DIY Home Fragrance (like a Williams Sonoma Store)

04/12/2013. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Homemade Home Fragrance- just like a William's Sonoma Store!

I love William’s Sonoma!

I make a point to stop in every time I am at the mall just to stroll through the beautiful store and smell the wonderful things they are making.  Sometimes I can get a bite of something yummy or even a free little glass of cider or a cappuccino.  I can close my eyes and pretend to be Ina Garten baking up some lovely tarte tatin in my perfect kitchen…….  and then the children knock something wildly expensive off the shelf and I leave the sunny garden in the Hamptons and high tail it out of that store.

One thing I love about William’s Sonoma is that is always smells so lovely.  So occasionally I am a copycat and make their little simmering fragrances at home.

This is nice to do when you have company or you are spending the day cleaning or cooking… Just a nice little treat to make the house smell incredible and it is so simple and cheap to do.

Really you just toss a bunch of ingredients into a pan and simmer on the stove.  I have used a crock pot too if you are nervous about using the stove.

William’s Sonoma use different fragrances depending on the season and what they have on hand.  If you happen to stop by a store- take a look at the stove and ask what they have cooking.  The last time I was in they had lemon, lime, orange and cinnamon going.

I have also seen them simmering BBQ sauce which is not really what you think of for home fragrance but dang if it didn’t make me hungry that day!  (I am going to try it the next time I have a BBQ. )

You can add just about anything you have on hand- whatever fragrances you like really.  I used whole fruit but I have heard of people having success with just using the peels of the fruit.  I always find this to be a great way to use up any fruit that might be on the verge of going bad.  My orange below wasn’t looking so tasty so that was a perfect way to use it up.  You can use essential oils instead of fresh ingredients or dried stuff… just open the pantry and see what you have!

Here are (3) quick recipes that I used recently to get the ball rolling:

Homemade Home Fragrance

Lemon, rosemary and lavender 

I have a Rosemary plant and it is one of my favorite scents and this goes with just about everything.  You probably want to use some sort of citrus to get that nice fresh, clean smell as the base and then compliment the citrus with whatever you like.  I used a little lavender essential oils but vanilla from your pantry would be perfect too!

Orange, cinnamon, clove and vanilla

This is a really yummy scent for the holidays especially and you can add a little cranberry to make it more festive.  I don’t make this often because cinnamon sticks are kind of expensive but you can always use powdered cinnamon or maybe a touch of apple cider and the orange and vanilla are delicious together.  If you do use cinnamon sticks make sure to break it up.  I use a mallet and give it a good bash to get it into a few pieces.

Lime, coconut oil and vanilla

This is a bit more summery to me and I love lime and coconut together.  I think mint would be a really nice addition or thyme or whatever you like.  The coconut oil and vanilla give off the strongest scent in my opinion- so this one I can smell throughout the house.

So just fill a saucepan about 1/2 way with water.  (The less water the stronger the fragrance).   Add your ingredients in and simply let it simmer for as long as you want.  There is no need for perfect measurements- I usually add several drops of essential oils or use a tablespoon of vanilla or coconut oil.  Really it just depends on how strong you want the smell.

Other Idea:

Chopped apples and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon

Cranbberries with cloves and cinnamon

Homemade fragrances

Once you are done with the fragrance you can put it in a jar in the fridge to use again or put it in a freezer container if you won’t use it for awhile.

Once you want to smell something lovely again just pull it out pop back in the pan to simmer.


And if you decide to try this let us know what combination of ingredients you use!

A little tip:

  • You want to bring the fragrance to a boil to really release the fragrance and then reduce the heat and let simmer.  If you use the crock pot, I like to bring it to a boil in a pan and then transfer to the crock pot on low heat.
  • Do not leave this unattended as you occasionally need to refill the water.  If you need to step out just turn the heat off completely and you can always turn it back on when you get home.

And here are a few other articles you might enjoy:


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