There was a time in my life when I was obsessed with scented candles and room sprays. Whenever Febreeze came out with a new fragrance, I was always curious to test it out and whenever Bath & Body Works had a candle sale, I stocked up like an apocalypse was nearing us (“Warm Vanilla Sugar” was my jam).
These days, I’ve become a bit more cautious about the ingredients I’d be breathing in from commercial candles and room sprays. I’ve also been adopting a more minimalist lifestyle as much as possible. I don’t exactly have the space to store away half a dozen large candles like I used to, nor do I want that kind of clutter around me anymore. So I’ve let go of that habit and embraced a more low key and clutter-free approach to daily living.
But I still want my home to smell good, ya know? So I was on a quest to find a good, natural air freshener. Although my favourite natural way to make a room smell good is by baking something delicious (is there actually anything better than the smell of fresh cupcakes or cookies or banana bread?!) let’s be real, that’s just not practical nor realistic. (I mean, it’d be nice….). Bottom line: sometimes all you need is a quick spritz to freshen up the air around you, and you don’t want it to be chemicals.
There are plenty of non-toxic room sprays and candles on the market, notably the Saje diffusers that I’ve had my eyes on. I’ve even contemplated making my own candles after friends have gifted us their own natural soy or beeswax candles. But until then, I thought I’d try something much more simpler by making my own room spray using essential oils that I already had at home.
It’s so easy to make, and it kind of makes you feel like a scientist when you’re putting together an olfactory concoction of fragrant oils and distilled liquids. Aside from the essential oils of your choice, all you need is vodka (i.e. alcohol, to help evenly mix the oil with the water) and distilled water. Tap water has traces of minerals so it’s best to use water that’s been distilled to keep your mixture as pure as possible.
The best thing about making your own room spray is that you can customize the scent to whatever you want. You can come up with combinations depending on the season or the mood and energy you’re trying to create. You can choose just one essential oil (my go-to is lavender), or you can mix up few essential oils together and create your own unique fragrance.
A few common blends you can create:
- Energizing blend: lemon and bergamot
- Relaxing blend: lavender and chamomile
- Refreshing blend: peppermint and rosemary
- Sweet blend: vanilla and cinnamon
- Floral blend: jasmine and rose
- Woody blend: sandalwood and lavender
I wanted to create a blend that was universal, meaning something that isn’t seasonal or festive, nor too fruity, too floral or too strong. I just wanted something light, fresh and calming. So I mixed a combination of lavender, orange and cedarwood.
Lavender is known to be a relaxing aroma and it’s one of my favourite scents, so definitely choose a fragrance that you actually enjoy. Adding orange to the mix gives a burst of energizing freshness, and the cedarwood adds a touch of earthiness. Together, in the right ratio, this combination creates a calming, woody, spa-like scent.
In terms of the packaging, I prefer using a glass bottle over plastic. I just find that liquids and oils store better in glass. I also chose a small-medium sized bottle so that the oils are compressed a bit better. The blue glass bottles I have are 4oz (120 ml), but you can even go smaller to 2oz (60 ml). If you live in Toronto, you can find these glass bottles at Nikolau, or like any other millennial of our time, you can just order them on Amazon.
The final touch is adding a label, which is useful if you want to create multiple different scents. I just used some scrap chalkboard sticker and a white sharpie, which I think looks nice against the cobalt blue.
Keep in mind that this DIY essential oil room spray isn’t meant to be long-lasting, the way a diffuser is meant to be. This is just a very simple and natural way to freshen up the air around you, or to freshen up the couch, pillows, bed sheets, or honestly, just to spritz above your head and breathe in a nice aroma for pure enjoyment.
This could be a nice gift idea for the wellness-enthusiast in your life, and even something you can keep at your desk at the office or in your gym bag. Heck, carry it around with you when you travel too in case you need to re-energize yourself or wind down after a long flight or if your hotel room needs a little fresh spritz (in that case, I’d package it in a small plastic bottle).
And when the seasons change and Fall and Christmas arrive, you can totally create a seasonal blend of warm and spicy oils like cinnamon, vanilla, balsam, orange, mint…the opportunities to get creative with fragrance are endless!
These are the ingredients and ratios I used, but the beauty is that you can alter the blend to however your heart desires.
- Lavender essential oil (20 drops, or as you wish)
- Orange essential oil (20 drops, or as you wish)
- Cedarwood essential oil (10-15 drops, or as you wish)
- Distilled water
- Small funnel
- Spray bottle
- Add vodka to fill your bottle ⅙ of the way.
- Add your essential oil drops.
- Close and shake your bottle.
- Add distilled water to fill your bottle.
- Insert nozzle, close and shake again.
- Spray away!