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10 Natural Ways To Freshen Your Home With The Scents of Fall

These easy ideas bring the lasting warmth of the autumn season indoors, without harsh chemicals. Try these simmering recipes that mask cooking odors and more!

Who doesn’t love the fragrances of autumn? Apples and cinnamon, fallen leaves, and pumpkin spice. They conjure up memories of being warm and cozy; of a season that doesn’t last nearly long enough.  Imagine those favorite scents of fall lasting a bit longer by bringing them indoors, without harsh chemicals! Here are ten easy ways you can add the natural essences and beauty of autumn to your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and hearth, any time of year! Plus many of these ideas mask unpleasant cooking smells and smoke odors in your home.

10 Natural Ways To Freshen Your Home With The Scents of Fall

  1. Fall Apple Cider Simmering Potpourri. Hot mulled cider is a tasty and fragrant fall beverage, and when simmering in a crockpot, it smells as good as it tastes. To make, add the peel of one orange, and 1 teaspoon whole cloves to a muslin bag or cheesecloth. Then combine 2 quarts apple cider, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 orange, sectioned, 1 cinnamon stick, and the spice bag containing orange peel and cloves. Cover and simmer on low for two to three hours. Remove lid and allow the aroma to scent the room. Discard spice bag. Now you can enjoy the warm beverage!
  2. Pumpkin Pie Spice Simmering Potpourri. The essence of Thanksgiving will permeate your home with this specialty spice blend simmering in your slow cooker. Fill a slow cooker with water. Stir in 3 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice, 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder or 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon ginger. Simmer uncovered for several hours.
  3. Apples and Spice Stovetop Simmer. Add those leftover peels and cores from pie-making into a pot with 1 quart water, 3 pinecones, and 3 cinnamon sticks. Simmer on your stovetop and let the fragrance fill the room. Just watch the water level and add more as needed.
  4. Before turning on the lights, add a drop of apple extract or cinnamon essential oil to the light bulbs in lamps, chandeliers, and pendant lights.
  5. Freshen and clean the bathroom tub, sink and toilet with seasonally scented baking soda. Put one cup of baking soda into a glass jar. Select one of the autumn essence fragrances from the following blends and add it to the jar with the baking soda.
    • 10 drops of sweet orange essential oil and 5 drops of cinnamon leaf essential oil.
    • 15 drops of fir needle, pine, spruce, or birch essential oils.
    • 8 drops of tangerine essential oil and 8 drops of ginger essential oil
    • Cover the jar and lightly shake. To use, apply a little scented baking soda to a wet sponge or place directly in a wet sink or tub and scrub to clean and freshen your bathroom.
  6. Toss pinecones and cinnamon sticks or evergreen clippings together in a decorative basket and set beside a fireplace or use as a centerpiece to make your room look, feel and smell like fall. To heighten the fragrance, add a few drops of cinnamon or pine needle essential oil to the pinecones.
  7. Decorate your kitchen with a fragrant spice wreath. Simply glue dried orange peels, dried apples, cinnamon sticks, cloves, anise and bay leaves onto a straw wreath form.
  8. Fill a vase with stems of fragrant eucalyptus and a peacock feather for a beautiful, scented decoration.
  9. Try this fresh “Autumn is in the Air” blend of essential oils in your ultrasonic, cool water diffuser: To your diffuser add 8 drops of sweet orange essential oil, 6 drops of sage essential oil, and 6 drops of lime essential oil.
  10. Freshen your rugs and carpets with the fragrance of an evergreen forest by making your own scented baking soda. Put one cup of baking soda into a glass jar. Add 15 drops of pine needle or spruce essential oil to a jar with holes punched in the metal top or use a slide-top syrup dispenser. When ready to use, sprinkle pine-scented powder on rugs or carpets and leave for 15 to 30 minutes, and then vacuum.

Deborah Tukua is a natural living, healthy lifestyle writer and author of 7 non-fiction books, including Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. She has been a writer for the Farmers' Almanac since 2004. Her article on herbal baths appears in the 2021 Farmers' Almanac.

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Living in the Caribbean, I have spice trees all around. When I steam my veggies or other ground provisions I would add a hand full of either lemongrass, cinnamon, bay leaves, pimento leaves at the bottom of the steamer. Sometimes I would combine two different spice leaves together. I save and dry orange, grapefruit and lime skin, to add to the mix.
Essential oil are too expensive to use. Sometimes I add fresh herbs, like basil, rosemary, or any aromatic herb am growing.

Marie Edwards

We simmer herbal tea bags in a pot. It is a wonderful, natural way to bring fresh fragrances indoors. Apple, cinnamon and vanilla based teas seem to work best.


Marie, your idea sounds great! I’m definitely going to try it. Thank you!

D. Smith

I used to sprinkle the oil scented baking soda on carpets all the time, but we have wood floors now, so I use it occasionally on throw rugs. Still works wonderfully well. But I like to simmer fresh lemons, limes, oranges and spices in a small amount of water to REALLY freshen the air. Very nice when the windows cannot be opened for months at a time. We keep our ceiling fans going almost year round, too. We also always keep a fan going in the bedroom at night when we go to sleep. Gotta keep air moving in order to keep it freshened.


I aree with Rita C. Those oils can get rather expensive. Which not everyone can afford or want to buy, since you only use a few drops of each.

Rita C.

Most of these ideas are using essential oils. A bit disappointed with this article. I thought it would be more natural.


I like simmering whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, and a sliced lemon or orange. You can use about a teaspoon of cloves, two cinnamon sticks and two bay leaves. Bring to just a boil, then turn down to low or simmer. Enjoy!


What great ideas! I am going to try all of them. I use essential oils all the time in candle making, but never thought about adding it to baking soda as a cleaner or carpet freshener.

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