Scenting your home for the holidays – from July 4th to Halloween to Christmas – can take the best times of the year to a special place. Making simple simmer scents is simple, and you can reuse the scents up to three times each by storing the liquid in your refrigerator between uses. Another simple idea for home scents for all seasons: Save extras from cooking and from the pantry – like citrus rinds, bits of ginger, herbs and expired juice -- for amazing, inexpensive ways to spice up your fragrances. Just toss them in a sealed bag in the freezer and pull them out to create a cozy mood in your home all year long.
Cold Weather Scents
Coming off the holiday season, you’re going to want to keep your home smelling cozy and bright. Try simmering coffee grounds and cinnamon in a low pan or slow cooker for the day. The coffee smells cozy without being overtly ho-ho-holiday, and will cover any smells you’re worried about.
When it’s still cold outside but your heart is full of love on February 14, set the Valentine’s Day mood with simmering cinnamon sticks and vanilla, or burn a cinnamon spice candle to heat things up. You also can’t go wrong with fresh rose petals for a welcome bouquet with a burst of fragrance.
Fresh flowers might not be blooming in your garden, but you can pick up hothouse spring blooms in your grocery store or home store. Roses, lilies, and gardenias are some of the most fragrant choices.
Make your home smell of spring by simmering a pot on the stove, filled about 2/3 of the way with water. Add thinly sliced lemons, a few sprigs of rosemary and a splash or two of vanilla or another springy essential oil. Your still-chilly home will smell fresh and light!
While you might associate potpourri with the colder months, this simmering home scent is ideal for the summer when you want clean, breezy scents. In a saucepan, add two sliced lemons, two sliced limes, a sliced orange and a can of pineapple juice. Add coconut or vanilla extract and simmer until the juice is cooked down.
Whether you’re overlooking the ocean or landlocked at home, having your house smell like the ocean can take you away from it all. Add sliced lemons, vanilla extract and sprigs of fresh rosemary to a simmering pan. You want to keep the water low on this scent, to let the vanilla and rosemary waft through the air – and you’ll almost feel the sea breeze on your skin.
Suddenly leaves are blowing up the sidewalk and you’re craving a fall scent for your home – how about using that jack o’ lantern? Scrape out your pumpkin like you normally would (carving and all) but make sure there are vents or holes all around to let the scent out. Then sprinkle the inside with your favorite yummy fall spice – cloves, pumpkin pie, cinnamon – and when you set a tea light in the pumpkin, it will smell fantastic.
Thanksgiving is full of food, family and fun, but all that cooking and company can leave your home smelling a little stale. Simmer a pot of water (about 2/3 full) with lemon slices, star anise, cinnamon and a dash of pumpkin pie spice. You’ll have the smell of Thanksgiving and dessert wafting through your home, even once dinner is over and everyone’s cozied up in front of the football game.
Scents of Christmas
The year is closing, Santa is coming and the house is full of cheer. Refresh the air with a Christmas-themed home scent by simmering a pot of water with orange slices, nutmeg and cinnamon. This simple scent will put the whole family in a holiday mood (and guarantee your spot on the “Nice” list).
It’s Cold Out There
Another variation on a December home scent will make you feel warm and cozy while the snow is falling. In a simmering pot of water, or in your slow cooker, mix a handful of bay leaves, some pine twigs (cedar works as well) and nutmeg. If you have a whole nutmeg, use a microplane to grate off the outside and release the scent and then toss the whole nutmeg in to simmer (or add about a teaspoon of pre-grated nutmeg if that’s what you have on hand).
Trying to find how to use Christmas fragrances in your decorations? Read our article How to Use Christmas Fragrances in Your Decorations now!