatically shuts off at the desired time. Put a scented jar mixture in the microwave for 2 minutes to get it really hot before adding it to the slow cooker. That gives it a jump start on releasing the scent. NOTE: For a stronger scent, simply double or triple the recipe in a larger, full-size slow cooker and set it on high.
Fondue Pot Method:
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