Readers of this newsletter will know by now that we are not fond of air fresheners in any form. Unfortunately they seem to be everywhere – in office buildings, in lifts, and in toilets – constantly emitting poisonous chemicals.

This is a very interesting report from the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in the UK which has found that air fresheners,  paints and furnishings, composite wood furniture and fittings, household cleaning products, DIY sealants and fillers, foam insulation, insecticides, commercial deodorants, dust mites, mould and dander are polluting our air indoors.

The best way to keep your house smelling fresh is to open the windows and doors for a while, even in winter, to let everything clean out, as they did in back in the day.

There are also some good ways to make your house smell nice from Wendyl’s book Recipes for a Cleaner Life 

If you can’t find the ingredients on that can of air freshener or gel deodoriser, why would you use it? And remember that anywhere you see the ingredient ‘fragrance’ there could be a plethora of nasty chemicals lurking within the product as manufacturers can hide chemicals under this blanket term. Check out this blog for more info.

These recipes use essential oils that not only perfume your home, but also carry mood-enhancing benefits and can treat symptoms of fatigue, stress and depression.

When I’m making up a mixture, I sniff the bottles and use whichever ones appeal to me at the time. Here are some alternative ways to keep your kitchen and bathroom smelling good and let the essential oils get rid of any bugs and germs at the same time:

Vanilla Essence — One of the simplest ways to make a room smell lovely is to leave some bowls around the place with vanilla essence in them. Great to give your house a welcoming smell if you are expecting people over.

Light Bulbs — Dab a bit of essential oil on your light bulb before turning on your lights for a great fragrance, or you can buy rings to hang on your bulb which warm up and disperse oil.

Oil Burner — An oil burner that holds water with a votive candle under it is a great way to disperse essential oils around a room. Just add a few drops to the water and top up as needed.

The bergamot in this natural air freshener recipe gives a lovely citrus smell and the clove oil, which is highly antiseptic and antiviral, gives a lovely warm, cosy smell.