All of us at Remodelista love to cook and entertain (dinner parties are a staple; in fact, when are you coming over?). Here are some ideas on setting the scene aromatically for your guests (and banishing unwanted odors before they arrive).
1) Francesca greets her guests with a pretty vase filled with soft green gray eucalyptus and a scented candle strategically placed by the front door for an aromatic entry. Whole Blossoms sells Seeded Eucalyptus by the bunch, starting at $8. We think a eucalyptus chandelier would work just as well. A eucalyptus chandelier, such as this one spotted on 100 Layer Cake, is another option.
2) Am I the only one not to know of this? Run citrus peels through the sink disposal to banish odors with a fresh citrus scent, a technique favored by Christine, Meredith, and Julie.
3) It's not rocket science, but before cooking fish, Michelle opens windows in an adjacent room (not the kitchen). The open window draws the air from the kitchen and sends it outdoors so cooking odors don't build up.
4) Julie relies on a stash of rosemary in the garden for instant tabletop aroma. She also adds a couple of sprigs to the bottom of the trash can before placing in the bag—an effective odor killer. Another trick: incense from Juniper Ridge; Douglas Fir is a favorite (it's especially useful for masking fish odors). Photograph from Gourmandistan.
5) Justine recommends Nellie's Lavender Sticks (she places hers in a tiny porcelain plate on the bathroom shelf); they're meant to be used in the clothes dryer, but work equally well as room fragrance.
6) Alexa likes to throw a vanilla bean and a bay leaf into a stock pot of boiling water (good for neutralizing odors). Premium Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans; $11.49 for a pack of 16 from Amazon. Photograph from Eating Rules.
7) After one of our Remodelista shoots last year, I took home a bunch of fennel stalks tied together with string and hung them upside down on the front door. An added bonus? The scent of anise that wafted in whenever the door was open.
8) Stacey uses a high-grade essential geranium oil for cleaning, but also likes to add several drops to a pot of lightly boiling water. She lets it simmer for 20 minutes until the steam zaps any cooking odors (especially effective after grilling fish). The Aura Cacia Geranium Essential Oil is $8.05 for a 0.5 ounce bottle.
9) I have lots of lavender bushes in the garden. When in bloom, I harvest the flowers and put them in a bowl in the kitchen. I'll often use a few for cooking, but when in need I'll rub the flowers together for a quick blast of lavender.
10) Michelle dislikes the industrial smell of commercial cleaning products. Instead, she uses diluted white vinegar to clean; although it's initially offputting, the acidic smell dissipates faster than commercial products (see our post on how to make your own cleaning solution: Move Over, Mrs Meyer).
See more genius ideas for the home with our 5 Quick Fixes.