So I had company over last week and the first thing they said when they entered my house was, "I wish my house smelled like yours!" The truth was that it can. And the other truth was that just hours before my company arrived, my house had the lingering smell of the dinner I made the night before. Don't you hate when the smell of what you cook just hangs out in your house?? Plug-ins and some candles give me a headache, so I don't like to use them. So what I like to do is raid my fridge and pantry to see what I fragrance I can "cook up" to freshen the air in the house. My favorite little potion is this simple mix of oranges, lemons, and cinnamon. It creates a really fresh, clean scent with a hint of warmth from the cinnamon. The smell stays in the house for a few days (assuming you don't replace it with another smell). It smells so good! Sometimes I use apples, strawberries or blueberries that are about to go bad, star anise, nutmeg, vanilla, rosemary - just any fruit, spice, or herb that gives off a beautiful smell when it's heated up. The technique (see below) is super simple and works on a variety of different fruits and spices, so feel free to experiment with whatever you have on hand!
Here is what you need to do (see ingredients in the photo above):
Squeeze the juice of the lemons and the oranges into a pot. Add the squeezed oranges and lemons to the pot as well. Add the cinnamon sticks. Sometimes I break them in half so they release their fragrance a bit faster. Cover the mixture with water. Bring the mixture up to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Simmer it on low for about an hour. Your home should smell lovely! The liquid reduces as it simmers, so keep an eye out for it!
Images by me