As we begin to spend more time indoors, it’s tempting to light a scented candle or use air freshener to rid your home of stale air. But most conventional products—and even a few products labeled “natural”—contain undesirable ingredients, including synthetic fragrances and additives that can even be more harmful to our health when heated. So here are two great alternatives to keep your home smelling fresh this fall and winter.
1. Place a couple of tablespoons of vanilla (and a few dashes of cinnamon, if desired) in an oven-safe ramekin and place the ramekin in an oven heated to 300˚ F. The vanilla scent should linger for at least an hour, but check on the ramekin every 15 minutes or so the first time you try this so you’ll get a better idea of how long the vanilla will last in your particular oven. You can also put apple cider and a cinnamon stick in a pan and set it on the stove burner to a slow simmer.
2. Shake several drops of your favorite essential oil (lavender, mint, vanilla, lemon, orange, etc.) into the dish atop an aromatherapy lamp. Be sure to fill the dish with water first, before adding the oil. This aromatherapy method works best when you use a lamp that operates with a light bulb instead of a votive candle.
Photos by Kuleczka, Amawasri Pakdara