One hazy holiday season, I drove up the California coast, into the redwood forest. As I stepped into a cabin on the cliffs, an aroma wafted through the room—so intoxicating that it will probably linger in my memory forever.
This is how powerful scent can be. I’ve never been able to replicate that exact, unforgettable aroma of lavender and woods at home, but I can get close. And luckily, there are other iconic fragrances of fall that can fill the void.
Try these three all-natural tricks that will make the whole house smell like fall.
Lavender woods bowl
Collect a few pinecones, place them in a ziploc bag and add three to four drops of lavender essential oil. Let the pinecones sit in the bag for two to three weeks—we know, it’ll be a nailbiter waiting for a whiff, but the longer you wait, the stronger the scent.
After enough time has passed, remove the pinecones from the bag, place them in a bowl, and display them anywhere in the house to catch a relaxing woodsy scent every time you walk into a room.
Autumn simmer pot
This melange of autumn staples is way better than potpourri. The scent will start in the kitchen and permeate the rest of the house. Simply boil four cups of water, add in the ingredients below, and reduce to a simmer, adding more water intermittently as it evaporates.
Orange peel candle
Yes, you can turn an orange peel into a candle, and it just takes three ingredients and three minutes.
Take one large orange, and cut all the way around the equator, only skin deep. Carefully separate the peel from the fruit, keeping the stem—the thick white fiber in the middle of the fruit—connected to the rind since that will be the "wick." Avoid breaking the rind in the process since this mini "bowl" will be the base of the candle (the final product should look like this).
Pour olive oil into the peel, coating the “wick” slightly; the pool of oil should fill the orange peel a little more than halfway.
Drop a couple of bay leaves into the oil for a complementary herbal scent.
Light the “wick”—it may take a little patience waiting for it to catch fire. Once lit, this candle should burn for up to two to three hours.
These autumnal scents are the perfect way to welcome the fall season at home. We’re getting warm and fuzzy feelings just thinking about it.
Photo credit: Paul Delmont