No more standing at the grocery store sniffing each and every candle and air freshener until you feel lightheaded. Gone are the days of spending your summer internship money on pricey fragrances. And no longer do you need to worry that you left a candle burning since you had to rush off to class.
Healthier, richer, safer? I’m sold. Here are nine natural and cheap flame-free alternatives to make your apartment smell good without the price tag and risk of traditional candles.
We all love one-pot wonders. No, I’m not talking about the saintly crockpot you can throw on before class and have dinner ready when you return (although this is another great way to make your apartment smell good without candles, I digress.)
Fill a small stockpot about 2/3 full with water. Slice one lemon and drop it into the pot along with a few sprigs of rosemary. Next add a few teaspoons of vanilla extract. Let it simmer all day long, adding water as needed and there you have it. This one-pot wonder will rival any favorite of yours.
#SpoonTip: You can use the same mix for about 2 days or try other simmers with ingredients like cinnamon sticks, apple peels, orange rinds, cloves, apple juice, vanilla, or anise.
Let’s give gelatin some more credit. It can be more than just your favorite slippery shot. Follow the directions on the packet with unflavored gelatin, drop in your favorite essential oils – cinnamon, rose, or star anise for a sweet, perfumery or spearmint, dill, or fennel seed for your savory needs.
Adding a few drops of food coloring and pouring your mix into a uniquely decorated mason jar can elevate this gelatin air freshener to the next level.
Who knew real estate agents had the inside scoop on making a space smell good without candles. By simply placing a few drops of vanilla extract on a light bulb and then turning it on, the heat from the bulb will diffuse savory vanilla in any space.
Cinnamon, spice, and everything smelling nice. A classic duo of cinnamon and sugar meets butter to combine in the oven and make your apartment smell less like leftover takeout and more like an apartment full of freshly baked cookies.
There’s a reason you always see potpourri bowls in the bathroom. Need I say more… this DIY is guaranteed to freshen up any space with a wonderful natural fragrance.
Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper, cut and add thin slices of citrus fruits, tuck in sprigs of rosemary, thyme, or lavender, and sprinkle with whole spices such as cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, or allspice berries. To add to this wonderful scent, spritz the mix with some of your favorite essential oil. You can even use those dying flowers you forgot to water to add some color and freshness. Pop that cookie sheet in the oven to dry out your mix and remove to cool after 2 hours. Arrange your homemade potpourri in a bowl to enjoy.
This craft might make you want to keep an herb garden on your windowsill and turn you into the Martha Stewart of apartment making. If you’re not quite on Martha’s level yet, just pick up some herb bundles from your local grocery store and a grapevine wreath from your craft store.
Using the wreath as the base, tuck the stems of the herbs into the wreath until it’s covered. Hang and enjoy.
#SpoonTip: Most herbs dry nicely which allows the wreath to be kept for a long time but some herbs, like mint, wilt quickly and won’t last as long.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire… or in your oven. You can use any nut for this really. Either sweeten nuts with brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg or salt, or take the savory-spicy route and season with cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper.
So what is a pomander ball? It’s simply an orange that has been pierced by cloves and dried. As the orange dries, it releases a delicate, yet spicy citrus fragrance. Simply stick the cloves in any pattern or design, if you feel inspired, and hang your orange clove pomander ball anywhere in your apartment.
#SpoonTip: For a stronger aroma, roll your covered orange in a mixture of spices like cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger.
This one seems obvious but it is one of the easiest and you not only get to smell but TASTE the results. Delight your sense of smell and taste by baking cookies or even bread. Your house will smell fantastic, bread is cheap to bake, and you get to feed yourself at the same time. Is there anything more simple or soulful for making your apartment smell delicious than this?