Fall is literally just around the corner. If you want to give your home a distinct fall scent, skip the chemical pumpkin spice air fresheners and make your own green air fresheners: potpourri.
Air Fresheners vs. Potpourri
Despite their name, typical air fresheners do not “freshen” the air. Their primary function is to mask odors and this does nothing to reduce indoor air pollution or make the air quality “fresher.” According to the EPA Blog, some of these chemical air fresheners have volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde and petroleum distillates. These air fresheners can irritate the eyes, skin, and throat. You can skip all of these problems by filling your home with plants and homemade potpourri. The indoor plants will absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, and the homemade potpourri will fill your home with a sweet scent.
Classic fall scents include oranges, apples, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and bay leaves. You can make your own potpourri by drying these natural ingredients and adding some essential oils to the mix. If you’re interested check out the potpourri projects listed below.
Apple Spice Potpourri
This recipe has a lot of the classic fall elements: dried apple slices, cinnamon sticks, grated nutmeg, whole cloves, julienne orange peel, and vanilla essential oil. However, this potpourri also calls for other additions including carnation petals and dried sweet wood ruff leaves. This natural air freshener is quite easy to make. You can find the instructions here.
Dried Orange Garland
This potpourri project is part air freshener, part fall home accessory. You can hang your potpourri garland from the fireplace mantel or around a door or window frame. This project from Hearth and Vine calls for three classic fall scents: oranges, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves. To make the garland, you use a large needle and twine to string together dry slices of oranges, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks. The final product looks beautiful and smells nice, too.
Scented Pine cones and Potpourri
If you have a plethora of pine cones in your yard, you can use them to decorate and add fragrance to your home. To scent your pine cones you simply bake the pine cones in the oven at a low temperature. After they cool, place the cones in a plastic bag and sprinkle a few drops of your favorite fall essential oils (such a rosemary, cloves, or cinnamon). Seal the bag and let the pine cones “marinate” for a couple of days. Once the pine cones have been properly scented you can mix them with dried pieces of apples or orange peel and put them in a decorative bowl. For more information on scented pine cones, click this link.