You want your home to smell like the holidays during the holidays, but you don’t want to add unhealthy artificial scents or chemicals into your family’s air. So how do you eliminate lingering odors and naturally fashion the warm, inviting smell of the holidays all season long?
We’ve come up with the easiest DIY ways to make your home smell welcoming—without spending lots of money or wasting time making crafts. We’ve got the 9 best ways to keep your home smelling fresh while protecting your wallet, your time, and your air quality!
You can buy potpourri, but store-bought mixtures can sometimes smell artificial or fake. Some can even contain chemicals or allergens. If you want an organic but strong aroma, make a pot of simmering potpourri on the stove. This is especially great when hosting an event, so your entire home will smell naturally beautiful.
The best part? It’s almost impossible to do incorrectly. If you’re not crafty (like me), you can throw just about anything in the pot and create a fragrant potion in no time. This is a great way to use up your citrus rinds, browning apples, or leftover fresh spices that you didn’t use while cooking or baking. You don’t even need to spend any extra money—just throw your “leftovers” in the pot.
Put a mixture of fresh fruit and spices in a small saucepan. You’ll want to fill with enough water to submerge the ingredients. Then, put the saucepan on a low simmer. Do not let the water boil and don’t cover with a lid. As the ingredients in the saucepan heat up, they will start to release a striking scent into the air.
Some of our favorite recipes of smells:
Be sure that you watch the water while it’s on the stove. Never leave on while not in the house. Don’t let kids or pets near the stove while the potpourri is on the stove.
Pinecones are a beautiful, natural decoration for the holiday season. Add scent to these decorations for a double whammy of outdoorsy-goodness.
You can find pinecones around your yard or purchase them from a local crafts store or florist. If dirty, wash them in the sink with lukewarm water. When dry, place in a large zip-top bag.
Fill a small spray bottle with 1 ounce of water and 1 ounce of cinnamon scented oil. Spray the pinecones inside the bag until completely wet. Close the bag and shake to fill the pinecones with liquid. Repeat the process: re-spray and shake. Keep the bag closed. Set aside—for 2 days up to 2 weeks—to let the pinecones soak in the liquid.
Then, when you use the pinecones to decorate, they’ll release a pungent smell of cinnamon throughout your home. Keep in mind that pinecones are highly flammable. Keep away from fire and heat sources.
Put your favorite essential oils on your tree to add a stunning aroma to your living room.
Use a razor blade to cut small holes in the top of a 70mm glass ball ornament. Through the top of the ornament, fill the ball with 1/2 tablespoon of whole cloves, 2 broken cinnamon sticks, and 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil. Then, add in 5-15 drops of your favorite essential oils. For the holidays, we like orange, cinnamon, and peppermint oils. Tie it with ribbon or twine to hang on the tree. If the ornament loses scent over time, open the ball and add a few more drops.
Check out this clay-based essential oil ornament by Young Living as well!
Create your own aromatic garland with just an oven and some twine.
This will create dried fruit that is perfect for garland or homemade potpourri. You can even do this same dehydration process with leftover gingerbread men for a gingerbread scent.
To create a garland, you may need to punch holes in the fruit and gingerbread cookies. String together using twine. You can also place them in a bowl with cinnamon sticks for an easy, organic potpourri.
Sage lets off a healthy smell that will welcome people into your home. Place a sage wreath in entryways or bedrooms for a fresh, air-purifying scent.
Purchase a small Styrofoam wreath from a local crafts store. Pick fresh leaves off the sage branch. Group together in leaves of five or six. Use U-shaped floral pins to tack the bunches of sage to the wreath base. Have the leaves pointed downwards, so they won’t fall due to gravity. Keep pinning sage bunches until you’ve filled the entire base. Learn about the benefits of keeping houseplants here.
Pomanders have been used since the medieval ages to ward off illness, bring good fortune, and mask odors.
Peppermint not only smells like the holidays—it instantly lifts mood and reduces stress-headaches. Create your own peppermint spray with 8 ounces of distilled water and 20 drops of peppermint essential oil. Put in a spray bottle so you can spritz candy-cane freshness in the air, on the furniture, on the draperies, or even in your son’s gym bag. Plus, peppermint will help deter insects and critters during the cold winter months.
A fire is always a good way to get your home smelling like winter warmth. You can add more scent to the fire with a homemade aromatic fire starter. You place these homemade fire starters in the bottom of the fireplace between logs and light the wick (before lighting the fire). It’s like a candle for your fireplace!
Only use these fire starters in traditional fireplaces or campfires. Don’t use in gas fireplaces or wood-burning stoves. Always follow fire safety precautions, open the flue, and use a fire screen.
Baking cookies in the oven is the oldest trick in the realtor handbook. Freshly baked cookies have a fragrant, inviting smell that will instantly welcome people into your home.
You can burn organic, scented candles and put fresh greenery throughout your home for warm and enticing smells—or you can make some of our fragrant DIY scent-suppliers!
Happy holidays to you all! What are your nose-happy tips and tricks for the holiday season? Let us know in the comments below!