Homemade Aromatic Air Freshener: All Natural Home Fragrance Alternative

Updated on May 15, 2019
Cynthia Hoover profile image

Cynthia is a gardening enthusiast. She has a green thumb and always plants a variety of items for harvesting during gardening season.

With the signs of fall around every turn, my mind wanders to the wonderful aromatic fragrances and air fresheners that come out this time of year. Since many fall-related home air fresheners are available for a limited time only, they can get a bit pricey. I always look for ways to save money especially this close to the holidays. So this season I will be passing on the wonderful fall fragrance lines at the store.

Instead, I will go back to a tried and true method I remember from my youth. I am not sure if my Mother and Grandmother used this method to save money. Or if home fragrance sprays and wax scents were not as readily available as they are today. This homemade all-natural fragrance will have your home filled with the aromas you love, without using any chemicals. It is also safe enough to eat, seems silly, but I have small children, and I do worry about what they may or may not get into. It only takes a second. Using an all natural home fragrance gives me peace of mind that it cannot harm my family.

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Gather your favorite spices and extracts.Place pot on stove and add water.Add spices to water.Simmer and enjoy the aromatic fragrance!
Gather your favorite spices and extracts.
Gather your favorite spices and extracts. | Source
Place pot on stove and add water.
Place pot on stove and add water. | Source
Add spices to water.
Add spices to water. | Source
Simmer and enjoy the aromatic fragrance!
Simmer and enjoy the aromatic fragrance! | Source

Homemade Air Freshener Ingredients

The ingredients are simple when making your own homemade air freshener. You can add additional ingredients, or change them to suit your home fragrance needs. Here is what you will need to get you started:

  • A small saucepan or pot
  • Cinnamon
  • Coffee
  • Vanilla extract
  • Water

These are the basic ingredients I am using today. Together these create a cinnamon, coffee cake scent that I think is a wonderful home fragrance for fall. You can also use pumpkin pie spice if you are really feeling the fall vibe. This is one of the easiest do it yourself recipes. Here are the simple step-by-step instructions:

  1. Place pot on the stove.
  2. Fill with water, leaving a few inches from the water line to the pot's edge.
  3. Add spices and extracts to the water.
  4. Turn on stove to a medium simmer.

There are no perfect measurements needed for the spices. Add what you like, and simmer the pot. This works especially well if you have an open floor plan in your home. This method fills my entire first floor with a nice aromatic fragrance.

If you have a rather large home, there is an easy way to continue to spread the wonderful cinnamon and coffee scent throughout. Small crock pots work very well with this all natural homemade air freshener. Follow the same directions, only put them in small crock pots and place them in rooms of your home that may not be getting an aromatic waft from the kitchen.

Simmering home fragrance is a great alternative to those who have sensitivities to wax products, candles, or air fresheners. Filling your home with a cheap all natural fragrance is easy as can be. Just choose your favorite aromatic spices from the kitchen.

Frontier Co-op Cinnamon Sticks, Vietnamese Premium, 2 3/4" (5% oil), Certified Organic, Kosher, Non-irradiated | 1 lb. Bulk Bag | cinnamomum loureirii
Frontier Co-op Cinnamon Sticks, Vietnamese Premium, 2 3/4" (5% oil), Certified Organic, Kosher, Non-irradiated | 1 lb. Bulk Bag | cinnamomum loureirii
When I can I prefer to buy cinnamon sticks to use in my home air fresheners. These cinnamon sticks add a wonderful aromatic fragrance to many scent combinations in my home.

Spice Combinations for a Great Smelling House

Now that you have the basic recipe for an amazing fragrance and home air freshener. I want to discuss the coffee. Coffee can be a bit on the expensive side. So to save the expense of using your coffee straight from the container, you can use spent grounds. Coffee grounds left over from your morning brew will still give you an aromatic burst of coffee goodness.

Cinnamon sticks can replace ground cinnamon. In my area, cinnamon sticks are much more expensive than ground cinnamon. I suggest doing a cost comparison if you like the idea of cinnamon sticks. Cinnamon sticks do offer easier cleanup than the ground cinnamon does.

Extracts are a great way to add fragrance. During the holidays, I use cocoa powder and peppermint extract to fill the house with a mint hot chocolate fragrance. You can also use apple peels, or orange peels and create some amazing home fragrances.

Apple peels with cinnamon, and a dash of vanilla extract will fill your home with a hot apple pie scent. Orange pairs well with clove, and the result is a wonderful citrus fall blend.

