I have what I’ve dubbed a “hound’s nose.” Depending on how you look at it, this can be a blessing or a curse. I can sniff out specific aromas as soon as I step into a business or residence. This is great when it’s a French bakery, and less pleasant when it’s, say, a cat’s litterbox. When I was pregnant, this sense was magnified. Oh, the gripes my long-suffering husband had to withstand!
The thing is, though, that my particular olfactory department is especially affected by synthetic smells. I’ve been in the car with my mother when she decided to remove her nail polish and just about had to pull the car over because of my intense reaction to her polish remover’s scent. So when it comes to fragrances in my home, I go as natural as possible. There are a number of truly wonderful room spritzers available for purchase today, but I love whipping up a bottle of my own. It’s easy to do, cost effective (once you’ve purchased some essential oils, that is) and customizable in multitudinous permutations.
For today’s Small Measures, I’m sharing three seasonally themed all-natural room-spritz blends. Now you can freshen up your space while keeping synthetic (and potentially toxic) ingredients out. And if your nose is anything like mine, this is a very, very good thing indeed! — Ashley English
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Any time I come across a bottle whose shape or general appearance appeals to me, I remove the label and squirrel it away for later use. This comes in handy when making room spritzers. All of the bottles and misters shown above were up-cycled from their previous incarnations (which include a bottle of Chinese herbs, a vanilla extract bottle and a personal fragrance bottle). If you don’t have bottles or misters on hand, you can often find both at natural foods stores or at Mountain Rose Herbs (a wonderful supplier of essential oils, also).
For each of the three blends listed here, place the essential oils in a 4- to 8-ounce jar. Add 3/4 cup of ethanol (I used vodka), and top off the bottle with distilled water. Shake, spritz and enjoy!
- 10 drops balsam fir needle essential oil
- 10 drops juniper essential oil
- 10 drops pine essential oil
- 10 drops lemon or lemongrass essential oil
- 10 drops orange or tangerine essential oil
- 10 drops grapefruit or bergamot essential oil
Sugar & Spice
- 10 drops clove or nutmeg essential oil
- 10 drops cinnamon or anise essential oil
- 10 drops vanilla essential oil
What about you? Got any natural, simple ways to freshen up a room? (Check out my post from last December on making a natural potpourri!) I’d love to hear them. With Thanksgiving nipping at our heels (next! week!) and the holiday season right around the corner, having a go-to room spritzer on hand is just what you (and your guests) could stand to have around.
Images and styling by Jen Altman