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This DIY Home Fragrance Makes Scents

Fish. Bacon. Broccoli. While the savory smells are wafting from the stove you salivate over the anticipation of your first bite. But once the dishes have been washed and you’re post-food coma, the once incredible smells become — well, stinky. The other night, I slow-cooked a delicious spicy chili. I thought for sure the kitchen walls would somehow soak up the peppery stench and by morning it would be back to its fresh and clean state, but holy jalapeno — it still reeked of last night’s dinner!

I figured, if cooking is what got me into this stinky mess, then cooking was going to get me out of it. I thought about the rich, fragrant apple cider my mom makes during the holidays. It makes the whole house smell unbelievably warm and festive. I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand, but I did have some vanilla extract, cinnamon sticks and cloves in the pantry. I had to get ready for the day and didn’t have time to monitor an open flame on the stove, so I put the ingredients in my slow cooker instead. I added 2 cups of water, 3 cinnamon sticks, 2 capfuls of vanilla extract and turned it on its lowest setting. In no time at all my home smelled sweet, warm and inviting. Not a trace of chili leftovers lingered in the air.

The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of making my own all-natural home fragrances on a regular basis. It sure beats chemical based sprays or short lived (and really pungent) plug-ins. Candles are beautiful, but you can’t leave them unsupervised while they’re working.

I started coming up with ideas for other combinations to try out which included citrus peels from lemons or oranges, essential oils of lavender, rose or almond, spices like rosemary, thyme and so on.

Are you guys into this? What combinations will you try first?

Julianne Hough
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Julianne Hough

Julianne Hough is just trying to be a nice person who dances as often as possible, usually in public. She recently wifed up to NHL star Brooks Laich and is the proud dog-mom of two pups, Lexi & Harley (they’re the real brains behind everything).
Julianne Hough
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Latest posts by Julianne Hough

  • Cindy Griffin Elder

    Jules, I LOVE the picture you posted. I am looking for one like that to use for the cover of my Mom’s book – titled “No side Effects; the Return to Herbal Medicine” Do you own the pic or is it just random off the internet? Also I love the idea of making your own natural fragrances. And for those times that you don’t have time I found a wonderful natural spray that is called Pure Citrus and that is all that is in it – 100% fragrant oils found in oranges.

  • Nouhad El-Dirani

    Candles are pretty great, but i love using natural ingredients to make my place smell good! My favorite recipe is oranges, fresh cranberries, and cinnamon. Yummy!

  • Stacie Baker Hathaway

    I would love some recipes!!

  • Christina

    Great idea! This would work for me because every time I try to light a candle, my little boy wants to blow it out since he loves blowing out birthday candles. haha Apples and Cinnamon smell amazing to me. I love all things fruity. 🙂

  • Kasey K.

    If you like that, try this: 2 lemons cut into slices, fresh rosemary sprigs and a little vanilla extract. It smells amazing for spring/summertime and it’s the smell of Williams Sonoma! You won’t regret it!

  • Oooh slow cooker! That is such a great idea! Did you leave the lid off? Is that a dumb question? haha. I love simmering scents like this on the stove, but this unsupervised option is so smart. Thank you!

  • Mardi_ Jane

    Place bowls of water and vinegar around while you are cooking and it will soak up the smell! Also works for smelly cigarette smoke.

  • Amelia Cremer

    My aunt got me into essential oils, so I’ll have to try this! Thanks for the advice!

  • Tricia

    I am staying with a friend for the week. My life is forever changed. She gave me a bottle of eucalyptus oil and a bottle of lavender oil. I put three drops of eucalyptus oil in the shower before I get in and I spray my pillow with lavender oil before I go to sleep. Two very minor changes and they bring so much joy to my life! It’s the little things ( : She also makes a room spray that consists of eucalyptus, lavender, and sweet orange. Not only do I enjoy the fragrance, but I don’t feel like I’m inhaling toxins and the sprays are made with love. Doesn’t get much better than that.

  • Keeona Stewart

    Using natural oils and scents is what I’m going for instead of using harmful, toxic spray cans! I love using lavender sometimes. But my ultimate combinations are vanilla, cinnamon and ginger.