Clean and Refresh Your Home with Fall Scents

Clean and refresh your home with these warming fall scents.

| November/December 2013

  • Using spicy and earthy scents in your home cleaning routine may actually help prevent harmful viruses from entering our homes and fight the bacteria that can accumulate in closed spaces.
    Photo By Loupe

Fall cleaning: It’s not as common a phrase as “spring cleaning,” but preparing our nests for the long winter is just as wonderful as cleaning out the cobwebs after a cold season spent indoors. And using botanical oils to get our homes cozy for fall is a natural way to nix cold-weather illnesses and boost spirits.

Fall Scents to Warm the Home and Heart

Warming botanicals are high in both phenylpropane and terpenoid compounds, among the strongest antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic agents known in the botanical world, says Marcel Lavabre, author of Aromatherapy Workbook. By carefully using spicy and earthy scents we may not only help prevent harmful viruses from entering our homes, but also help fight the bacteria that tend to accumulate in spaces closed up tight against the elements. In addition to cleansing the home, these warm and inviting scents can stimulate the nervous system and may even sharpen the mind, as new research on rosemary indicates.

Anise: The slightly sweet and aromatic scent of anise has spicy undertones. It is commonly described as licorice-like. In addition to being a powerful antiseptic, anise also has antifungal properties, as detailed in a 2005 study in the journal Acta Pharmaceutica. The essential oil makes a potent ingredient in any disinfectant cleanser. Historically renowned all over the world for its medicinal properties, the oil can also be used in a diffuser to promote relaxation and a healthy respiratory system. (Learn how to make your own reed diffuser with our video.)

Cinnamon: One of the oldest spices used by humans, cinnamon has a characteristic spicy fragrance. Various studies have reported the strong antimicrobial activity in cinnamon extract, and the essential oil has been found to be especially effective in repelling insects. Cinnamon’s stimulating volatile oils are also vasodilating, increasing circulation and warmth in the body. Use in a disinfectant spray, sachet or simmering potpourri for a delicious-smelling and healthy home.

Clove: The hot, spicy scent of clove has a sweet finish. Energizing clove oil possesses antihistamine, antiseptic, antifungal and antiparasitic properties. But its real strength lies in its antibacterial applications. In 2009, the Journal of Food Science noted the significant effects of clove oil against several bacterial strains, including Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes. The oil inhibited the growth of these bacteria when used directly or in a vaporized form. Using clove oil in your diffuser or disinfectant spray could be an effective way to combat these bacteria in your home. Use low dilutions of the oil, however, as it can be an irritant, or place whole cloves in a warming potpourri.

Fir: The fragrance of the fir pine tree is one of the finest coniferous scents. Fresh, balsamic and piney in fragrance, the oil and resin of the fir were traditionally used for their antiseptic properties. Use it in your home to disinfect especially noxious areas by adding it to an all-purpose cleanser. The volatile oils are energizing and can help protect against respiratory diseases. Place fresh fir or pine boughs throughout your home for a healthier and more energized atmosphere.

10/4/2018 7:05:47 AM

Great information. I use clove oil in my diffuser and friends always comment on how "cozy" my home smells.

10/31/2013 9:20:36 PM

So, the information is nice, but the lead in said recipes. And there aren't any. So I feel gypped and like the original email is worthless and misleading. Bah humbug!

10/31/2013 7:18:44 AM

Sounds interesting but disappointed that the video is no longer available on how to make the diffuser.

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