Many synthetic air “fresheners” release toxic substances, including carcinogens and chemicals that can affect our respiratory, neurological and reproductive systems. These products are suspected of triggering asthma, headaches and a range of other health problems associated with indoor air pollution.
Keep in mind that a “natural” or “green” label on an air freshener product does not necessarily mean that it is. Beware “fragrance-free” products too: these often contain odour-masking chemicals.
The basis of a nice-smelling home is, firstly, to keep it clean, and reduce sources of bad odours. Secondly, it needs good ventilation -- as much through-flow of fresh air as possible.
That's sufficient, really, but if you want to sweeten the deal, there are plenty of non-toxic ways to do so. A few ideas:
- Small open containers of bicarbonate of soda (baking powder) to absorb odours. Bicarb doubles as a household cleaner.
- Wiping surfaces with white vinegar, which is also a natural de-odoriser and cleaner. (The vinegar smell disperses quickly.) Lemon juice works too, and you can add some to the vinegar.
- Fragrant dried herbs and flowers (crush them to release more fragrance) e.g. thyme, lavender.
- When you juice a lemon or orange, simmer the remaining peel and pulp in some water to release more of the scent. Add a stick of cinnamon, or some cloves.
- Fragrant house plants e.g. geranium, jasmine, gardenia.
- Fresh ground coffee or beans smell great and help absorb odours.
Home-made natural scent options like these are going to be subtler than commercial synthetics, but then they tend to smell more natural too...
- Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor, Health24, September 2011
Scent of a Human If you wear deodorant you're a victim of one of the greatest cons in advertising history.