A Southern Belle’s DIY Air Freshener

by HEAB on June 22, 2011

I don’t use Glade or any kind of artificial air fresheners. Blech, they make both CD and I sick. I will light a peppermint candle or use essential oils sometimes, but for the most part, we’re an unscented household, right down to our shampoo and soap. That being said, I’m a girl, and I like yummy smelling things. Want to know my favorite way to make our house smell nice?

It requires the following…


Garden Pruners


A blooming magnolia tree, preferably your own.

Instructions: Find magnolia bloom. Clip. Put in vase with water.


Add roses for a pop of color.


The entire room will smell like a big lemony magnolia tree. Oh gosh, I love it. It will not cover up steaming broccoli stank, but it almost makes up for the oppressive heat & humidity down South…

almost, but not quite. πŸ˜‰


Amy June 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Great idea! Magnolia’s smell wonderful! Very pretty with the roses in the vase too.

Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli June 26, 2011 at 7:53 am

That’s it! I’m coming to your house and clipping me some magnolia flowers! I LOVE the way they smell!

NecIa June 24, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Let me get a large cream with some regular coffee, with 2.5 sugars. Please!

Cate June 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Oh, that’s so lovely! I’ve never smelled magnolias. I am probably missing out!

Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food June 23, 2011 at 11:35 pm

ohh my that looks wonderful! and so fragrant πŸ™‚

Pure2raw twins June 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Love it!!! You inspire us everyday to try something new and natural! thanks for posting this!!! xoxo

Anne June 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm

ahh this is so clever πŸ˜‰
hahah, I don’t think anything could cover up the “steaming broccoli stank.” but hey, i’m not complaining!

Cait's Plate June 23, 2011 at 2:19 pm

That’s SUCH a creative idea! I LOVE that! My sister’s in Atlanta and says the same thing about the heat – hang in there. Lots of AC! πŸ˜‰

meghan @ struggle muffins June 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Brilliant, simply brilliant πŸ™‚ I’m very wary of synthetic smells- not only do they just seem WRONG, but they also give me headaches. Your magnolia creation looks so pretty, too – I’m sure the smelly goodness is just an added bonus!

Kelly @ Foodie Fiasco June 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Not that I don’t love Glade scents, (well, actually, no I don’t,) but your DIY mongolia scent idea is AMAZING. If this wasn’t just pulished on your blog for the world to see, you may have put Glade out of business. Keep being incredible, Heather.

Kelly @ Foodie Fiasco June 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Not that I don’t love glade scents, (well, actually, no I don’t,) but your DIY mongolia scent idea is AMAZING. If this wasn’t just pulished on the your blog for the world to see, you may have put glade out of business. Keep being incredible, Heather.

Roz June 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Oooh…LOVE the smell (and look) of magnolias! So pretty! Have a wonderful day Heather. Hope you can stay cool in the heat!

Eden June 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I’m always for getting the smell of the after effects of people ingesting brussles sprouts (ie, getting the smell of fart out of the air). I love the smell of musk. I know people hate it but I’m a weird one. And gasoline for that matter! I’ll just install a mini gas-station into my apartment. Yea, who needs glade? I got a gas station!

Erin @ Naturally Addicted June 23, 2011 at 10:16 am

o wow! That is gorgeous!! I love it… so creative!

nicole June 23, 2011 at 9:22 am

NOTHING will cover up broccoli stank.

(it’s still worth it though) πŸ™‚

I can’t wait to move into our house so i can plant a garden and flowers!!!! They bring something so happy into the house!

Denise Billings June 23, 2011 at 8:49 am

I’ve done this for years! Glad to know I’m not alone. Love and miss you.

Sarah June 23, 2011 at 8:48 am

Those roses make that arrangement stunning! I do something similar with peonies when they’re in bloom. So fragrant.

Sarah June 23, 2011 at 8:45 am

Those roses make that arrangement stunning! I do something similar with peonies when they’re in bloom. So fragrant.

Amelia June 23, 2011 at 7:15 am

I love the smells of blooming Magnolia’s! At our previous house we had a huge Magnolia in the front yard that made the entire area smell so wonderful and an enjoyment when sitting on the front porch sipping a drink at night. πŸ™‚

Hannah June 23, 2011 at 5:50 am

I’m definitely all for your style of aromatics πŸ™‚ My grandpa’s house smells like utopia in spring, for he grows the most beautiful, perfumed roses!

Kiran June 23, 2011 at 2:47 am

I love magnolias, roses and gardenias. There are times when I just snip a couple of herbs (i.e basil, rosemary or mint) and arrange it in a bouquet. The scent is so refreshing πŸ™‚

Dea June 23, 2011 at 12:27 am

I do something similar but with eucalyptus, yummy and minty-ish.

