A Fragrant Home.

Look To The Garden’s Cache Of Delicious Aromas To Help Make Your Home Inviting And Cozy.

herbal heartHome fragrance has become big business, with commercials advertising everything from sprays timed to spritz every few minutes to aerosols that go directly on the fabric of your couch or carpet. You can even plug your favorite scent into the electrical outlet and enjoy the aroma as it’s fanned into the air. Unfortunately, as nice as these fragrances smell, they often contain toxic chemicals that can irritate both humans and pets-and that really stinks. Considering you inhale these substances, it makes sense to look for a more natural solution to deodorizing the home. Subtle and soft, herb-based fragrances linger gently, inviting you to breathe deeply and fully experience the space around you. Try these homemade scents for your favorite rooms. Any one of these recipes make a great gift, too.

Carpet Deodorizers

Due to their fibrous nature, carpets and area rugs capture and hold on to odor. Spills, pet stains, cooking scents, and smoke can all contribute to less-than-fresh carpet scents, especially as they accumulate over the years. Baking soda is a natural, gentle deodorizer that’s perfectly safe for use on all carpets. When enhanced with herbs and essential oils, the mixture not only removes unpleasant odors, but adds a subtle, pleasant herbal accent to your home.

Cinnamon Spice Carpet Deodorizer

1 cup baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine ingredients and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle liberally over your carpet and rugs; let sit at least 20 minutes {an hour is better}. Vacuum carpet as normal. You can easily double or quadruple this recipe and keep the mixture on hand in an airtight container. It will keep indefinitely {and you’re more likely to use it if it’s ready to go}.

Herbal Sachets

Herbal sachets are simple to make and you can place them in nearly every nook and cranny of your home. A simple blend of dried herbs placed in a muslin bag gently scents enclosed spaces such as closets, drawers, or storage tubs. Try tucking one in the bottom of your laundry basket or the glove compartment of your car.

Lavender and Cedar

This is a great mixture to use for storing woolen goods or pet beds. You can find cedar wood chips, which are used for bedding, at pet-supply stores.

1 part lavender buds

1 part cedar wood chips

Combine both in small muslin bags, and tie bags with ribbon to close.

Herb Garden

These sachets provide a simple way to use up small quantities of dried herbs or flowers. Simply combine any aromatic plants that you have on hand in small muslin bags. Look to herbs such as mint, lemon balm, lemongrass, lemon verbena, sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, roses, scented geraniums, sweetgrass, or costmary. You can also use aromatic pine needles, cedar wood chips, or spices such as cinnamon chips, clove buds, bay leaves, or allspice berries.

Scented Drawer Liners

Scented drawer liners are a wonderful way to add subtle fragrance to the storage areas of your home. Use them in drawers, linen closets, cupboards, suitcases or gym bags, or even with craft supplies such as fabric or wrapping paper. These drawer liners can even make beautiful and unusual gifts. Just look for sheets of handmade or thick-textured paper from an art supply store. Cut them into your desired size {or shape}, scent the papers with your favorite essential oils, roll the papers up, and tie them with ribbon. These aromatic papers are a great inexpensive gift that anyone can use and enjoy. Here are a few scent blends, with directions at the end.

Citrus Sunshine

This refreshing and light blend works well in any room, but especially the kitchen and bathroom.

4 drops tangerine essential oil

3 drops lemon essential oil

3 drops grapefruit essential oil

Lavender Woods

This fresh, unisex blend works wonders when you store it with woolen goods, such as sweaters, blankets, or yarn. It smells good and helps repel moths! Try it in the laundry area, as well.

5 drops atlas cedar wood essential oil

3 drops lavender essential oil

Sweet and Soft

A floral, feminine blend like this is perfect for a lingerie drawer or woman’s closet.

5 drops lavender essential oil

4 drops rosewood essential oil

1 drop ylang-ylang essential oil

Woodsy Musk

This is a delicious, deep, and earthy blend suitable for men’s closets or dresser drawers.

4 drops patchouli essential oil

4 drops cedar wood essential oil

For all recipes: You’ll need thick, heavy paper {watercolor paper, handmade paper, or cardstock}. Place the paper in a plastic airtight container with lid, put a few drops of essential oil on the paper, and close the container tightly. Set the paper aside for a few days. The oil will absorb completely into the paper, leaving no greasy trace, but scenting the paper thoroughly. The scent will fade in a few months, but you can easily refresh it by repeating the process.

potpourri makingSimmering Potpourris

Simmering potpourris are blends of dried herbs, flowers, or spices that gently simmer in water. The heat and water release the fragrance of the herbs and scent your home. This can be done on a stove-top, in a crock pot, in a specially purchased simmering potpourri pot, or on top of a wood-burning stove.

Be careful when simmering these potpourris. If you boil away all the water, the potpourri could burn. Set a timer so you can check the water every half hour or so.

Kitchen Spice

1 cup cinnamon chips

1/2 cup allspice berries

1/2 cup whole cloves

1/2 cup crushed bay leaves

1/4 cup coriander

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

1/4 – 1/2 cup dried citrus peel pieces {lemon, lime, tangerine, grapefruit, or clementine}*

Combine all ingredients; keep in an airtight container. Add a generous handful of the potpourri mix to 3 cups of water and simmer.

* Citrus rinds are easy to dry. Simply tear or cut them into 1-inch pieces, and lay them in a warm place to dry, stirring occasionally. When they’re fully desicated {they’ll feel very hard and crunchy to the touch}, store them in an airtight container until you’re ready to use them.

Old Fashioned Lavender

1 cup lavender flowers

1/2 cup crushed bay leaves

1/2 cup rose petals

1/4 cup cloves

4-5 cinnamon sticks

Combine all ingredients; keep in an airtight container. Add a generous handful of the potpourri mix to 3 cups of water; simmer. This recipe also works as a dry potpourri. Place it in a decorative bowl and it will gently perfume the air.

Lemon and Mint Herb Garden

1 part lemon balm

1 part mint {any kind}

1 part lemongrass

1 part lemon verbena

1/2 part lemon or orange peel

This simmering potpourri offers herb gardeners a crafty way to use lemon balm and mint that threatens to take over the garden! Combine all ingredients; keep in an airtight container. Add a generous handful of the potpourri mix to 3 cups of water and simmer.