It's that time time of the year again UAE. When the summer heat descends, and despite the cool breeze that delights milder climates, our desert sun is not so kind. With temperatures soaring up to 50C how does one get rid of common odors and stale air in the home?
Commercial air fresheners and sprays contain harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances. They pose a potential health risk, possibly contributing to asthma, lung disease and even cancer. This creates the need for safe and effective alternatives.
Aromatherapy is an old practice dating back 5000 years whereby aromatic oils and extracts are used for healing and well-being. As nature's own remedy for humans, plant extracts can have a positive effect on our moods and senses. This is because the parts of our brain that regulate the olfactory region (ie. the center that controls the sense of smell) also plays a major role in regulating our emotions.
So what are some natural and easy ways to deodorize our home? We have narrowed down 9 of our favorites:
1) Invest in Essential Oils
Add a few drops of essential oil to pine cones, sea shells or dried potpourri and collect them in a beautiful bowl. Place them out in the open (a coffee table, kitchen counter or bathroom shelf). Then let the fragrance naturally diffuse into the air.
Lavendar Oil has a calming effect on the senses. Use when stress levels are high or when bedtime is near. Image: Pinterest
Alternatively, add a few drops of oil in an oil burner. Gently heat the oil and let the delicious aroma waft through your home.
2) Simmer Pots Are Our Friend
A simmer pot is a pot of water filled with herbs, spices, and/or fruits that is boiled to a simmer. Once heated, the aroma from each ingredient diffuses into the air, producing a wonderful fragrance. Once it has come to a simmer, turn off the heat. The oils and flavor will continue to diffuse into the air.
Create your own blend of citrus, herbs and spices. Image: Pinterest
Try it: add orange slices, lemon, cloves or cinnamon sticks/powder to a pot of water, then bring to a simmer. Experiment with different ingredients and create your own blend
3) Home-made Spray
Take a cue from DesignLoveFest and create your own DIY Room Spray
A spray bottle, distilled water, some alcohol and a few drops of essential oil. Combine ingredients in the bottle and shake to mix. Then spray away. Just make sure to spot test fabric and upholstery first.
5) Natural Reed Diffuser
A DIY Reed Diffuser makes it easy to keep your house smelling fresh and fragrant thanks to this recipe by Makes and Takes
Pick a pretty jar. Fill it halfway with distilled water and a carrier oil of your choice (baby oil, canola oil for eg). Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Cut 6-8 bamboo skewers to a length that is twice the height of the jar. Place skewers in the jar. Enjoy the fresh smell for weeks!
6) Fresh Flowers
Fresh blooms not only smell good, they look great too!
They look pretty, freshen up a space and smell good. Blooms are also natural air purifiers. The choice of flowers is yours. Experiment with a minimalist vase and let your blooms take center stage. Win-win.
7) Scented Candles
Concrete Candles prove that form and function can go hand in hand.
Choose soy-based wax, lead-free wicks and natural ingredients for the safest, most divine treat. This is our favourite method to disguise kitchen aromas. Candles are also great to create mood and ambiance.
8) White Vinegar
An open bowl of vinegar placed on a well ventilated surface will mask any unwanted odors. We have yet to try this, but many moms swear by this trick.
9) Get Baking
That cozy smell of freshly baked buns. Image and recipe available at Lovely Little Kitchen
A house filled with the aroma of freshly-baked goods is a warm and inviting home. If the smell isn't enough incentive, maybe the delicious treats will be. Cinnamon buns anyone?