Melissa June 22, 2011 at 9:11 pm

That is so smart…and pretty! We are in Clarksville and took some out of town family from Iowa to Nashville for the day today. We had PLENTY of walking and took in most of the sights down by the river, then went to the park outside the capital–next to the farmers market and just admired all of the beautiful Magnolia trees! They do smell awesome! When we were in Centennial Park some kids had gotten some off a tree and I was about to do so myself…then it started pouring! Better luck next time I guess…or plant my own!

sarah (sarah learns) June 22, 2011 at 8:58 pm

oh that’s so so beautiful! πŸ™‚ i love cutting fresh flowers from my mom’s yard.

Baking 'n' Books June 22, 2011 at 8:49 pm

That’s about as natural as it gets!

My favorite is the smell of lilacs. They’re beautiful too…that perfect, well, lilac color.

Karina June 22, 2011 at 8:25 pm

SOOOOO pretty too!

Sarah June 22, 2011 at 7:29 pm

This is so cute!! I love the DIY projects you do

Emily @ Comfortable Home Life June 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Ohh yum! I was tempted to light a candle the other day, then I feared that my body would melt due to all this darn heat. I need to find some magnolias!

The Delicate Place June 22, 2011 at 4:53 pm

love this! simple but elegant. i have an urban jungle as a yard ha, so essential oils will have to do for this newly minted city girl πŸ˜‰

Amy @ Elephant Eats June 22, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Your flower display is so beautiful!! I’ve never smelled Magnolia, I don’t think. But I love the smell of fresh lilac πŸ™‚ Too bad I don’t have a yard…or even a flowering tree anywhere nearby. Such is life when living in a city πŸ™

Jill June 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I LOVE magnolias…never realized that they smelled good in addition to looking beautiful! My favorite “natural” scents are honeysuckle and lilac blossoms-especially lilac. But of course you know that I loooveee perfume/etc. also. Hopefully since one of my faves is a a rose and apple blend it is not too overpowering for the non-perfume fans out there πŸ™‚

Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble June 22, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Pretty arrangement! I love lilacs! As soon as I have my own space and my own yard – a lilac bush is going in. Among many other things you can eat. πŸ™‚

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 22, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Love this post. I just posted earlier about smells I love and fresh roses was on the list. I didn’t have any magnolias in my neck of the woods like you have in yours; but I have roses πŸ™‚

And I just saw a tweet of yours about people typing out the word slash…I don’t get that either. At all. Are we old? lol Sometimes I wonder if things I don’t quite get are b/c I’m a mom but then I think about it logically…and am still a bit baffled. haha!

Have a great day sniffing your magnolias πŸ™‚

Helen June 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Yay for natural air fresheners! We always used Gardenias when I was growning up. Of course one of my favorite ways to scent my home is by simmering lemon rind, orange rind, or cinnamon sticks on the stove. Smells so good πŸ™‚

Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama June 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm

It smells nice AND it’s beautiful! Win. πŸ™‚

Cat @ WellSavannah June 22, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I’ve got a HUGE magnolia tree in my new front yard. I curse those leaves when I have to rake them up but yes, they do smell amazing. I love your idea! Super cute with the roses for a pop of color!

Dorry June 22, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Such a great idea! We have some magnolia trees out front, and I think I’m going to go pick a bloom right now!

Kristen - Anywhere There's An Airport June 22, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Best air-freshener indeed!

The Spaniard keeps getting those reed diffusers given to him… we put it out and the scent is always SO strong. They have all ended up straight down the drain!

Now where can I find a magnolia tree in Madrid!? πŸ™‚

HEAB June 22, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Not too sure about that one. πŸ˜‰

Yeah, not a fan of the reed diffusers either. Most of them are way too strong.

Katherine June 22, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I wish I had a magnolia tree!

katie @KatieDid June 22, 2011 at 12:40 pm

no magnolias up here, but thats a gorgeous and clever idea. Northerner’s substitute: yankee candle magnolia scented placed on a bed of roses πŸ˜‰

Little Bookworm June 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Such a clever idea Heather! I like using candles (unlit ones) as air fresheners. πŸ™‚

Nicole @sugarcoatedsisters June 22, 2011 at 12:29 pm

There was a magnolia tree by one of my old houses and the smell was intoxicating every time I walked past it. It was like walking into flower heaven.

The roses make the magnolia look so beautiful! Simple and beautiful πŸ™‚

Krystina (Organically Me) June 22, 2011 at 12:22 pm

How darling!

nadia June 22, 2011 at 12:13 pm

wow!! so beautiful… love these photos…
i love temple flowers from sri lanka aka frangipani. ..
and I also love incense πŸ˜‰

HEAB June 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm

I love incense, but CD does not. I used to burn it in my massage therapy studio all the time. These are my absolute favorites, and everyone I burn them for loves them and asks me what it is: http://www.shoyeido.com/product/angelic-incense-gift-set/incense-gift-sets

nadia June 22, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Heather thanks so much for the link! I am running low on my incense that I brought back with me from Sri Lanka (I always buy mine there) so I am very happy to have a new trusted brand! some ones smell really funky…
p.s. I keep forgetting you are a massage therapist.. oh what I would give for a massage!! ah!

Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee June 22, 2011 at 11:56 am

That looks great!!! So much prettier than store bought air fresheners. I usually use Wallflowers from Bath and Body Works, they’re not as strong as Glade. I would make the ones you made if only I had a magnolia tree!!

Sarah June 22, 2011 at 11:56 am

Well that is just beautiful!

Emilia @ Namaste gurl June 22, 2011 at 11:32 am

Your so creative and always end up finding the best solution to things you don’ have! I’m a totally girly- girl and love having everything smell nice and pretty, but once I knew how harmful the chemicals and additives are in the air fresheners and Bath and Body perfumes, I stopped. Don’t get me wrong, on occasion I will lather up B&BW products, but I try not to πŸ™‚

I love lighting incense or using essential oils!

HEAB June 22, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I’m an incense girl, but CD is not an incense boy. This is my FAVORITE: http://www.shoyeido.com/product/angelic-incense-gift-set/incense-gift-sets. The Love one especially. I would burn it 24/7 if I could.

Ann Claire June 22, 2011 at 11:26 am

That arrangement is so pretty, I love it!

Katherina @ Zephyr Runs June 22, 2011 at 11:24 am

Wonderful idea πŸ™‚ We have some tulsi growing outside my restaurant and I love to bring it in and arrange it… smells so nice!!

kate June 22, 2011 at 11:12 am

oooh I so need to do that my house stinks of the cabbage I fermented… if only I knew of someone with a magnolia tree!

Mercedes @ Cultivating Consciousness June 22, 2011 at 11:11 am

I love bringing the outside in! Hahaha…. PREFERABLY your own! πŸ˜‰
Great idea, I love that you added the roses too. Looks beautiful!

nikki June 22, 2011 at 11:08 am

It looks so darling as well!

Ha! I have a fun image in my head of you guys sneaking out to the tree at midnight to acquire your blooms. πŸ™‚

HEAB June 22, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Hehe, try 8 AM. πŸ˜‰

Sylvia @ LifeIsGoodWithFood June 22, 2011 at 10:54 am

You’re so creative;) I almost wish that my lavender was still alive…

But I do have chocolate mint growing in my room. It wilts on occasion because I always forget to water them, but they always pop back up when I do remember, πŸ˜€ I think I sniffed all the mint out of the plant when I first received it. It won’t smell as wonderful as your magnolia blooms, but at least it keeps the mosquitoes out of my room and away from my apparently addictively juicy blood πŸ˜‰

HEAB June 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Sylvia, I didn’t know mint kept mosquitoes away. Is it only chocolate mint? They love CD’s blood as well, but we don’t like bug spray.

Sylvia @ LifeIsGoodWithFood June 22, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Yepp, natural repellent. I know that lavender, citronella, and lemongrass are all mosquito repellents, especially citronella. There are more, but I can’t remember off the top of my head. You can tell CD to use that to ward them off πŸ˜‰

michelle June 22, 2011 at 9:04 pm

I had to jump in here. I refuse to use bug spray and like CD, mosquitos love my sweetness πŸ™‚ try Bounty sheets tucked into your socks, sleeve and pants. I’m from deep bug Canada country and I promise it works!

Monika June 22, 2011 at 10:53 am

We get Magnolias in the Midwest too πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Love the idea!

HEAB June 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm

I wasn’t sure how far north they grew. Yay, now your house can smell yummy too. πŸ™‚

Nolita June 22, 2011 at 10:49 am

Oooh I love magnolia blooms! Ours is blooming right now too. Don’t care for the leaf litter but the smell is so yummy. Our poor magnolia tree was thrashed last week with the hail storm but it will survive. Gardenia’s are also a favorite of mine and started when I was a southern girl living in FL (mom still lives there). I finally got a single bloom from mine this year. Do you like gardenias too?

HEAB June 22, 2011 at 10:52 am

YES! Love gardenias. Oh my gosh, they smell amazing. So fresh and clean.

Felicia (Natural + Balanced) June 22, 2011 at 10:48 am

preferably your own hahaha but if not… make sure the neighbors aren’t looking!
i stay away from sprays too- lucky enough to have beeswax candles burning in the evenings during cooler days, and fresh flowers work beautifully during the hot days πŸ™‚ and it always adds a little “something” to the room

HEAB June 22, 2011 at 10:51 am

Hehe, exactly. I’ll put it this way – CD and I do not have a magnolia tree in our yard. πŸ˜‰

Pickynikki June 23, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Oh, that is too funny! (It’s honesty like that, which keeps me coming back! πŸ˜€ )

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