According to fragrance experts, every home will have a particular scent that is caused by a myriad of factors such as the foods you cook to the cleaning products you use or the number and kind of pets you have. As a result, many of us spend time and money ensuring that our homes smell good - be that of vanilla or lavender or even delicious and freshly baked goodies! That said, a recent study has revealed that the most pleasing aroma for any household is actually that of fresh laundry.
Why fresh laundry you might ask? Simply put, experts have found that this particular scent fosters a high degree of positive association in the brain as it evokes a sense of nostalgia, comfort and nurturing largely due to our experience of it in early childhood. The comforting smell therefore is imprinted into our olfactory memory from an early age which follows us into adulthood as a scent and sense most of us want to incorporate into our homes.
So how does one go about making their home smell like fresh laundry? Quite easily we found - just make the most out of laundry day! Run a hot wash and include a fabric softener you enjoy the scent of when washing your clothes and linen. If possible, hang your washing in a well-ventilated and sunny spot inside to dry. Similarly, placing towels or linen in the tumble dryer to dry and then leaving them neatly folded around the house for a bit while they are still warm also helps promote the smell of fresh laundry. In addition, be sure not to let your laundry sit or stay damp for longer than necessary so moving them outside into the fresh air if need be can also aid in getting that clean smelling scent once you bring them back in.
If you live a life on the go and aren’t able to keep an eye on your washing, or if a hot wash is too heavy on electricity, it might be worthwhile only indulging in this practice on weekends or using a laundry-scented linen spray or candle so that you can make the most out of that clean laundry smell while you and your family are at home. Another trick to try if you don’t have any laundry to do but are after that comforting smell, is to fill your kitchen sink with hot water, add some laundry powder or softener and leave it to sit and diffuse through the air for an hour or so.
Having said all this, if the smell of fresh laundry doesn’t do it for you, there are other easy DIY ways to get your home smelling glorious and pleasingly fragrant. Here are some of the easier hacks we came across:
- Create your own simmering scents
While dried potpourri can bring a sweet and spicy fragrance to any home, they do tend to collect dust if left sitting out in the open for long periods of time. As an alternative, consider filling a small saucepan with water and adding any kind of citrus fruits and herbs that you’re fond of before simmering the mixture over a low heat. The heat will create a beautifully fragrant steam to rise and permeate throughout your home in no time.
- Make the most out of a steamy shower
It’s easy to turn any shower into an instant aromatic diffuser by tying a few sprigs of fresh herbs such as lemongrass, mint, thyme or rosemary together and hanging them in the far corner of the bathroom where they won’t get wet. When showering, the steam and humidity created will activate the essential oils in the herbs and create a fragrant blast not only in the bathroom, but into neighbouring rooms once you’re done.
- Repurpose old coffee beans
If you come across any old coffee beans that haven’t yet made it into your cuppa, don’t throw them out! Rather, place them in a bowl with a lit vanilla-scented votive in the centre. As the votive candle warms up and as a result, warms the surrounding beans, your home will end up boasting the sweet aromatic fragrance of freshly brewed French-vanilla coffee.
Despite all this, it can be tricky to promote the smell of fresh laundry, or anything else for that matter if you aren’t working with a odour-neutral space. Start by taking into account what odours you have to contend with i.e. the smell of pets, footwear, damp and even smells from the kitchen. You can then get these odours under control by creating your own home deodorising spray. This can easily be made in minutes using a few basic home staples. Simply mix a tablespoon of baking soda and 250ml of water with 2 to 3 drops of any essential oil that strikes your fancy. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and get spraying!
With all this said - and whether it’s the sentimental smell of laundry or something completely different - a good smelling home is an inviting home, not only for guests, but for everyone who lives there. It is therefore helpful to pay attention to the scents wafting through your home and ensuring that they are fragrant, pleasing and more importantly, welcoming to any nose that enters in!