Scents and aromatic smells can evoke powerful emotions.
Whether it’s the warm scent of freshly baked bread or the pungent smell of new grass in the spring, smells remind us of events and milestones in our lives.
When I was younger, we traveled to the New England coastline every summer. Long lazy days were spent on jetty-lined beaches with the salty sea air dancing across the sand. There were clam bakes and sailboat rides and treasure hunts for sea glass and quiet afternoons spent in the summer sun.
I can still remember the first glimpse of the ocean with the pounding surf and the constantly changing tide. As we rounded the corner on the winding gravel road, we would roll down the car windows and breathe in the smell of summer.
It was always the same. It never changed…..that amazing, wonderful combination of sand and shore and ocean breezes.
And we would know that another summer had begun.
And that we were home.
During the long dark days of winter, bring a little spring and summer into your home by creating personalized room scents from all-natural ingredients. Commercial air fresheners often have a harsh, overwhelming scent and can leave behind a lingering unpleasant odor.
Opt instead for the natural, subtle scents found in nature and blend your own scents from fruits and herbs and extracts found at your local grocery store.
To create my personalized scent, I started with two fresh lemons and then added 2 stalks of rosemary and a teaspoon of vanilla in 2 quarts of water in a pan on the stove. I brought the ingredients to a boil and then turned the heat down to let them simmer.
As the water evaporated, I added more water to keep the fruit and herbs covered at all times. It is important to remember to always keep water covering ingredients, or they will burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.
And as the mixture simmered, the house was full of the smell of spring.
The subtle smell of freshly squeezed lemons combined with the heady scent of vanilla and an occasional whiff of rosemary.
It was light and refreshing and full of the joy of the everyday.
Create other scent combinations with mint or lime or ginger or citrus fruits like oranges.
Why not add a stick of cinnamon or bay leaves or even almond extract?
The possibilities are endless.
All you need is mother nature…..and a little imagination.
For more DIY ideas and tales of life in a turn-of-the-century farmhouse visit Thistlewood Farm.