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After last week’s post about creating natural home fragrances using a crockpot, I got a number of questions about whether I use essential oils for home fragrance. And the answer is, I use them often! While the crockpot provides an all-day scent experience, I like to use essential oils in many different ways. My favorite is to create simple, natural home-made air fresheners with essential oils.
Aromatherapy using essential oils has existed for more than 5,000 years, and has seen a real resurgence in popularity in the last decade in particular. Of course, essential oils have far more uses than simply making your home smell good. It would take months and hundreds of posts to really cover everything you can do with essential oils!
Choosing the Right Essential Oils
There are many brands of essential oils on the market, but not all of them are of good quality. Always make sure you purchase organic, 100% therapeutic grade, GC/MS (gas chromatography-mass spectrometry) tested and certified oils. The terms “pure”, “natural”, and “high quality” are meaningless for essential oils, so read descriptions carefully before making your purchase.
I like the brand Eden’s Garden, which I order online. It’s a woman-owned, family-operated company, and they are very thorough and transparent about their products. They stock a wide variety of single-scent oils as well as many blends, and I’ve been very pleased with the performance of every oil I have received from them.
One common method of dispersing fragrance with essential oils is with the use of a diffuser. There are many, many models on the market, and they come in many styles and materials, so you can easily find something to fit in with your decor. They may come with intermittent misters, timers, light displays, and more.
I love my diffuser and I use it often, but I still find myself making my own air fresheners using the recipes below. They are quicker and less expensive and can be easily used throughout the house.
It doesn’t get much greener than essential oils: when used correctly, they are among Mother Nature’s most potent remedies.Amy Leigh Mercree, Essential Oils Handbook: Recipes for Natural Living
Instructions for Making Home-Made Air Fresheners with Essential Oils
There are two extremely easy ways to make home fragrances with essential oils. The first is a baking soda-based blend that emits fragrance continuously, and the second is a spray to use periodically.
Personally, I like to have both a jar and a spray bottle in my kitchen, and a spray bottle in each of the bathrooms, too. And one on my nightstand. And one in my cleaning bucket. Ok, these things are just really handy and all-purpose, and generally addicting. What can I say?
Recipe #1: Continuous Air Freshener
Supplies needed: one small canning (Mason) jar, bowl, or other container that holds approx. 8 ounces (1 cup); baking soda; essential oils; a small square of cotton or cheesecloth, a rubber band, a spoon
- Place about 1/2 cup of baking soda in the container
- Add 10-12 drops of essential oil (single scent or combination of your choice)
- Stir gently with the spoon
- Add additional essential oil 3-5 drops at a time, stirring well, until desired level of fragrance is reached and the oil is well distributed throughout the soda
- Cover the opening of the jar with the cotton square and wrap it with the rubber band to hold it in place. (*This step is not required, but it helps prevent spilling, and in my opinion, the air freshener lasts longer this way.)
- Place fragrance jar in your desired location. I like to tuck it behind books, picture frames, or plants so that the fragrance can circulate easily but the jar is not especially visible.
- The fragrance will last two to three weeks. When it’s time to refresh it, just add more essential oil and give it a stir.
Recipe #2: Air Freshener Spray
Supplies: a small glass bottle (4-8 ounce) with spray top (I like these blue ones); water; vodka; essential oils
- Fill the bottle 1/3 with water and 1/3 with vodka.
- Add 10 drops of essential oil.
- Attach the spray top and give it a quick shake to blend ingredients.
- Spray several times in the air in your desired location as often as you wish.
- This spray is especially good for concealing bathroom and kitchen odors. Spray liberally.
Recipes don’t get much easier than these!
Deciding Which Oils To Use
When choosing essential oils for room fresheners, focus on the mood you wish to create. As examples, if you want:
- warm and uplifting – try lemon, sweet orange, or grapefruit, either as single oils or as a base with other scents you enjoy
- relaxing, comforting – blend lavender and vanilla
- clean, fresh – combine lavender, lemongrass, rosemary, and tea tree
- soothing, healing – chamomile,frankincense, rosemary, and wintergreen
The Most Popular Essential Oils
If you are new to essential oils, and not quite sure where to start, these are the most popular oil fragrances:
And while those are wonderful scents, there are literally hundreds of others to choose from, as well as pre-made blends.
There is no right or wrong when choosing fragrances, as long as you use quality oils and don’t make them overpowering.
Important note: some animals find essential oils irritating to their respiratory tracts. For this reason, always start by using these fresheners lightly and building up use, and never spray them directly onto a pet or pet bedding or belongings.
Eden’s Garden Essential Oils: this is a “best of the best” set, but there are many other options at Amazon.com and EdensGarden.com
Essential Oil Diffuser: This is a nice, basic diffuser at a bargain price
Vivaplex 6, Cobalt Blue, 4 oz Glass Bottles, with Black Fine Mist Sprayer : I have these, and they are the perfect size for my use. They do also come in smaller and larger sizes (and an amber color, if you are not a fan of cobalt)
Final Thoughts on Home-Made Air Fresheners with Essential Oils
Since fragrance preferences are truly personal, it’s best to start with one or two essential oils that you know you will enjoy, and take your time building up your inventory. Or try a small kit with a variety of fragrances that you can use singly or mix and match for new combinations.
You may find you prefer to use one signature scent throughout your home, vary your fragrances by room, or change it up with the seasons.