The autumn is a great time of year to clean a house from top to bottom. In fact, a lot of homeowners think autumn cleaning is more important than spring cleaning.
After a busy summer, it’s always good to prepare a home for the different lifestyle challenges that winter brings. This is a time of year when you’re likely to be indoors more. Creating a warm, cosy and welcoming environment means you always have somewhere to hunker down with loved ones.
One way to give your home a distinctly autumnal feel is to introduce some classic aromas. Pleasant smells evoke memories and emotions in all of us. Harness aromas in the right way, and you can make autumn at home a much more rewarding experience.
We’ve compiled a list of seven simple ways to make a home smell like autumn. But first thing’s first: you need to start by cleaning your home from top to bottom. Get rid of any lingering smells, and the autumn aromas you introduce will thrive.
1. Use simmering pots
The smells emanating from the kitchen are among the most spectacular in any home. These aromas bring people together in a way others simply can’t. But you don’t need to wait until it’s time to cook to unleash these fantastic smells in your home.
Fill a pan with water, and add a selection of your favourite fruits and spices. Exactly what you put in your pan is entirely up to you. But things such as cinnamon, cloves, star anise, apples, oranges, pine needles and bay leaves all work brilliantly.
Bring your pan to the boil every morning, then leave it to simmer for around 30 minutes. The wonderful aromas you create should linger throughout your home for most of the day. And if they don’t, you can simply reheat your pan when necessary.
2. Get baking
Cooking up a storm in the kitchen is a great way to create an autumnal paradise in your home. In particular, baked goods such as cakes, breads and pastries deliver some truly remarkable aromas that linger for hours.
Exactly what you cook is up to you, but there are some products that deliver particularly scrumptious smells. Ginger cakes, pumpkin loaf and banana bread all work brilliantly. But if you want a smell that’s going to attract everyone in your home to the kitchen, make a batch of shortbread — laced with lemon or orange.
3. Make a coffee
The smell of coffee is a wondrous thing — at any time of the year. But there’s something about spiced coffee in the autumn that evokes warm, familiar feelings of security.
As long as you make real coffee with a good brewing machine, what you add to it is up to you. But to create a seasonal aroma that should linger for hours, pumpkin spice, nutmeg and cinnamon are perfect. Start every day with a pumpkin spice latte, and your home should always smell like an autumnal wonderland.
4. Make lots of mulled wine
As the nights begin to draw in, people tend to retreat to the warmth and comfort of their home earlier and earlier. As the autumn winds start to bite outside, hunkering down with hot drinks and subtle mood lighting is a very rewarding experience. But choose the right hot drink, and you can kill two birds with one stone.
Mulled wine tastes great. In fact, it’s like late autumn in a cup. But it’s also a very aromatic drink that delivers a lasting punch throughout a home. Simmer your mulled wine for around 45 minutes to ensure that wonderful aroma travels around your home. Don’t skimp on the spices, and add lots of citrus fruit — along with the rind.
5. Clean with spice
Part of the reason we clean our homes so regularly is to eradicate bad smells — and replace them with pleasant ones. Fortunately, cleaning and introducing wonderful autumnal smells don’t have to be two different jobs.
If you don’t already clean with baking soda, give it a try. This non-caustic, natural substance is safe and environmentally friendly. It also happens to be relatively cheap. But above all, baking soda is a fantastically effective cleaning agent.
To make your baking soda aromatic, add some of your favourite powdered spices. Cinnamon and nutmeg are ideal at this time of the year. If you make your own cleaning solution with the likes of vinegar or lemon juice, add some dried herbs, spices or essential oils for the same result.
6. Spice up your bathroom
Creating wonderful autumnal smells isn’t limited to the kitchen. In fact, you can make yourself a walking air freshener by showering with a homemade body scrub. It’s cheap, clean, natural and environmentally friendly. But, most importantly, it does the job perfectly.
There are many ways to create natural, aromatic body scrubs. One of the most effective is with the use of brown sugar. Add some coconut oil and mix it in until the sugar turns soft and crumbly. From this point, you can make your scrub according to your aromatic preferences. Add some ground cloves, cinnamon or pumpkin spice to create a classic autumnal aroma. Or experiment with various ingredients until you’re happy with the results.
The great thing about a homemade scrub made with brown sugar is that it also acts as an exfoliant. And not only will your bathroom smell great after each use, you’ll spread that wondrous smell around your home as you go about your day.
7. Light some scented candles
Scented candles are all the rage these days. And they come in more colours and aromas in ever before. But you don’t need to buy expensive scented candles from the store to fill your home with autumnal smells. You can make your own.
Buy a standard candle, and wrap cinnamon sticks around it with string. Add a sprig or two of rosemary for good measure. Another simple method involves rolling a candle in something like vanilla essence or a favourite essential oil.
Autumn is a time for getting cosy and warm — which involves getting your home ready in advance. The importance of pleasant, familiar aromas simply can’t be overestimated. Choose the right aromas, and autumn will surround you at every turn.