Dried flowers and other items will create a nice aromatic home fragrance when simmered in a pot.
Dried flowers and other items will create a nice aromatic home fragrance when simmered in a pot.

Safety Tips

As with anything you simmer on the stove, evaporation will occur. It is not necessary to start all over and start a new homemade home fragrance. Just keep an eye on the stove, and add additional water to your home fragrance as needed. If you find that you tend to forget about your simmering aromatics, set a reminder on your phone, or an alarm to check on it. Checking every 10–15 minutes can prevent you from scorching your pot.

Also, keeping the handle to your pot turned towards the inside of the stove can help prevent accidents. Safety is just as important when simmering homemade fragrance as it is when cooking.

Pumpkin pie spice is one of my all time favorite scents for the home.
Pumpkin pie spice is one of my all time favorite scents for the home.
Frontier Co-op Pumpkin Pie Spice, Kosher | 1 lb. Bulk Bag
Frontier Co-op Pumpkin Pie Spice, Kosher | 1 lb. Bulk Bag
I love to bake, and since I also use spices as a home air freshener, I buy in bulk. I purchase this pumpkin pie spice for all my holiday baking needs. It comes in a 16 oz package so I always have plenty on hand for simmering fragrances.

My Favorite Fragrance Combinations

Creating your own aromatic home fragrance is simple. We all have our favorite scents, and you can recreate them using spices in your home. Some spices like coriander will put off a citrusy aroma. Here are a few other fragrance combinations you may want to try:

  • Orange peel with vanilla extract will give you a similar fragrance to orange cake.
  • Apple Peel, cinnamon, and vanilla extract will produce an apple pie fragrance.
  • Pumpkin pie spice is an amazing fragrance for fall.
  • Peppermint and cocoa powder will produce a mint hot chocolate fragrance.
  • Walnut extract, Vanilla extract, and cocoa powder will produce a walnut brownie fragrance.
  • Coffee grounds and vanilla will produce a vanilla cappuccino fragrance.
  • Dried Blueberries and vanilla extract will produce a blueberry muffin fragrance.
  • Vanilla extract and a little brown sugar will produce a similar scent to warm vanilla sugar.
  • Dried Pineapple, coconut oil (or flakes) with just a small touch of vanilla will create a pina colada scent.
  • Orange peel, cinnamon, clove, ginger, anise, and cilantro simmered together will produce a fragrance much like Christmas pomanders.
  • Dried lavender flowers and sage simmered together will release a relaxing lavender fragrance.
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, and anise extract will produce an oriental spice fragrance.
  • Pine needles and dried cranberries will create a Christmas fragrance perfect for entertaining during the holidays.

Those are just a few home air freshener ideas. The fragrance possibilities are endless. You can even simmer a little grape juice if you are a big fan of grape scents. These all natural home air freshener fragrances are always a huge hit when entertaining guests.

© 2016 Cynthia Hoover


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    • Cynthia Hoover profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Hoover 

      2 months ago from Newton, West Virginia

      Paula if you enjoy Hyacinth fragrance you can simmer a few flower heads. Thank you for the thoughtful comment. If you cannot find the live flowers you can find hyacinth essential oil and use in an aromatherapy diffuser too!

    • fpherj48 profile image


      2 months ago from Carson City

      Cynthia.......Love this article. I intend to put it to good use. I like for my home to always have a nice, subtle fragrance throughout & the cost of fragrance candles is up there!

      This reminded me that just a few days ago, when I stopped by to see my grandson, his mother had placed a fresh Hyacinth plant in the entrance way. That one plant's power, filled their entire house with such a gorgeous scent! How great it would be to bottle that without artificial additives! Cheers, Paula

    • Cynthia Hoover profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Hoover 

      2 months ago from Newton, West Virginia

      Unfortunately yes they would likely go rancid. You could however dilute essential oils and make a spray. The oils won't go rancid and you can find any scent you like in essential oil form these days. Dilute oils in water and add to a spray bottle and you have a home made air freshener spray. Just be sure to give it a shake before each use.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 months ago from Central Florida

      Cynthia, I love the idea of trading natural scents for chemical sprays. However, I'd rather not do the simmering method you describe here because it seems to only produce one use.

      Can the simmered fragrant water be put into a spray bottle? That way the mixture can be used more than once. I would imagine you'd have to shake the bottle each time you spray, but would it work? Would the spices go rancid after a while?


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