When the holidays come around most people are good about getting their house ready for guests. The house is cleaned from top to bottom so it looks nice. You put some nice Christmas music on for your guests so it sounds great. And of course, you pour your time into cooking a fantastic holiday meal so everything tastes great.
But there’s always one sense that gets the short end of the stick–the olfactory one. While we’d like to think our houses naturally smell like pine needles and freshly baked Christmas cookies, the reality is that the “natural” smells of the seasons aren’t always so pleasant.
Candles are great but may not always be a good option with kids running around, especially when you’re surrounded bytablecloths, trees, wrapping paper, and other flammables. Air fresheners in an aerosol can are great, but it can be a little awkward walking around spraying while people are talking.
Enter the Air Wick Life Scents Automatic Air Freshener, a.k.a. Air Wick “Freshmatic Ultra”. This is a cool little device that you can just set and leave on a table (preferably high up, out of the reach of children and pets). The exterior is available in white or black, and blends in to your decor, much like a flower vase would.
Open it up and put in two AA batteries (included). Then, take the cover off a Life Scents can and position it carefully in the unit so that the nozzle is pointing out through the hole.
Close it and turn a knob to select a small, medium, or large rose icon; this will indicate how strong you want the scent to be throughout the house (obviously the greater the scent, the less time your refill will last; some reports reported only 2 weeks before the can went empty, most other talk about how the can can last upwards of 60 days.
Then, at a frequency that corresponds to the rose icon, the aerosol will spray. For a general ambience where the effect will be more subconscious (where your guests will say, “wow, something smells really nice”), you put it on the little rose. If things get extra stinky with hot sweaty adults, children, and animals bringing in all kinds of odors to your lovely clean home, you put it on the big rose.
I got to try out three scents: Emerald Woodland (morning frost, evergreen, sugar cookie), Snowflake Vanilla Cookie (vanilla custard, spiced punch, roasted chestnuts), and Apple Crumble (pastry crust, spiced apple, vanilla). They smell amazing, and pretty much as described. Right now I have it on Emerald Woodland Scent, and the room is filled with a sweet, fresh, crisp, and woodsy scent. The effect is much like aromatherapy candles, just without the middleman of the fire and wax. But because these are “layered” smells the smell is much more complex than just a single aroma.
One very cool thing about smells is the memories that it can bring up from way back in your past. When I put on the Emerald Woodland smell, I was instantly transported to some point in my childhood. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment, but it involved pine needles, Christmas lights, and the warmth of family. Granted the actual memory is long gone, and it very well could have been some cheap scratch-and-sniff card I smelled as a toddler, but whatever it was, it was magic for me as a child.
This holiday season Air Wick has been donated $250,000 from a portion of profits from its Life Scents collection (whether the plugin refills, the Freshmatic Auto Spray refills I described above, or candle and wax melts) to help Habitat for Humanity. During this holiday season when we’re all snug at home in front of the fireplace or the tree, it’s sometimes easy to forget that there are so many people who struggle to even have a roof over their heads, especially those in low-income families.
Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity has helped more than 5 million people, building new homes for them or rehabilitating and preserving their existing homes. The donation will go a very long way towards making that dream come true for many more people.
For more on this incredible cause, see this video.