making your house smell nice

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Tips and Tricks43 Comments

There have been a few times that I’ve been asked how my house smells so nice.  I was a little perplexed the first time I was asked, because I don’t use plug-in air fresheners and I rarely light scented candles.  I wasn’t intentionally doing anything.

As I thought about it, I realized there were a couple of things I did that probably initiated that question and I thought I would share.

The first one is obvious and you certainly don’t need to read a blog post to tell you this.  But, I think my house smelling nice is more about what they are not smelling.  I am a neat and tidy person and I do clean my house regularly and well.  In other words, I stay on top of things that cause odors.  I don’t let laundry pile up.  I don’t let trashcans overflow.  I clean up messes and spills right away.  And I don’t let anything get too bad…too fuzy, too dusty, too dirty, etc.  I clean it before it even has the chance to stink.

The second one is simple, but maybe less obvious.  For the most part, I use a consistent scent throughout the house – lavender.

I use lavender laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, lotions, and bodywash.  I use lavender hand soap, dish soap, bathroom cleaners, and kitchen cleaners.

I put lavender oil in the water in my steam mop.  I use lavender water on linens.  I put lavender sachets in our drawers and closets.

I’m not using it intentionally as an air freshener, but I just love lavender, so I have used it throughout our home for years (with a few other scents making an appearance now and then.)  I think the consistency of using (primarily) the same scent has made the house smell nice.

So, just try it!  Stay on top of things that cause unpleasant smells and use a consistent smell, whatever is your favorite, and see what a difference that makes in your home.

Do you have any nice-smelling-home tips to share?

making your house smell nice

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43 Comments on “making your house smell nice”

  1. Thanks for sharing! I bet it smells delightful. I don’t know if you’ve talked about this before, but would you mind sharing a bit about your cleaning routine? Do you a specific cleaning schedule? Thanks!

    1. Please clarify…are you using lavender oil on hardwood floors? What brand laundry detergents? Thanks for sharing!

  2. Where are you getting all these lavender products? Do you use all different brands with lavender scent or one brand that has lavender everything?

    Thanks. Love everything about your blog!

    1. I use a lot of different products. I use Mrs. Meyers Lavender cleaners, Gain lavender laundry soap, Downy lavender fabric softener. I forget the brand of the dryer sheets. The essential oil is by Young Living, the body wash is Jasön. The hand soap & dish soap is usually Mrs. Meyers, but I’ll try other brands, too.

  3. Good blog post… I keep the house smelling fresh by purchasing only naturally scented cleaning and personal care products scented. If the ingredient list of a product say it is scented with “essential oils,” I’ll consider getting it. If the word “fragrance” appears instead, it contains artificial fragrance, which give me a headache.

    You mentioned using lavender oil in your steam mop, a great tip. May I ask what kind of steam mop you use and whether you are happy with its performance? I’ve researched the various brands and models of steam mops but only got more confused. Thanks.

    1. I have had two Oreck steam mops and I loved both of them, but they both broke after a couple of years of use, which was disappointing since they are more expensive. My most recent one was a Shark, which is less expensive and it’s been working great for almost two years. I had to replace a plastic cap on it that broke, but it’s been good otherwise.

  4. “I’ve been told that about our house too. Since I have very bad chemical allergies and our grandaughter has asthma we are a fragrance free household. Scented candles, plug ins or air fresheners are my arch enemy, they make me really sick as does perfume, scented detergents and hair products. i use 100% beeswax candles. our cleaning products are mostly natural and we use old fashioned vinegar, ammonia, bleach, baking soda and Murphy’s oil soap along with a lot of Seventh Generation Free & Clear products, old fashioned polishes and waxes. Like you, my husband and I are tidy and stay on top of things. Once our granddaughter was getting into my car at the airport and said gleefully that it smelled like Nana in there. It concerned me that maybe I smell badly and then her mother asked what does that mean. She answered caramel and chocolate!

  5. I think opening your windows to let fresh air in is also important! Indoor plants and pitchers of fresh flowers too!

  6. Lavender all over, what can be better than this? Lemon in the kitchen sometime is also good and fresh.
    I have painted for so many years with all types of toxic products that any synthetic perfumes, cleaning products etc.. give me migraines. Lavender has many properties besides smelling lovely, it has a calming effect. I have a little bottle on the bed table and use it on pillows. My niece has an old house in Provence that came with a small lavender field harvested by the local farmer and my family’s helping hands. We make little bags with Provencal fabric and fill them up with lavender flowers to stick in closets and drawers. The bulk is transformed into essential oil. But it is done by a company. I cannot wait for the future bottle 2019.

    1. I shared some on another comment, but I’ll do a whole post on it since there’s interest.

  7. I love lavender too! I make lavender sachets for my shop @leafandlavender, so with pounds of lavender on hand my studio smells wonderful, and the fragrance wafts around to the rest of the house as well. And since I also grow it, even the garden smells lovely!

  8. I love lavender and have used it here and there for a long time. I really like this idea of using it everywhere in the house. I’m going to have to try it! I’ll look forward to learning more about which products you use.

  9. I NEVER thought of scenting my steam mop water…THANK YOU! Great idea…I concur with using primarily one scent throughout the home…I use lemon because one of my besties is allergic to lavender. I love Mrs. Meyer’s drier sheets since they don’t put the weird chemical stuff all over our clothes and linens…thanks again!

