Home Scents

When a visitor walks in your front door, not only will they see your decorating skill, they'll notice your home's scent. What will it be?

First impressions mean a lot. When a visitor walks in your front door, not only will they see your decorating skill, they'll notice your home's scent. What will it be? The aroma of delicious food in the kitchen, or a leftover fish or onion smell? Will they breathe in the pine scented cleaner you used when you mopped the floor, or a can of garbage that needs to be emptied? Is the cat's litter box clean? A home's scent can also influence the comfort and mood of the family within. Here are a few ideas to make it a pleasant one.

There are many products on the market to keep your home smelling nice. Air fresheners come in solid or spray form, and some products plug into an electric outlet to disperse scent. You can choose between the cozy aroma of pine and spices or floral blends. Spray as needed, or place the solid fresheners strategically and replace as needed. A new product heats scented oil, with a sliding control to determine how much scent is released. Be careful with these products, however. Some may be toxic, or trigger allergies. When you use a commercial air freshener, you are introducing chemicals into the home environment. Do not spray air freshener around food or beverages, and avoid the use of these products around small children.

When choosing a product, consider the reason for its use. Will you be masking an unpleasant smell, eliminating the odor, or simply adding a nice scent to the home? If there's a bad smell to be hidden, adding additional scent rarely solves the problem. Work on eliminating the odor before introducing additional products to hide it. This might mean storing a trash container behind a door, keeping pet areas fastidiously clean, or using baking soda to absorb odors. Clean carpets often, not only to eliminate stains, but also to keep away bad smells. Forbid smoking in your home - not only does it smell bad, it's unhealthy for everyone. Wash curtains and draperies, and avoid materials that collect moisture and create a musty smell.

If you simply want to make the room smell nice, decide what mood you're trying to create. Do you want a cheerful, clean environment? Choose scents such as citrus, mint, or pine (the scent of a well-known cleanser). If you want to create a romantic environment, choose scents such as jasmine, gardenia, sandalwood, or rose. For a cozy winter environment, choose cinnamon, apple, berry, and pine. Some scents encourage activity and alertness, while others help people relax and unwind.

Candles are a great way to introduce scent into the home. Not only do they smell wonderful, they also create a lovely glow and add to the room's visual appeal. Take care, however, not to burn candles near curtains or drapes. Place them in containers made for that purpose, and don't let them burn too long at one time. Some candles may contain toxins in their wicks, so they shouldn't be burned without proper air circulation. There are candle companies that advertise "healthy" wicks, with many wonderful scents to choose from.

You can purchase potpourri burners, which heat a small container of water and dried materials to scent the room. Some are heated by a tea candle, some by electricity. Be careful not to let all of the water evaporate, or the container may crack and possibly ignite. Many of these can also be used with scented wax chips, and similar safety measures apply. You can also try simply leaving a dish of potpourri or wax chips in a dish, but that's usually not enough to add enough scent unless the room is very small, such as a bathroom or closet.

If there is a specific occasion for which you want to add a cozy scent to your home, try simmering a small pot of apples, cloves, and cinnamon sticks on the stove. Or bake a batch of cookies, an apple pie, cinnamon rolls, or other aromatic food. This trick works particularly well for selling a house. Cook the food or simmer the pot on the stove about an hour before the house will be shown, or before an open house is to begin. You might even leave the plate of fresh cookies on the counter for prospective buyers to nibble.

Making your home smell nice does not have to be complicated or expensive. It can be a simple matter of eliminating bad odors or using good smelling cleaning products. Candles and air fresheners are quite effective in creating the desired mood, though care should be taken in their use. Simmering a pot of aromatic herbs or fruit can fill the home with a wonderful aroma. Decide what mood you're going for, and please your sense of scents.

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