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Home Decor: Using Scent And Aromatherapy In Your Home

Style and color are important aspects to every home. After all, the style of your furniture and the color of the paint on your walls can really work to make you feel more comfortable in your own living space. But no matter what the color and style of your home, it can all be ruined if you walk through your front door and are met by a waft of stale or pungent air!

We have all come home from a long day of work just to find that our house smells like last night’s takeout or smelly feet. These lingering smells can often be a real turn-off and can also work to dampen your mood and your spirits. Here are some easy tips to keep your home smelling great and elevate your mood at the same time!

Mood and Smell: How do They Relate?
You may be wondering how a simple scent or smell could possibly have any impact on your mood, self-esteem, or energy. Well, there have been numerous studies suggesting that scents are actually highly correlated to how our brain interprets physical and emotional sensations. Studies have shown that pleasant smells work to:

  • reduce pain sensations in injured or ill patients
  • reduce depression in those suffering from mood disorders
  • increase energy in those suffering from fatigue

Alternatively, unpleasant smells work to heighten these sensations. To date, the correlation between smell and mood isn’t completely understood, although it may have something to do with the fact that sense and mood receptors are located in very close proximity inside the brain.

Improving The Mood of Your Home: Using Scents

By taking a few simple steps to change the smell and aroma of your home, you may actually find that you are more energized, less depressed, and increasingly stress free. Here are some great tips on how to help your home influence your mood!

Essential Oils
Essential oils are becoming more and more popular these days. Often applied to the skin during massages and facials, these oils can also be used to scent the rooms in your home. Essential oils are scents that have been distilled from the elements of a plant (including the leaves, flowers, stems, roots, and bark). These oils tend to be clear or amber in color and contain a highly concentrated aroma. Unlike perfumes and room sprays, essential oils are completely natural. Specific essential aromatherapy oils are designed to help your body and mind in specific ways. For instance, relaxing oils include vanilla, sandalwood, and lavender, while uplifting oils include lemon, orange, and peppermint.

Essential oils can be used in a number of ways to help scent your home:

  • Dilute the oil using tap water and spray on your sheets, upholstery, and carpets
  • Place a few drops of oil on an unscented candle. When the candle is lit, it will heat the oil and allow it to scent the whole room.
  • Simmer essential oils on your stovetop. Just add a few drops of oil to a pan of water and simmer.

Pot Pourri
Like essential oils, pot pourri is a natural way to uplift your mood and senses. Pot pourri is made up of a mixture of dried flowers, spices, and other aromatic smells. Pot pourri mixtures are often placed in decorative bowls, vases, or baskets to provide a wonderful smell and visual appeal. You can make your own pot pourri simply by visiting your local flower shop. Select a few flowers and plants that you like the scent and color of. At home, separate the leaves and flowers and allow to dry for at least ten days. When dry, toss the flowers together and place in a decorative dish. The scent can last for months.

Incense and Candles
Incense and candles have been used for thousands of years to help improve the smell of homes, hospitals, and places of worship. They are also extremely relaxing and can be used in any room in the house. Special incense burners and incense sticks are now available at most home stores and aromatherapy candles are available in a wide range of colors and scents. Just be sure not to leave any incense or candles burning unattended.

Natural Scents
You may find that your home often smells stale and musty. As the prevalence of air conditioning and air filtration grows, more and more people are forgetting to air out their houses on a regular basis. Simply by opening all of your windows and doors, you can help to whisk that musty smell away and renew the energy in your home. Here are some natural tips for freshness:

  • Try to leave at least one window open everyday.
  • Open all the doors and windows in your home on a monthly basis.
  • Plant pleasant-smelling flowers or bushes outside of your windows. When you open your windows, the smell will waft into your home.
  • Place a fan near your window to help circulate outside air into your home.

Neutralize Bad Odors
Many of us can find perfumes and strong odors overpowering. If you are allergic to strong scents, you may want to focus on neutralizing the bad odors in your home, rather than covering them up. This can also work wonders for your mood and energy levels! Here are some great natural odor neutralizers:

  • Vinegar: Leave a saucer of white vinegar wherever you have a bad smell. Vinegar works quickly to neutralize odors and doesn't leave any scent behind.
  • Baking Soda: Add a box of baking soda to the mud room, storage closet, or bathroom. Baking soda works quickly to absorb smells. Try sprinkling some in your cat's litter box or shake some over your carpet while vacuuming.