There’s nothing worse than bad smells in the home, whether you’ve been chopping onions or baking a joint of meat! Maybe you’ve got a can of air freshener sitting on a windowsill somewhere, ready to combat those unfriendly fragrances… well, it’s time to fight those bad smells with fresh flowers, rather than such artificial chemicals - natural air freshener at its best.
What better place to start than lilies, I am sure they’re one of the first fragrant bunches you run to in the supermarket! It’s worth seeking out ‘Stargazer’ too, one of the most popular and rightly so. The spotted pink flowers pack a powerful fragrance that just one stem can perfume a whole room.
Whilst the lilies are usually available all year round, you’ll have to be a bit more patient with the likes of daffodils and narcissus. Usually blooming in the spring, and quite difficult to go commercially out of season, daffodils have a short season, but it’s well worth it. The sticky, sweet, spring fragrance is unmistakable, and particularly notable on varieties such as ‘Cheerfulness’, with pompom blooms.
Likewise, the hyacinth is short seasoned, but worth it. They may not be for everyone though as the fragrance can be headache-inducing. However there are some varieties with a slightly more nose-friendly fragrance. Try jet black ‘Midnight Mystic’ with a spicy scent, and the darkest bloom of any hyacinth. Never available as a cut flower, you’ll need to buy the bulbs to grow your own!
Vases of cut blooms don’t last forever though, you’ll probably get 2 weeks max. However, there are options for longer lasting air freshening. Gardenia is one of my personal favourites, with porcelain white blooms, set against the most indulgent, glossy green foliage. Jasmine has a similar fragrance, which will slice through the air and drown out any traces of garlic.. grow them on a hoop, or perhaps train one up your outside wall to really spread the scent.
One last natural air freshener to look out for is the scented Geranium, and what a wonderful plant it is! Felted leaves, coming with fragrances ranging from coca-cola to chocolate, oranges to roses. Snip some leaves off to make herbal tea or to decorate cakes too. They make neat windowsill plants and are a fun talking point!
So, next time you cook a fancy meal, you definitely won’t still be smelling it the next day….