There are so many things that can make a home smell bad that I break out in a nervous sweat just thinking about it. Dustbins, cat litter, smoke, food smells, bathroom smells – it’s basically a war zone in here. Luckily I’m borderline obsessive about having a good-smelling spot, so here are my favourite home fragrance tips.
1. Open the doors and windows
It should be obvious, but apparently it’s not the case with everyone. I despise walking into a home that smells stale and/or musty, and everything else that’s been hanging around in there. I grew up in a home where the adults smoked inside, yet our house never smelt bad because the doors and windows were always open. Whatever your reasoning is for keeping everything shut tight, rethink them and see if you can find an alternate solution because honestly, nothing beats fresh air.
2. An air purifier
Air purifiers are promoted for all kinds of benefits including reducing pollen and dust in the air, but I honestly can’t tell if it does that – I purely have mine because it makes my entire living area smell good. You use it with water and a squirt of concentrated solution – I use either the Kitz or Perfect Aire brands and I prefer the fresher, cleaner smells like Apple and Green Tea.
An added bonus is that it makes a soothing swishy sound which is the perfect white noise. Just check when you buy the actual purifier as a lot of them have LED lights in different colours which I didn’t like. I eventually found one with no lights – it boils down to personal preference, naturally.
I’m not 100% sure if it’s the same as mine but there’s a very similar one by Crystal Aire here for R476.
3. An electric burner
Few things are more soothing than having essential oils waft through your house all day, but keeping tealight candles alive for more than three hours at a time is a full time job. I gave up years ago and started using electric burners – I have one upstairs and one downstairs and they’re amazing. I use wax melts in them, which are solid pieces of scented wax that are placed in the bowl instead of water/crystals and oil. Since there’s no fire hazard like with a candle I even leave it on if I go out for a couple of hours – it’s pretty amazing to unlock your door and walk into a heavenly-smelling apartment.
My mom brought me a big box of the most amazing papaya-scented wax melts from Elumé, but they’re not available in SA so I’m savouring them (see it here though). I sometimes use wax melts from Kringle Candles, Village Candles or Yankee Candles (get them online here) but most of the time I prefer to use pure aromatherapy soy wax melts (get those here). I figure that because I burn them for long periods, the purer the stuff I’m breathing in, the better.
Electric burner for R250 here.
Oh how I love a good candle. I need no occasion to burn candles, and I seldom burn only one at a time. I like Yankee Candles (Fluffy Towels and Pinks Sands are two of my favourites, but I have a LOT of favourites), Village Candles (although my last two were a bit disappointing so I’m not sure if I’ll buy them again), SOiL candles, and I most recently bought myself the most glorious Charlotte Rhys candle (it’s over here, I chose No 17).
Aside from fragrancing my space, I find burning candles very soothing and relaxing, and I’ve noticed guests always pick up on this too. My candle habit is pretty expensive so I recently made my first batch of soy candles and it went ok – I’ll definitely do it again now that I’ve got the trial run out of the way. I followed Tori’s tutorial, which you can find over here.
5. Linen spray
It’s been years since I’ve had aerosol room spray in my home. I doubt that it’s particularly good for us, and last time I checked it just made everything smell like the loo. Instead I spritz linen spray onto curtains, bedding and even scatter cushions when I feel the urge. I love Mercer & Reid, which is an Australian brand my family mules back and forth for me on visits, and I also like a couple of variants from Rain Africa – Savannah is by far my favourite (get it here). I’ve also used their burner oil in my electric burner -it’s equally great, by the way.
6. Essential oils
On loose mats, on a cloth when you wipe down counters, to top up melts in the electric burner. All day, everyday.
If you have a good home fragrance tip, please share it with us in the comments!