With names like Fresh Linen, Cherry Blossom and Spiced Apple, air fresheners and other home fragrance products certainly sound appealing. But look behind the label and you may change your mind.
A single fragrance in a product can contain a cocktail of hundreds of chemicals, some of which are hazardous to health.1 Indeed, scented products are a major source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the home. VOCs are potent neurotoxins that attack the central and peripheral nervous systems.2
The safest option is to go fragrance free, but if you love the ambience that scent can create, or are looking to disguise bad smells, consider 100 percent natural formulas that use pure essential oils rather than artificial fragrances. Essential oils have the added benefit of being able to improve your mood and sense of wellbeing.
Here are our top five picks to scent your home beautifully, naturally.
Nurture Reed Diffuser, $29 (6.76 fl oz/200 mL)
us.lookfantastic.com; tel: 844-433-5149
Unlike many reed diffusers on the market, AromaWorks reed diffusers are made with 100 percent pure essential oils and no synthetic additives. They come in four gorgeous fragrances, including this 'Nurture' scent, a combination of fruity may chang, sweet Roman chamomile and woody sandalwood designed to relax, comfort and soothe. Arrange the sticks in the glass bottle to release the fragrance and flip them over whenever you want a fresh burst of scent.
Bonbon diffuser, $34
Available in six color palettes, this essential oil diffuser by Japanese company @aroma is a stylish and entirely unique way to fragrance your home. The Bonbon is made up of 10 all-natural wool felt balls in an open disc arrangement that can be mounted onto any wall in your home. Add a few drops of essential oils to the balls (@aroma also makes a range of 100 percent pure essential oil blends), and the scent will be gently diffused into the room. For an instant refresh, simply give the disc a quick spin.
Happiness Home Mist, $22.49
(3.38 fl oz/100 mL)
Spritz this over couches, carpets, curtains and cushions to create a beautifully smelling home and boost your mood at the same time. The 100 percent natural blend of organic alcohol and seven carefully selected essential oils, including white neroli, mimosa and lemon, is said to have an uplifting effect on the mind and body—and we agree. One bottle will last for up to 1,200 sprays.
Lavender Room Spray, $11.99 (4 oz/118 mL)
www.laclarde.com; tel: 336-652-2527
Lac Lardé makes six different aromatic air fresheners, all 100 percent vegan, 100 percent organic and simply made with pure essential oils. The sprays are even claimed to be safe for use around infants. We love this relaxing lavender scent, which is ideal for creating a soothing environment. Spritzed on clothes and in closets, it may help to deter moths too.
Wild Cow Invigorating Room Candle, $55 (8.11 oz/230 g)
www.cowshed.com; tel: 877-235-9455
This energizing candle gets to work instantly, scenting your space with a bracing blend of lemongrass, ginger and rosemary essential oils. Free from pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified microorganisms, the candle is made from 100 percent natural soy wax and an Egyptian cotton wick. The light, oriental fragrance is great for both disguising smells and stimulating the senses.