I recently used my Audible subscription to listen to a book called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. There is a whole chapter on the origins of the popular household product Febreze, and the tale of its origins was quite interesting. When scientists at Proctor & Gamble realized they had created a cheap chemical compound that eliminates odors, it became the marketing department’s job to figure out how to sell it to people, but they ran into a problem. The people whose houses smelled the worst and needed the product the most didn’t notice their own foul smells. The product was in danger of being a massive failure when market researchers met a woman who, instead of using it to eliminate odor, used it as a final spritz to freshen her house and complete her cleaning routine. They rebranded and added pleasant scents, then advertised women (not men, which makes you wonder a bit) spritzing the product and smiling over a sparkling clean room. They made Febreze the reward of a cleaning job well done, and sales skyrocketed.
While I wouldn’t spray chemicals and fake scents over my house, the idea of a light, fresh smell to complete my cleaning routine did sound intriguing. So I went home, got one of my glass blue spray bottles, labeled it “scent” and threw in some water and lemon essential oil for a natural scent to freshen my house (I have five animals and a toddler, so it’s not like my house doesn’t need it).
It was a massive failure. I hadn’t accounted for the water and oil separating, so all I was spraying was water while the oil floated to the top. I did a little research, and realized that there was a little more I needed to do (but not much!). Here is how to make your own pleasant, natural room spray:
1 8-oz glass bottle
40-50 drops of essential oil
1 tablespoon of sea salt or Himalayan salt as an emulsifier
Take the salt (you can also use other emulsifiers like witch hazel, vodka, or vinegar) and put it into the glass bottle. Add the essential oil and swish it around so the salt absorbs the oil. Then add the water and swish until the salt dissolves. You can spray right away, or give it a little time for the scent to strengthen. It works much better than my original attempts!
You can use any combination of oils you want. I wanted something fresh and citrusy, so I went with lemon. Come fall I could totally see myself using DoTerra On Guard for a spicy fall scent that would also help protect and disinfect my home. Or Peppermint or Pine, Cinnamon, or Clove for Christmas time! DoTerra Breathe is one of my favorites for when I am sick, it is one of the only things that helps my asthma, so I may be using that more during the winter months.
Let us know if you try a particular scent you like a lot, I could use some more ideas!