Under $1 – DIY Insanely Aromatic Home Fragrance!

DIY home fragrance: saving money and reducing our toxic burden one product at a time

I won’t deny that I LOVE the potent smell of some of Bath & Body Works’s candles. And there’s something about the way candles make a house look so cozy and homey. However, candles have who-knows-what in them, and if you have young children, they are even less safe.

And then there’s the price. Truthfully, that’s what really got me. How can I justify spending $20 on a candle that lasts maybe 10 hours? I can use it up in about week! Is it it worth $2/hour to me? Not really. I’d rather just have free, fresh air! And so I got to work looking for a cheap potpourri that can smell just as good, be just as potent, but cost so much less.

I wish my calculations were a little more exact. Because the recipes aren’t exact and because I can’t guess what you pay for electricity or gas (I struggled with even figuring out the price for my own gasoline!), I guesstimated the prices. Even if I’m a little off on all of the prices, the cost of this in addition to the reduction of chemicals is a big win!

Basic recipe:

A peel of a citrus: $.10-$.25 if you buy it for the peel only, depending on the sale (or free if you only needed the fruit itself!)

A couple spices you enjoy: $.05-$.50, depending on what spice and how much you use

4 cups or so of water: free for me (sorry, no idea… but cheap!)

Electricity or gasoline: Depends on how long you use it and what rate you get, but I’m guessing about $.50… I tried to calculate via SoCal gas. I just know it’s super cheap! (And their rates even went down as of this month!)

Fragrance potency: ridiculously amazing!

Life expectancy: at minimum, 5 hours if you continue adding water to it!

Basic cost for me: less an $1


For those of you who need to have a definite recipe, I made an attempt at some specific blends. Just know that the water, gas, potency, and life of these blends all depends on the amount of time and level of heat.

Rosemary Christmas Blend:

A few sprigs of FRESH rosemary (found on the side of the road growing wildly): free to me!

A few cinnamon sticks (bought in bulk at Winco): $.20

Peel of citrus fruit (I used lime): $.10

Water: free for me

Gasoline for stove: depends on how long you let it go 🙂

Total cost: definitely under $1! 

Orange Spice Blend

2-4 cinnamon sticks (1-2 tsp of ground cinnamon works too!): $.20

1-2 tsp of clove and/or all spice: $.20

Peels of oranges (3 would be great!): $.50

Water: free for me

Gasoline for stove: depends on how long you let it go 🙂

Total cost: definitely under $1! 

Next potpourri to try: citrus-basil (yes, like Bath & Body Works!) and a refreshing peppermint scent.

Enjoy your new homemade fragrance!

Photo Credit: cinnamonvogue