Fragrance your home naturally for the holidays

Tips for a healthy, delicious-smelling house

Keep your home non-toxic and non-allergenic during the holiday season by using natural fragrances in your home rather than the commercial, synthetic versions that can cause nausea, headaches and asthma attacks. It’s a simple, affordable way for your home to look and smell amazing. Here are a few tips:

Decorate Naturally

If you have a garden, you can collect fragrant foliage to make a wreath that will smell fantastic every time you’re near it. Look for greenery that dries nicely, such as lavender, sage and rosemary, as well as evergreen tree foliage. While still fresh, tightly wrap a bundle with natural twine and continue to add the greenery and twine as you shape it into a circle. Fill in with more greenery to cover the twine. Opt for natural versions of wreaths, garlands and greenery for urns and vases. The foliage smells amazing and it looks beautiful inside and outside of your home.

Beeswax Candles

Most candles sold in stores are made with paraffin, the sludge waste product of petroleum. It is not safe to inhale the chemicals in paraffin or the soot that it creates. The problem is also that most candles contain toxic synthetic fragrance, even the soy wax versions. Keep it simple, healthy and sustainable with beeswax candles. They give off a light honey scent, don’t create soot and last about ten times longer than paraffin. Look for them at farmer’s markets, health food stores and eco-boutiques.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are the aromatic components of plants, so they are the truly natural version of its fragrance. They are an ideal way to scent your home because they are non-toxic, relaxing, and in many cases, antibacterial. You can find them everywhere but a good place to start is your local health food store because they will have the best variety. Here are a few ways that you can use them around your home:

Room Spray
Using a bottle with a spray nozzle (preferably glass), add a 2 to 10 percent amount of essential oils to water. If you want, you can also add vodka (20 percent) to help the aromas dissipate slower. Try a “candy cane” blend of equal parts peppermint and cinnamon.

Potpourri
Collect pine cones and pieces of bark, clean off and allow to fully dry. Drop essential oils onto them and place in a bowl or hurricane vase. A nice combination of essential oils for this would be pine and cedar wood.

Stovetop
Fill a pot of water and create a simmer on the stove. Add a few drops of essential oils and allow scent to fill home. Some nice warming oils would be a ‘pumpkin spice’ combination of cinnamon, clove, cardamom and ginger.

Cleaning
Add essential oils to your mop bucket, cloths and sponges. They are antiseptic and make your house smell fantastic. A great combination for extra cleaning and deodorizing power would be pine and orange.

Warning: Essential oils are very potent and must be handled with care. Do not leave in the reach of children and be careful not to get them on your skin undiluted.

Make your holiday less about plastic and synthetic fragrance and more about adding nature to your home by way of herbs, plants and evergreens. When you opt for natural scents you create a warm, relaxing environment and protect people from harmful chemicals and allergens.

 

Cocoon Apothecary is an artisanal skin care company that embraces the power of nature to deliver a luxurious product without compromise. Based in Kitchener, Ontario, it makes skin and body care products that are as good for your skin as they are for the Earth.