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After watching countless documentaries and reading books on creating a non-toxic lifestyle, I’ve known for a while the hidden consequences of fragrance and parfum… yet I’ve always been a big fan of the Bath and Body Works Wallflowers to scent my home. (I know, I’m a total hypocrite.)
I plead ignorance because I live in a house with two large dogs – and the last thing I wanted is my house to smell like dog. Unfortunately, with two furry friends it’s a rather unavoidable problem. All I was doing was masking their scent with a load of nasty chemicals. ☠
What prompted me to stop using plug-in air fresheners?
I’ve been on the fence about them for a while – I’m a worry wart and something I always worried about more than anything was the potential for the plug-ins to cause a fire (luckily, they never did!)
I loved the potency of them – the output of scent was enough to make it seem like our house wasn’t a furry mess. However, after moving into our new house I had one plugged into an outlet above the kitchen counter and within 1 foot of the bottom of our cupboards.
You know what happened?
The sheer proximity to the chemical composition of whatever the heck is in the wall flower caused the coating on a pencil to literally melt off onto a sheet of paper it was sitting on. And upon further inspection the wall flower “juice” was coating the bottom of the cupboard and causing the finish to melt off of that!
It just makes you wonder what you’re breathing in when it’s able to melt paint and finish off of nearby objects. The last thing I want is that chemical composition in my lungs.
The problem with fragrance…
Is that companies do not legally have to specify what’s in them. It could be two chemicals, it could be 500. Because fragrance is considered a proprietary blend they can hide any ingredient under that label and only choose to show the good ones (like essential oils.)
We’ve come a long way over the years to find out what’s bad for us and companies for the most part are getting better at avoiding anything toxic after regulations are set in place… but we’re not anywhere near where we need to be. As consumers we have the right to know everything that goes in our household and personal care products. We have the right to be informed.
Yet, we don’t because companies pay off government regulation standards to suit their needs.
But that’s a whole ‘nother topic for a whole ‘nother day.
In the meantime, I still want my house to smell good… so what can we use?
Luckily there are more natural options for creating a nice fragrance in your home! Though they are not as strong as a commercial product like what Febreze, Glade, Air Wick and Bath & Body Works offers, they aren’t going to be filled with unknown nasties. ✔︎
How to Scent your home Naturally Using Essential Oils
Making your own Reed Diffuser
As soon as I noticed the situation from my wallflower, I made my boyfriend unplug them and ordered products off of Amazon to make my own natural reed diffusers (I don’t know why I waited so long to do this…) Reed diffusers are great because they lightly scent an area without the use of electricity (Hooray for no fire hazard!) They’re budget-friendly and they last for couple months at a time.
What you need
- Small Glass Jars – with a thin neck because you don’t want the mixture to evaporate (These are the ones I purchased)
- Reeds (These are the ones I purchased)
- Carrier Oil – I used Sweet Almond Oil (avoid if you have a nut allergy though!)
- Vodka – Nothing too fancy, just helps the oils travel up the reeds.
- Essential Oils – whatever you want your home to smell like!
How to make them
Make sure your bottles are clean and reeds are new.
- 1/4 Cup of Carrier Oil
- 2 Tablespoons of Vodka
- 25-30 Drops of Essential Oils (depending on how strong you want the fragrance to be.)
- Blend together
- Place reeds in the bottle (about 5-10)
- Allow to soak for 10 minutes and then flip the reeds over
It may take a couple days for the mixture to work it’s way up the reeds, but once they do you should notice a nice light scent. Flip the reeds about once a week and stir the mixture to keep the scent going. Change the reeds about once a month.
Essential Oil Diffuser
Another option, if you find that you want to have your home scented right away is an essential oil diffuser. I have the DoTerra Petal Diffuser which works well but you can use pretty much any diffuser of your liking.
Basically you just add water and a few drops of the essential oil(s) of your liking and then turn it on for however length of time you want/ it can run for.
Essential Oil diffusers are really nice when you have company over and want to mask the scent of two stinky dogs a bit, but I definitely would not recommend leaving them running while you’re not home; there’s still a possibility of them posing as a fire hazard.
I just purchased another essential oil diffuser from Homesense for a good price – so now we have one in our bedroom and our living room. If you’re on the hunt for an essential oil diffuser for cheap, check out Homesense!
If you’re an avid user of artificial fragrances I definitely recommend (at the very least) looking into what may be in your air fresheners. There is a household database which has a few top brands and their listings of hazards with certain products.
In short, your house doesn’t have to smell bad even if you don’t want to breathe in the nasty chemicals associated with artificial air fragrances.
Do you scent your home, and what with?
psst! i also have a post on the benefits of aromatherapy.