How do I get my apartment to naturally smell like pine?
November 3, 2013 8:44 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking to achieve this without air mists or plug-in air fresheners. Is this possible?
posted by helios410 to Home & Garden (19 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Cedar wood blocks that you periodically sand to release cedar smell. Cedar essential oil in/on whatever (including the wood blocks). You can buy pine essential oil, too, but to me it smells like pee.
posted by HotToddy at 8:48 AM on November 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

And fresh pine boughs in a vase.
posted by HotToddy at 8:50 AM on November 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

If the smell of rosemary is pine-like to you (which it is to some people), you can get a nice big rosemary plant as a houseplant.

The Norfolk Island Pine can be kept indoors, but unfortunately it doesn't have much of a scent.
posted by Too-Ticky at 8:52 AM on November 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Incienso de Santa Fe has a pinon variety that I love. This is the smell of burning pinon, obviously, so it may not be what you're looking for.
posted by Wordwoman at 9:01 AM on November 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

One of the reasons that scent-adding devices (mists, plug-ins, reed diffusers, candles, etc) are such popular product concepts is that natural things that have scent only retain that scent for a short time, so need to be refreshed pretty regularly. When I've done a woodworking project and sawed pine boards, the house smelled fantastic for about 2 days, faintly piney for another 2, like new furniture for another couple of days, and then was pretty much done. A vase of pine boughs would similarly last you less than a week. If you only want a burst of piney smell, that can definitely be done, but if you want your apartment to smell piney for the whole winter, I'd at least consider essential oils, reed diffusers, candles, etc.
posted by aimedwander at 9:02 AM on November 3, 2013

Natural pine cleaner
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 9:08 AM on November 3, 2013 [4 favorites]

A lot of the tourist shops around here sell balsam pine pillows (which are actually pretty small). However, if you Google balsam pine sachet, there are cheaper options on Etsy and the like, or some people sell the balsam in bulk if you prefer to make your own. I'd get a few sachets on ribbons and hang them in strategic locations. They can be refreshed by spritzing them with water but generally the scent lasts several years.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:13 AM on November 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Buy a very small baby pine tree and keep it as an indoor plant in a large pot. The kind you see around at Christmas
posted by gt2 at 10:17 AM on November 3, 2013

Simmer pine needles in a pot on the stove. Do this while at home and check water level periodically.

Eucalyptus was boiled in a kettle in the old days to reduce congestion and add humidity to the dry air.

I don't see why the same volatile oils in pine can't be distributed the same way.
posted by ayc200 at 10:24 AM on November 3, 2013

Scotch pine essential oil and a diffuser will do it. You can experiment with different conifer oils easily.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:30 AM on November 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I like the little dishes of water you set over a tea light and put a drop or two of essential oil into. They scent things nicely. And you can mix it up---not just pine, but also rosemary, or eucalyptus, or thyme...but a couple drops of pine oil in a tablespoon or two of water in one of these diffusers (over heat) makes things smell nicely of pine.

Amazon's got some nice ones:

Diffuser 1

Soapstone diffuser

diffuser 3

I'd be interested in one of the humidifiers that also do aromatherapy (though I've not tried one), but you said you didn't want air mist.
posted by leahwrenn at 10:44 AM on November 3, 2013

Essential oils. There are a lot of evergreen/pine oils out there, make sure you are getting essential oil not fragrant oils. Sprinkle some in a diffuser, or if that's too much like using a plug in you can sprinkle a few drops in potpourri or on pinecones or whatever you want to smell like pine, renew as needed, though they usually work better if warmed.

Collecting/buying pine boughs and decorating your house with them, Christmas is coming so it will fit right in. We have a fake tree and I usually get a small natural wreath of pine etc to decorate the room with to get the Christmas smell with less mess than a whole tree.
posted by wwax at 10:46 AM on November 3, 2013

Most essential oil lines carry pine. Try Mountainrose herbs, Escents, or Aura Acacia. Then get a diffuser. They come either as electric plug in ones, or you can buy ones where you put a candle under the dish and the warmth of the candle disperses the scent around the room.
posted by Blitz at 11:04 AM on November 3, 2013

You can buy cedar oil; it's a great moth repellent. Balsam pillows smell lovely - LLBean and tourist stores in Maine sell them. Go out and pick up pine cones and pine needles, and fill a bowl or mason jar, then add scented oil.
posted by theora55 at 11:34 AM on November 3, 2013

This is a very old method: next time you are in the woods find some pine resin, form a ball and place inside a closet or cabinet. Watch out for the extreme stickiness, but the sent is piney.
posted by francesca too at 12:53 PM on November 3, 2013

These Fresh Cab mouse repellent packets, while basically ineffective at repelling mice, are quite effective at making your house smell like a christmas tree.
posted by melissasaurus at 1:13 PM on November 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Nothing essential oils. If you're looking for an even easier way to use them, try putting a few drops on all the lightbulbs in the house while the lights are turned off - the the next time you turn a light on, the bulb will heat up and slowly diffuse the scent.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:00 PM on November 3, 2013

Do you specifically want pine, or are you going for that nice holiday evergreen smell?

I am very, VERY smell-averse to just about everything, and I absolutely loooove the Thymes Frasier Fir smell. We bought a candle or two several years ago -- not even this big one -- and every time we bring out the holiday stuff, it still smells fresh and great. I don't even think we've lit them more than a couple of times.
posted by Madamina at 7:19 PM on November 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I agree with the piƱon incense recommendation. I got some in New Mexico, and whenever I use it my place smells very much like pine, but with a little glimmer of something extra delicious and intoxicating.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 7:59 AM on November 4, 2013

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