It is winter in the northern hemisphere and we all want our homes to smell like a breath of fresh air without having to open all the windows. It is always a good idea to open some windows regularly to circulate the air, but there are many ways to have a home that smells pleasant without resorting to synthetic scents or perfume.

Many of the air-fresheners on the market is particularly problematic for anyone with asthma, respiratory illnesses and perfume is also a common migraine trigger. If you are having someone over during the holiday season with asthma or migraine, be considerate and pack away the scented candles, plug-in air-fresheners, reed diffuser and aerosols.

Try instead something a little more natural and you may find that not only does it improve the air quality in your house for sensitive guests, more natural fragrances smell better.

Essential oil sprays

Easy to make, easy to use and very cost-effective. Purchase or repurpose a spray bottle, fill it up with water and add a few drops of any essential oil of your choice. Optional – also add a touch of baking soda. It is a natural air freshener that can be sprayed and with the baking soda, can also be used for damp dusting.

Make your own reed diffuser

Clean and reuse and old diffuser if you have one or pick up a glass bottle with a narrow neck – I use the Snartig Vase from Ikea that set me back 60p.  Replacement reeds are £2.99 for 60 at Amazon.

Mix your own fragrance – I use 75% organic almond oil with 25% essential oil (I blend orange and cinnamon 1:1).  Combine and leave in a place where you would like continuous fragrance, like an entrance hall or bathroom.

This article was first published on 19 December 2015. It contains affiliate links.