Smell is important. As any aromatherapist will tell you, what we smell can have a major impact on what we feel. Humans have always used a variety of methods to create welcoming, pleasing aromas, but with the rise of shop-bought, mass-produced air fresheners has come the loss of many traditional room-scenting techniques.
Today we’ll be taking a look at some traditional fragrancing techniques and discovering ways of creating the perfect atmosphere without relying on industrial chemicals.
Before you add your own scents to the air, you’ll want to find a way to filter and clean the air in your home. Many people choose to use air conditioners or purifiers, many of which can use huge amounts of energy. So what can you do to clean your air without increasing your carbon footprint?
In short: plants. Fill your home with plants, especially broad-leafed green plants, which will clean your air through the natural process of respiration, in which excess CO2 is converted to oxygen. Peace lilies are particularly effective as air-cleaners, as are ferns and other fronded plants. Check out this TED talk by botanist Kamal Meattle for more information n how to, as he puts it, ‘grow your own air.’
So now your air is clean, it’s time to decide on your chosen fragrance. Many herbs and spices can be boiled in water to release their aromas. This is especially effective with cinnamon, cloves and rosemary. Try wrapping a bundle of your favourite plants and herbs in muslin and boiling in water for ten minutes? Not only does this release the aromas directly into the air, but the resulting fragranced water can be used as a green alternative to laundry refreshing sprays, and is great for de-odorising curtains and upholstery.
If you need to cover up a bad smell in a hurry, it can be tempting to reach for a spray bottle of chemical deodoriser, but if you’re keen to lower your cehmical usage, why not try using baking soda? Simply sprinkle baking soda on stains or spills and it will absorb the smelly particles, allowing you to re-fragrance the air gently.
Baking soda is also the best way to keep your carpets clean and odour-free. Just sprinkle it over the carpet, leave for half an hour, then vacuum it up, and you’ll be left with a fresh-smelling carpet.
Considering how effective these natural methods can be, there really is no need to spend money on chemical air fresheners and deodorisers. As usual, we love hearing from you, so if you’ve got any of your own natural home fragrancing tips, please let us know in the comments!