Get some natural air fresheners

Chuck those plug-in air fresheners and toxic room sprays. Here are some all-natural ideas that’ll make your pad smell as awesome as it looks, and kill the winter blues, too

health and fitness Updated: Jan 19, 2014 18:14 IST
Snigdha Ahuja
Snigdha Ahuja
Hindustan Times

Do you often wake up feeling sluggish and gloomy on foggy winter days? The chill in the air is not only a dampener on the spirits, but also a big buzzkill on our moods.

On your next day off from work, put your DIY skills in action to fight the winter slump. From homemade colour-delicious potpourri to indulgent fragrant oils and surprising kitchen picks to wake up the senses — rejoice as you fill your home with scented fervour. Indulge in the goodness of orange peels, ground cinnamon, cloves, peppermint and all things spicy n’ sweet for natural, homemade and fragrant simmers. Not only are your concoctions fit for scented goodness, but they also double up as decoratives.

So fill up your vanilla potpourri in open mason jars or DIY by pouring them out in jam jars fastened with gingham cloth. You can also put essential oils on display by putting them in glass reed diffuser bottles, and scented candles on precious holders.

Warm and refreshing oils

Remember your mother telling you to slather a big dose of heated almond oil, when you were a kid, after a warm shower in the winter? The way your body needs something to wake itself up and combat the dreary chill, your house also deserves a stimulator to help energise your senses. "Body temperature plays a great role in combating lethargy in winter. Orange oil, lemongrass and rosemary oil are perfect for cold days as they not only keep your body warm but also uplift your mood. Cinnamon and cardamom are also stimulants," says Naresh Arora, aromatherapist. "Essential oils such as lavender and lemon can be used effectively as natural air fragrances. Add 2-3 drops of any of these essential oils in a diffuser," suggest beauty and aromatherapy expert Blossom Kochhar.

DIY home spray essential oils through small reed diffuser bottles or mini spray containers. Take 1/4 cup of vodka and fill the rest with water. To the mix, add 15 drops of rosemary oil, 30 drops of orange/citrus oil and a few drops of cinnamon essence oil and mix together for a fragrant spray. Experiment with the ingredient oils and the amount you put in if you can’t get the favoured scent at the first go.

Floral bliss

Make your own potpourri (A mix of dried flowers with preservatives) rather than buying a sealed pack off the supermart. Here are some simple steps:

1. The first step is to choose your flowers. Roses are a popular choice and by mixing pink, red and whites together, you can get a soulful mix.

2. Collect rose petals of the three colours and for measuring purposes, put them in different bowls. Spread on a large tray and keep in dry place.

3. When the petals have dried (before they start wilting and withering away) get them together in a bowl and add a fixative. You can use orris root powder or kevra or any other fixative such as nutmeg and ground cinnamon.

4. Mix all the ingredients together. You can also throw in toasted pinecones, vanilla pods, acorns and dried spices. Now, add a few drops of scented oil, rose or lavender to the mix.

5. Seal the mix in a paper bag or an air-tight bag. Put in a dry, warm place. Give 10-15 days for the ingredients to come together. Place the fragrant mix in pretty glass jars, tins or saucers and bring in some breezy warmth to your house.

Quick and fragrant

Add some sweet-smelling inspiration to your living room by just digging into your kitchen shelves.

Tea bags

A drawstring flavoured tea bag, maybe a spiced or floral flavoured variety, additionally soaked in a fragrant essential oil can help freshen up smaller spaces.

DIY scented candlesMelt the top of a candle and pour it into a little tealight container. Now add a mix of essential oils. Make sure the oils you use are resistant to high temperatures.

Orange peels and cloves

Boil orange peels and whole cloves together for a fragrant mix. Store in an open jar. You can add a bit of powdered ­cinnamon for a spicy touch.

Coffee beans or ground coffee

Use whole coffee beans or ground coffee to combat damp smell in closed spaces. Fill an old sock or a cloth bag with them and store in a dry enclosed space for some freshness.

First Published: Jan 19, 2014 17:55 IST