  10. Marian – something else that works is taking dryer sheets and lining the inside of the HVAC vents. I did that with them when we had a small industrial fire in my husband’s basement shop and the house just smelled awful – I keep things tidy and clean too – and whew those were a few rough days.

    I have also been known to take my harvested lavender and put it inside my vacuum bags back in the day when I used that kind of vacuum cleaner. Every time you’d turn it on it would smell like lavender versus an old bag of dust.

    I am on my 3rd lavender linen spray and I have yet to find one I like. None of them smell like real lavender, they smell like cheap fake lavender candles or something. I never heard of the one in your pic – is it nice?

  11. Lavender and sweet grass are my two favorite frangrances. And they’re natural. I keep a braid of sweet grass around a lamp on my bedside table and dampen it every once in a while…so clean and outdoors smelling

  12. I use more of a citrus scent in the house. But I like lavender too. However, after learning about the toxicity of dryer sheets and fabric softener, I only use wool dryer balls. And sometimes the plastic
    Knobby ones.

  13. My house always has lime and Douglas fir oils diffusing in different rooms. People always say my house smells so good…I like having a signature scent like you do!

    1. I like lavender, pine and fir tree, lemon. As someone else said, use products made with essential oils. And no matter what time of year, for at least for 5 mins., open the windows.

  14. I must be one of the few people in the world who doesn’t love the smell of lavender. LOL.

    I do enjoy the smell of the plant itself, but when it comes to things scented with lavender oils I prefer to have the scent tempered with something else. I often use a mixture of lavender and vanilla in the diffuser I have in my bedroom, but on the whole I prefer rosemary.

  15. I too stick to lavender but I think I have to take it to a higher level, thank you.
    Did you know that if you hang a bunch of lavender in a porch or breezeway it will
    deflect bugs and flies and best of all cobwebs.
    My inlaws were cleaner than clean. I could never figure out why each home they
    owned smelled exactly the same. Now I know because they must have used the
    same soap, detergent etc. in every home.

  16. I have a cute white enamelware pot that I fill half way with water,then add dried lavender blossoms to. I bring it to a high simmer, then turn it way down and lrt it go for about 20 or 30 min. and turn it off. your whole house will be heaven!

  17. This is probably a silly question, but where do you buy your bulk ( I assume you buy it in bulk) dried lavender? Since it sounds like you use it frequently, I suspect you have a good place to purchase it that is less expensive.

    1. When I sold retail, I had a wholesale source in California I bought from, but I wasn’t able to my last year at Lucketts. I had some prolific lavender plants in my garden in PA, so I would cut and dry my own.

  18. I’m in love with Lavender also and that is the scent of all my cleaning supplies! When I was a young girl, my mother always told me there were three things that needed constant attention to keep your house smelling good! No trash, no dirty laundry and no dirty dishes! Thank you mom for your great advice! I love your blogs!
    Debi Nicodemus

  19. I bet your home smells lovely! Do you mind sharing your cleaning routine sometime? Thanks for the great ideas!

  20. My house smells funny and I think it’s the carpet. I hate carpeting! We’re renting right now, so there is nothing that we can do about it. I’ve run a diffuser with lavender oil, but it really doesn’t help. The maddening thing is that there are hardwood floors underneath the cheap carpeting. There are at least two things I want when we buy a house: wood floors and a fireplace or wood burning stove.

    1. Sprinkle baking soda on your carpet and leave it for a few hours or overnight and then vacuum. That might help.

  21. I love the smell of lavender too, but had a bad reaction to some lavender soap, so I steer clear these days. I have allergic asthma, and have had a problem with vanilla scents for years, so the reaction to the lavender hand soap I received as a gift was disheartening. A light scent in the air is no problem, though. I do love citrus scents, and love my old fashioned cleaners like murphy’s oil soap. You are so right about the smell of “clean”!

  22. I love the scent of lavender and I use it in many of the ways you mentioned, and I will also try a few others you mentioned. I also make my own rice bags for chronic pain, and I add lavender buds to the rice. When the scent starts to fade, I dab a bit of lavender essential oils to the rice bag. It is so relaxing and even helps me sleep!

  23. I love the smell of vanilla, cinnamon, and citrus. I don’t think I could cut any of those to choose just one, so I’ll hope they combine to make something “signature”. 😉 I think indoor animals are the biggest stink-makers. But, I suppose they’re worth it. 😉

  24. Okay Marian you are a dog owner. My vacuum smells worse than the dog ever does. What’s your secret there?

    1. Hmm…Do you have one with bags or a canister that you empty? Have you tried sprinkling the carpet with baking soda? Or cleaning it with a carpet shampooer? Maybe there is an odor in the carpet that is diffused in the room, but concentrated in the vacuum?

  25. Dear Marian. Do you use an electric air diffuser, think I saw something about them on your blog. Aldi are having one for £14.99 later this week and i was thinking of getting one to,use essential oils in. I’m having a moth problem, hard floors with rugs, which i don’t want damaged nor do i want to use harsh chemicals.

    1. I do have one, but I don’t use it often. It’s nice to run if I want some extra scent in the air, though!

  26. I planted some lavender plants last year. They were beautiful but did not have the long stems with the dark purple flowers like the ones you sold . I think they might have been Spanish lavender. What type of lavender did you grow at your former home? Thanks bunches.

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