Autumn Aromas

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Project Zaldivar26 on flickr
Crisp, spicy scents make the home cozy

One of my favorite signs of autumn is the spicy, aromatic scents of seasonal treats.If you are like me and crave these spicy scents, you will be pleased to know that there are many simple and inexpensive ways to fill your own home with autumn's crisp aromas!

Scented potpourri is available in many of fall's favorites, such as cinnamon, apple, spice and pumpkin scents. Consider sprinkling a handful in tiny baskets, terracotta pots or even teacups! Spread throughout your home! Potpourri containers can be placed in full view on decorative shelves or tables, or hidden in inconspicous places if you only want to smell the aroma.

Fall Potpourri

8 Citrus fruits (half oranges, half lemons preferred)
1/2 c whole cloves
1/2 c whole allspice
10 cinnamon sticks, broken
10 bay leaves, crumbled

Peel the fruit carefully, making sure not to remove any of the white pith. Cut or tear the peel into one inch pieces. Dry in a food dehydrator or place on a paper-lined cookie sheet in a low oven (140°F) until the peels are slightly crisp. Let sit overnight. Combine the peels with the remaining ingredients. Can be used either in jars or as simmering potpourri--one tablespoon to a small pot of water.

Air fresheners can be purchased in aerosol sprays, solids, plug ins and even as inserts to place inside toilet tissue holders. Air fresheners permeate your closets, bathrooms, mudrooms and any area of your home.

Spicy scented candles can be purchased just about everywhere now, from candle shops and craft stores, to craft fairs and department and discount stores. Depending on the size candle you choose, the largest candles can burn for up to 50 hours or longer.

I recommend candles that are self contained in glass jars. These candles have lids and are safer to use when there are children in your home. An extra treat: After your candle has been used up, clean out the wax at the bottom of the jar. You can use the glass container for storing cotton balls and toiletries in your bathroom or paper clips and gadgets in your kitchen.

Finally, your own "home made" goodies deliciously scent your kitchen and dining area. Simmering spiced tea or warm apple cider with cinammon sticks are some traditional favorites. Who can resist the aroma of freshly baked gingerbread cookies or homemade apple pie, fresh from the oven?

Gail McCauley is a feature writer, with an expertise in color and paint, for the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute (PQI), Gail lives in Scottsdale AZ and is also a freelance writer for nationally syndicated shelter magazines such as Good Housekeeping's Do-It-Yourself, House Beautiful's Home Remodeling and Decorating, and House Beautiful's Home Building. The majority of Gail's work focuses on providing innovative ideas and inspiration and the decorative power of paint.

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