Inviting scents into your home will make surprisingly enjoyable environment for you and your guests
The aroma of freshly baked bread, the pine scent of a Christmas tree, your grandmother’s eau de toilette – all are fragrances that soothe and please us. However, we sometimes neglect our noses when decorating our homes. By subtly introducing scent into our environment and eliminating unpleasant odors we can enhance the enjoyment of our home.
When at home working or reading, it is pleasant to notice fresh air subtly laced with natural scents. Install olfactory surprises throughout your home:
• Plant odiferous perennials just outside your windows. Their scent will gently waft through your open windows on warm days, and their cuttings can brighten your table. Unusually potent plants include: French or English lavender (whose blossoms may be dried and used in flower arrangements and in potpourri), lilac, star jasmine, honeysuckle, eucalyptus, bay laurel, lemon verbena, lemon balm, gardenia and freesia.
• Bundle dried lavender with other dried flowers and hang the bundles from your curtain tiebacks, or lay on your top of your dresser top or bathroom counter.
• Make a dream pillow: Sew two handkerchiefs together, fill with dried herbs or potpourri and stitch shut.
• Spray your favorite cologne on shelf paper. When you open your drawers you’ll get a pleasant whiff.
• Place a cluster of small- to medium-sized vases brimming with fragrant blossoms, on your kitchen windowsill.
• Make your own sachets by putting two tablespoons of potpourri in the center of an antique hankie and tying with a pastel bow. Place in a linen cabinet, inside your shoes or in your sock drawer. A less dainty but highly effective sachet: Place a bar of scented soap in a thin sock. Lay it on the top shelf of your closet or under the couch in the living room.
• Place a small tray of perfume bottles or a bowl of fresh soaps on the counter in your guest bathroom.
Respect Your Guests’ Noses
Unpleasant odors can overpower your guests and make their stay uncomfortable. If you have a pet, if you smoke or if you cook meat using strong spices, it’s likely that these odors are perceptible to others. Give your house the “sniff test” – the next time you enter your home after an absence of an hour or more take a deep sniff upon re-entering. If you notice any odors, you can be sure your guests will be even more aware of them.
Smoke, pet and cooking odors cannot be successfully masked. The only solution is to clean (or remove) anything in the home that absorbs odor: carpeting, upholstery, window coverings, bedding, clothing and other fabrics. Paint and wallpaper also absorb odors.
Butt Out the Smells
If you’re a smoker and want to reduce cigarette odors:
• Smoke outside or near an open, curtainless window; don’t smoke near a linen chest, clothing closets or in bed.
• Empty ashtrays in a garbage can outside the house.
• Have carpeting and upholstered pieces cleaned every 3 to 4 months.
• Use mini-blinds instead of fabric curtains.
• Launder bedspreads often.
• Air out your house weekly, even in the winter. (Suggestion: leave all windows and a locked screen door open when you go on a walk or you are working out in your yard).
Eliminate Doggone Odors
If a canine or feline scents are making your home smell less than divine, employ these tactics:
• Have carpeting and upholstered pieces cleaned every six months, and sprinkle pet deodorizer on your carpets and furniture between professional cleanings.
• Cover sleep/nap areas with a towel or sheet; launder often.
• Bathe and groom your pets regularly.
For chefs who need to cover their tracks:
• Clean filter over fan monthly.
• Scrub drip pan in refrigerator.
• Store trash in a lidded container under sink.
• Keep recycling bins in garage.
• Change dish towels and sponges regularly and often.
• Scrub cooktop drip pans (under the heating elements) weekly.
Offer a Subtle Aromatic Experience
Remember the last time your went to the movies and got overpowered by the perfume worn by the lady sitting next to you? A too-strong fragrance can be objectionable or downright uncomfortable for sensitive visitors. To offer a subtle dimension of scent, try doing one or several of the following several hours before your guests arrive:
• Mist the guest bathroom with a pleasant perfume.
• Boil cinnamon sticks in a pan of water on your stovetop.
• Burn a scented bayberry, cedar or pine candle.
• Light incense sticks.
• Plug in a room deodorizer for 10 minutes (“plug-ins” are available at most stores).
• Daub a drop of vanilla or an essential oil on a lightbulb in the living room.
Eliminate unpleasant odors and have fun offering subtle olfactory experiences to your family and friends.
© CTW Features