Fire bad, smelly things good.
January 9, 2014 9:27 AM   Subscribe

I have been wanting to get some nice scented things, but my lease stipulates no burning candles in my apartment, so I'd like some other delivery mechanism. But there's a loooot of things out there and I'm not sure what to choose. Criteria: Nice and not fake-smelling stuff, wide variety of available fragrances, reasonably priced, involves no matches/flames/smoke. Kind of prefer something I can use only for short periods of time as opposed to just leaving it going so long I can't smell it anymore.
posted by Sequence to Home & Garden (24 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
posted by brujita at 9:31 AM on January 9, 2014

Best answer: Get one of these doodads and then buy all the candles you want.
posted by phunniemee at 9:33 AM on January 9, 2014 [13 favorites]

I like the oil with the bamboo wicks in it, like this.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 9:34 AM on January 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding candle warmers, or you could go with Scentsy/other meltable fragrances.
posted by jenny76 at 9:36 AM on January 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

I put a pot on the stove, add orange peels, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and any other compatible ingredients I have sitting around (e.g. cranberries, a dash of vanilla), and simmer for anywhere from 20 minutes to a couple hours (making sure to add more water if it's boiled off). Makes the place smell great and has a cozying effect in cold weather. You could probably experiment with a bunch of different ingredients.
posted by lovableiago at 9:36 AM on January 9, 2014 [12 favorites]

I've used a diffuser ring like this. You can have a variety of different scented oils and just put a couple drops in the ring whenever you want the apartment to smell nice.
posted by celtalitha at 9:38 AM on January 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I agree with phunniemee.
posted by Grandysaur at 9:39 AM on January 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

There are electronic "aroma diffusers" that use scented oils. Whether or not they smell fake depends on what oils you buy, not on the device itself. The one I was gifted is from Ultransmit.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:41 AM on January 9, 2014

Muji has an ultrasonic diffuser.
posted by holgate at 9:41 AM on January 9, 2014

Oh and my daycare girl has one of the actual fancy humidifier/aromatherapy diffuser thingies, similar to this. They're amazing, but not "reasonably priced" IMO, so yeah.
posted by celtalitha at 9:44 AM on January 9, 2014

Electric tart burner and scented tarts. Lots of choices on Amazon.
posted by fourpotatoes at 10:09 AM on January 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

My wife swears by the scented oils and warmers at Yankee Candles. I'm not a big proponent of scented homes (not that I mind them, just don't see the point), but when the warmers are on, as noted above by jacquilynne, depending on the oil, the scent can be pleasant but noticeable, and fades fairly quickly when its shut off.

The link above also has a ton of "flameless options" and many items can be ordered on line,

For your purposes, however, I think it will be a huge benefit that nearly every mall (in South Florida at least) has a Yankee Candle store somewhere in it if you want to check out the aromas in person. (I recently spent an hour struggling between total apathy/boredom and being pleasantly surprised when my wife dragged me there.)
posted by Debaser626 at 10:13 AM on January 9, 2014

Similar to lovableiago, I simmer a pot of water on the stove with citrus zest. I find boiling the zest only gives a stronger scent that boiling the entire peel. Also if you eat citrus, it's totally free!
posted by inertia at 10:13 AM on January 9, 2014

Similar to lovableiago, I simmer a pot of water on the stove with citrus zest. I find boiling the zest only gives a stronger scent that boiling the entire peel.

Oh man I found an amazing combo of the "things to simmer on the stove" for air-freshening - lemon slices, rosemary sprigs and a bit of vanilla extract. Someone in the comments said that "It smells kind of like a Williams-Sonoma", and they're absolutely right.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:18 AM on January 9, 2014 [16 favorites]

You might be interested in these flameless candles with vanilla scent (link goes to Costco, but I think you can also find on Amazon). I have them and love them, and yes, they really do put out a vanilla scent. It doesn't appear that they come in other scents, at least not at Costco.

Plus, the remote control is quite fun to use.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:19 AM on January 9, 2014

You could always try the drop of essential oil on the light bulb caper.
posted by flabdablet at 10:29 AM on January 9, 2014

I agree with lovableiago and EmpressCallypigos.

Skip the store oils and candles and plugin things. They're full of ridiculous chemicals.

Just toast some spices in a pan quickly and your house will smell fantastic. Plus if you have anyone coming over who has chemical sensitivities, they should be fine.

Cardamom especially smells amazing. Cumin, too. Whole coriander seeds. Star anise. Turmeric, curry, cinnamon sticks, etc.

Plus if you're already toasting some spices, well, you're halfway to curry...
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:31 AM on January 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Other suggestions all terrific and I may still try out some other things, but zomg, I had no idea those warmer things existed and I am ordering one right now, especially because I do like shopping local when possible and we have a very, very good candle place about half an hour from me that I have been missing forever.
posted by Sequence at 10:34 AM on January 9, 2014

I used to have one of those electric diffusers that I got at a co-op and it was great. It was basically a Glade Plug-In, but you could fill it with whatever essential oils or combination of oils you wanted. I used to use lavender. I believe you can also dilute the essential oils with something more odorless like grapeseed oil for a mellower scent.
posted by lunasol at 10:38 AM on January 9, 2014

I got a "Scentsy" for Christmas last year, and I'm surprised at how much I like it. The scents are pleasant without that weird, artificial smell that cheap candles often have. It has a simple click wheel to turn it on and off, and the lightbulb that warms the wax is hidden by the ceramic case, creating a pleasant glow.

I'm currently using the apple spice version. I do think my mom bought it at an Avon-esque party, so it's possible they may be harder to come by in your area.
posted by valoius at 11:40 AM on January 9, 2014

It's probably a "yeah, no kidding" statement, but ... be careful where you place the electric candle warmer. Melted wax all over the place sucks. Avoid anywhere that it might be pulled / knocked over.
posted by kellygrape at 11:41 AM on January 9, 2014

I love Scentchips; they smell great and require no potentially dangerous fire or heat, though you can also melt them to release more scent. I have friends who just stir up a bowl of them whenever they go in the living room, though, and it smells amazing in there. (Their favorite combination: amber, musk, and leather. Mm!)
posted by limeonaire at 12:20 PM on January 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Lampe Berger isn't really "burning", per se! I love mine and bought my mom one and she loves it too. We also have an "escents" which is good but not my favorite. We have an electric wax melter, but we put scented oil (Bath and Body works or whatever) in with a little water and that works great too!
posted by masquesoporfavor at 12:55 PM on January 9, 2014

Response by poster: The candle warmer, for anyone who finds this later, is much slower than just lighting a candle, but the end results are very nice and I'm pleased with it.
posted by Sequence at 9:20 AM on January 15, 2014

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