These natural fragrance ideas use ingredients from around the house to warm up your home with cozy autumn scents like pumpkin, cinnamon, and apple.

By Sydney Price and Jessica Bennett
Updated August 14, 2020
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The sweet scents of pumpkin spice, baked apples, and warm cinnamon perfectly encompass the cozy, comforting feeling of fall. As temperatures begin to drop, incorporate these seasonal fragrances into your home for a boost of warmth and festive spirit. Although scented candles and store-bought air fresheners can closely mimic those classic autumn aromas, you can make your home smell like fall the natural way with the help of essential oils, real fruits, and whole spices. Mix up one of these DIY home scents for fall (or try one for each room) to fill your home with a cozy aroma in no time.

Credit: Werner Straube 

1. DIY Pumpkin-Spice Room Spray

It wouldn't be fall without its most ubiquitous flavor: pumpkin spice. Skip the latte and opt for a fragrant fall air freshener instead. To make your own pumpkin-spice room spray, gather clove, ginger, orange, cardamom, and cinnamon essential oils ($5, Target). Add a few drops of each to one cup of distilled water and pour the mixture into a spray bottle ($5, The Container Store). Spritz the air freshener around the room as needed for a burst of fall fragrance.

2. DIY Fall Reed Diffuser

Reed diffusers double as decor and air fresheners, but the store-bought versions can be pricey. To make your own fall diffuser, add a blend of baby oil and essential oils to a glass bottle or jar. For a small container, you'll need about 1 teaspoon of essential oils (you can use any combination that reminds you of fall). For a citrusy seasonal blend, try combining bergamot, lemon, and wintergreen. Place rattan reeds ($7, Amazon) into your DIY diffuser to disperse the fall fragrance.

Credit: Jacob Fox

3. Fall Simmer Pot

For a simple scented blend that lasts for hours, try stovetop potpourri. A classic fall simmer pot includes apples, oranges, and cinnamon sticks, but you can also add other spices like cloves, vanilla extract, or star anise. If you'd rather eat the fruits, using strips of the peels works just as well as whole cut slices. Bring ingredients to a boil in a pot or slow cooker ($17, Target), then simmer or set to low for several hours to release the scent. You might need to add extra water periodically as it evaporates. Keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn't burn. Potpourri makes an easy DIY holiday gift, too. Just combine the ingredients in an airtight jar with water and refrigerate until you're ready to gift.

4. Homemade Fall Wax Melts

Make a batch of spiced fall wax melts for your warmer. Using a plastic liner to protect the appliance, melt soy wax pellets ($10, Hobby Lobby) in your slow cooker on low, and add essential oils for scent. Pour the wax mixture into an ice cube tray, let cool, then pop a few into your wax warmer to slowly fill the space with fall fragrance.

Credit: Kim Cornelison

5. Cinnamon-Scented Pinecones

Pinecones are a hallmark of seasonal decor, but there's no need to buy them if you're lucky enough to have evergreens in your area. To give them a warm cinnamon scent, bake pinecones in the oven to clean and dry them out. Infuse them with cinnamon by spritzing them with a mixture of cinnamon essential oil and water. When the pinecones are sufficiently scented, display them in a bowl or glass vase, or string them on a garland across your mantel for a subtle spicy scent.

6. Fall-Scented Linen Spray

Use an autumn-inspired DIY linen spray to freshen up folded towels and bedding. Just mix 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup inexpensive vodka (yes, vodka!) in a clean spray bottle and swirl with essential oils. Choose 3-4 oils and add 10 drops of each. Have fun experimenting with different combinations to find your favorite! Here are some ideas for fall essential oils:

  • Bergamot
  • Cardamom
  • Cedarwood
  • Cinnamon bark
  • Clove
  • Fir
  • Ginger
  • Lemon
  • Rosemary
  • Sandalwood
  • Sweet orange (or wild orange)

7. Fall Diffuser Recipes

If you own an aromatherapy diffuser ($22, Target), try a fall-themed recipe this season. Create your own essential oil blend that incorporates classic autumnal scents to fill your home with the relaxing smells of the season for hours on end, no candles required. Replicate fall favorites like pumpkin pie and chai tea with these blends:

  • Cinnamon + clove + nutmeg
  • Cassia + clove + ginger
  • Cypress + white fir + sandalwood
  • Wild orange + cinnamon + ginger

Comments (1)

Anonymous
September 5, 2020
Please be mindful that many essential oils (along with houseplants including succulents) are toxic to cats and dogs. Please refer to ASPCA's website for details of which of these are toxic and which are not.