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Do any of you use any sort of air fresheners? I use candles, myself. I absolutely hate the supermarket stuff - anything made by Glade et al. smells... well, cheap. Fake. I don't know - it just doesn't smell appealing. So I've been hunting for masculine-smelling candles. Finding them wasn't easy, but Modern Alchemy makes some good ones, as does Aquiesse and Archipelago Botanicals.

It's a pricey way to make your a room smell good, though. Especially when all it takes is a pungent meal or freshly brewed coffee to overpower the nice scent of the candle.
 

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In my family, the air freshener has always been simmered cloves. I presume this is a tradition we could trace back to fifteenth century Spain and beyond. The solvents in the cloves are quite effective. Adding celery seed is a nice twist.

Bowls of apples, bowls of quince fruit, and pomander balls are also traditional air fresheners for us.

Alternately, a spray air freshener made entirely from natural ingredients is the ticket. I'd give you my private formula, but .... Instead, try Bitter Orange from Agraria. This is a Northern California outfit, and so all their products are ahead of the pack. We keep bottles of Agraria in our office's powder rooms.
You can order online, or pick it up at Neiman's.

Or, try Ecco Mist Lavender. I found it at our health food co-op.
 

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We have several of those pulg-in air fresheners around the house (I can't remember the brand...my wife gets them at bath and beaty stores). I like several of the scents, but my favorite is Sage. I typically keep a candle burning on my desk every day (I work for myself from home); I prefer Roots and Tommy Bahama candles.
 

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In my family, the air freshener has always been simmered cloves. I presume this is a tradition we could trace back to fifteenth century Spain and beyond. The solvents in the cloves are quite effective. Adding celery seed is a nice twist.

Bowls of apples, bowls of quince fruit, and pomander balls are also traditional air fresheners for us.

Alternately, a spray air freshener made entirely from natural ingredients is the ticket. I'd give you my private formula, but .... Instead, try Bitter Orange from Agraria. This is a Northern California outfit, and so all their products are ahead of the pack. We keep bottles of Agraria in our office's powder rooms.
You can order online, or pick it up at Neiman's.

Or, try Ecco Mist Lavender. I found it at our health food co-op.
The cloves are a very nice tip, How do you simmer them? with a tea light or equivalent?

The absolute key thing in room freshening is to keep it NATURAL; these awful plug-ins and cheap candles people use are filled with petrochemicals and additives which (i) aren't good to breathe and (ii) will eventually gum up your upholstery, paintings, etc.

I would add "plants" to Zendaline's suggestion of spices and fruits; living plants are nature's best air filter, of course, and fresh cut flowers add a nice natural scent. Like the fruits, the key thing is *fresh*.

DH
 

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I don't care for the store-bought fresheners, either, and I'm not comfortable burning candles all over the place. I try to keep the house as scent-free as possible, except for the library where I have a couple containers of open tobacco, which I think is the perfect scent when sitting back and reading.
 

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Dhaller,
My Grandmother had a small Federal Period manor house whose kitchen wing was attached directly to the main block of the house. So usually, she just had someone simmer cloves on the stove. Mostly, this was after a big party where there had been a lot of smoking. But sometimes, she'd use a copper vessel right in front of the Living Room fire. My mother used an antique silver warming dish/chafing dish, with a Bayberry candle underneath; and also tried to instruct whatever staff she could keep (we were a 'difficult' family) to simmer cloves on a kitchen stove.

But now that kitchens are smack-dab in the middle of houses, it's easy to just keep a large vessel full of water on one burner of the stove. You want the water to be releasing a subtle cloud of vapor, without really simmering. One long session with the cloves can perfume or cleanse a house for quite a while.

I totally agree with your position that natural scents are the only way to go. A funny thing happened at the gym last week. I peeled and ate a Grapefruit, in the locker room, between an hour with my trainer, and going back out to finish up. When I returned from my Pec workout, the whole locker room smelled FANTASTIC. The citrus oils from the Grapefruit peel had melded with other body spray/deodorant scents, in a really successful way. This was forty minutes later, but the grapefruit scent had persisted.

You can, btw, (carefully) dab (small) amounts of (real) essential oils onto lightbulbs. I prefer Bergamot, but most of my cousins prefer to mix Jasmine with Rosewood Oil. My sisters insist that Attar of Roses is the only scent for lightbulbs.

While I'm on this subject, it works well to place dried lemongrass beneath the steam in the schvitz. And just a few blooms of certain Hybrid Musk roses can perfume an entire room.
 

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Hold on while I pull out my tie dye tshirt and light some incense, now where was I.

We have a lot of eucalyptus trees near the house along with a couple of Norfolk pines so we have some nice natural aromatic breezes coming through the house most days in summer.

Aside from that I have been known at times to light up some Namchak incense now where did I put that tshirt:devil:
 

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....

We have a lot of eucalyptus trees near the house along with a couple of Norfolk pines so we have some nice natural aromatic breezes coming through the house most days in summer....
+1 on opening the windows and allowing the fresh breezes to freshen the air quality of your abode...there is just nothing better! ;)
 

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I love those odor killer scented air fresheners,that has a powerful odor and it kills most germs.
If one is fighting a particular odor, that's the way to go. Although I prefer the ones that claim to have a "linens on a clothesline" scent or whatever is next to nothing. Why cause someone to focus on their sense of smell, then have them wander to where the freshener isn't working but the original problem is?

(And yes, Howard, there is a type of car air freshener whose scent is "new car." But what makes a new car smell so good is the nasty chemicals exuded by the upholstery and the plastic in the dashboard, as yet unsullied by rotten Cheerios, cigarette butts, and spilled Coke.)

For those occasions when I'm not trying to mask the scent of onions or decaying flesh, I prefer candles by Slatkin or Ralph Lauren. Just one, somewhat close to an air vent, can make the whole house pleasant. But I mostly think to do it around the holidays, when they have the pine-and-dessert scents.)
 

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open windows

Simmering cloves and daubing essential oils on light bulbs sounds wonderfully exotic. My wife occasionally burns incense.

Our house is situated in a canyon and as a consequence there is usually a breeze. Fortunately winters here are mild, so we can have open windows year round, which freshens the interior. For part of the year we have night blooming jasmine drifting through, and occasionally, skunk.

Regards,
Gurdon
 

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Simmering cloves and daubing essential oils on light bulbs sounds wonderfully exotic. My wife occasionally burns incense.

Our house is situated in a canyon and as a consequence there is usually a breeze. Fortunately winters here are mild, so we can have open windows year round, which freshens the interior. For part of the year we have night blooming jasmine drifting through, and occasionally, skunk.

Regards,
Gurdon
Hmm, thankfully we have no skunks in Australia, certain politicians aside, but 'night blooming jasmine?' that's new.

We have a profusion of jasmine and orange blossom in summer. Wonderful sent to enjoy, but when the summer heats up it pushes all the fragrance out and so their abundant in atmosphere. Adds a great ambient touch when its 38c and that first G&T goes down as the sun sinks.
 

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We use the Tommy Bahama scented reeds in our house. We put out one pineapple and one mango and rotate them throughout the house. By far the most powerful scented reeds I've ever seen. Those two can scent our entire 2000 square foot house.
 
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