How to fill your home with summer scents
You don’t need to step into a garden to enjoy summer's heady fragrances – here are 15 ways to enjoy your favourite flower and herb aromas in your living spaces. Breathe it in!
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IN THE GARDEN: These fabulously blousy flowers come in shades of pink, purple, coral, cream and blush and flower briefly, but dramatically, in May or June. They have a variety of scents from jasmine to rose to peppery. Plant peonies as bare root plants in spring or autumn. They’re more expensive to buy potted up but can then be planted in flower and love a sunny spot, planted not too deep but with moist soil. Hey, if you’re that gorgeous you can afford to be picky.
IN THE HOUSE: Turn the sticks over in a diffuser and you instantly get that waft of essential oil that will battle the grubby sports kit/damp dog odour otherwise prevailing – we love The White Company’s peony diffuser for its divine flower power. As one of Jo Malone’s most popular fragrances, peony and blush suede comes in many forms, including these limited edition drawer liners. In love with peony? Among the Mrs Meyers peony scented products is a washing up liquid which will not only look far more gorgeous on your kitchen worktop than the usual brands, but also turn a chore into a scented pick-me-up because, like all Mrs Meyer products, it’s made with essential oils.
IN THE GARDEN: Lemon Verbena is perfect for herb gardens – a tender perennial (in other words, it comes back every year but can get killed off by frost) with slim, cheery green slim leaves that can grow to 90cm in height and delicate palest pink flowers. Plant in sunny, free draining spots and near the edge of the bed so can easily pick its leaves – when touched, they release a delicate refreshing, lemon-like scent with ease.
IN THE HOUSE: Lemon Verbena is shown to promote sleep and relaxation, so add a few drops of Nikura’s lemon verbena’s essential oils to your bath. Lemon verbena tea is a great alternative to chamomile (and full marks for Shelgo’s rustic packaging so it looks pretty on the shelf too). The herb’s anti-bacterial properties also make it ideal for home-cleaning. Check out the Mrs Meyers range of lemon verbena products, including fragrant hand soap and lotions.
IN THE GARDEN: If you’re a serial plant killer, lavender should be your go to – the English variety positively thrives on neglect in a dry sunny spot (in fact over-watering would be killing it with kindness). Plant in spring and cut back in late summer (but not as far as the brown woody stems or it won’t flower next year). Plant near a door so you can brush your hand over it as you pass for a waft of delightful fragrance.
IN THE HOUSE: Mrs Meyers lavender products include a multi-surface spray for worktops, tiles or floors that leaves a delicious scent in their wake. Or how about a cooking with lavender – not only will the house smell divine but the aromatic addition works well with anything from shortbread to grilled lavender-honey chicken – in fact there’s a whole cookbook dedicated to lavender recipes. It’s been long associated with getting a dreamy night’s sleep so this UK-made Purdy & Figg pillow spray should be a feature of your bedside table.
IN THE GARDEN: Have basil growing in your herb planter or plot, preferably close to the house, and you can tear off some leaves to pop on pasta, salad, chicken dishes, or just roll it in your hand for a sensory boost. Basil can be sown from seed between February and July or just buy a supermarket pot and split it into individual plants for pots on your windowsill or a sunny garden spot.
IN THE HOUSE: Basil releases an uplifting and energising fragrance and conjures images of alfresco eating and verdant herb gardens. Bring some of that magic indoors by blitzing it with pine nuts, parmesan, olive oil, lemon and garlic for world-beating pesto (freeze in an ice cube tray for easy to grab portions). Don’t settle for any old handsoap – this Mrs Meyers basil number is exquisitely scented for everyday luxe. Or check out this Parkminster range of basil and rosemary room spray or scented candles for some serious herbal blitz.
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Like what you read? Then you’ll love this: we’ve teamed up with Mrs Meyers to offer one lucky Muddy reader £500 towards a stay at Sussex’s Gravetye Manor (we can almost smell the stunning historic gardens through the screen!), plus the first 100 entrants will receive free samples of Mrs Meyer’s Hand Soap and Multi Surface Everyday Cleaner. Enter here, pronto.