Don’t get me wrong: I love our (fake) Christmas tree! It makes such a great display to showcase my handmade ornaments, I’m often asked where I bought it — FIY, Restoration Hardware ;-) But I just wish it’d smell like a real one! So this year I decided to use a little hack to make it smell like a fresh cut tree. Stay with me to learn how I did it!
DIY Holiday Spray to Make Your Faux Christmas Tree Smell Like Real
Over the years, I’ve always settled with fake trees. I'm sure many of you are in the same board--either you don't want to buy fresh or you want something that will last year in, year out. Fake trees can be a really great alternative, but don't you just miss THAT SMELL???
Now that I’m able to fake it, I’ll never again miss the fresh scent that comes with a fresh, bushy tree.
The only hurdle was to figure what Christmas trees smell like. So I checked my small apothecary cabinet and found a few essential oils that’ll do the trick: Pine, Peppermint, Eucalyptus - all good options.
STEP 1: GATHER YOUR INGREDIENTS
To make your Faux bland tree to smell like a real one all you need is a spray with three ingredients: water, alcohol and one (or more essential oils.)
— 3/4 cup of water, distilled (preferred) or tap water
— 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol - at least 70% - or vodka
— 10 drops of PINE essential oil
— 5 drops of PEPPERMINT oil
— 5 drops of EUCALYPTUS oil
NOTE: a total of 20 drops of essential oils is good for this amount of water. Feel free to use just one of these or a different combination. You can also use Organic FIR BALSAM ESSENTIAL OIL - from the evergreen Abies Balsamea tree - CEDAR WOOD, or SPEARMINT to replace one or all of the previous oils.
You’ll also need:
— Spray bottle
— Measuring cup or regular cup
— Funnel (Optional)
STEP 2: DISTILLED - OR TAP - WATER GOES FIRST
Let’s start by putting 3/4 cup of tap or distilled water into the spray bottle. TIP: If your bottle has a small opening, use a funnel to avoid spills. Distilled is better than tap water for cleaning concoctions (it doesn’t have the bacteria or minerals that over time build up on surfaces, plus it enhances the cleaning formula to penetrate and remove stains and dirt.) But in this case, tap water will make.
STEP 3: ALCOHOL IS NEXT!
You can use regular rubbing alcohol - ideally 70% or higher - or vodka. The point is to help the essential oils and water to mix more thoroughly: remember water and oil don’t mix well, right? So add 2 tablespoons of alcohol to your water and mix well.
STEP 4: FINALLY, LET’S ADD THE ESSENTIAL OILS!
For this amount of water, a total of 20 drops of essential oils is good - as mentioned, you can use just one of these or a different combination of oils.
What happens if you add more? Nothing really, it’ll just be a stronger scent.
TIP: since your spray bottle is likely to be plastic, and essential oils are best stored in glass, I suggest to make a small batch. So keep the amounts suggested in the recipe and make it more often. It’s so easy!
STEP 5: PINE - OR YOUR DOMINANT FRAGRANCE - COMES FIRST
I’m just going to pour the oils straight into the spray bottle:
— 10 drops of PINE
— 5 of PEPPERMINT
— 5 of EUCALYPTUS
If you decide to use just one, add 20 drops. For a blend of 2 essential oils, combine them to total 20.
TIP: You can also use a glass eyedropper to dispense them. (FIY: Glass is better than plastic because the concentrated oils can degrade with plastic, so a glass eyedropper would be best!)
STEP 6: LET’S GIVE IT A NICE SHAKE!
Now, it’ll be be better to wait a few hours to allow the water and essential oils to mix. But if you’re in a crunch and need to scent your Faux Tree pronto, close the bottle well and give it a nice shake for a couple of minutes. Now we’re - ALMOST - done. Ready to have fun?
STEP 7: DON’T FORGET TO LABEL THE SPRAY BOTTLE
You know what’s next - right? Imagine you store all your cleaning solutions in similar spray bottles - like I do - and here comes hubsters to clean the countertops with your Christmas tree scent. Nice! After all, how is he supposed to know?
TIP: To avoid messing surfaces up, always LABEL your spray bottles. Add a descriptive NAME, DATE, and INGREDIENTS and put the label on the bottle. It’ll also be easier next time you need to concoct the solution: no need to look for the recipe!
Now to the fun part! Grab your spray bottle and spray around the tree, top to bottom, at least 1 feet away. You don’t want the spray on your ornaments, do you? To maintain the scent repeat every few hours, or follow STEP 8 below
STEP 8: BOOST THE SCENT WITH THIS EASY TRICK
If you want to strengthen the fragrance, grab a cotton ball and dip it in your freshener. Place the cotton ball in a hidden or inconspicuous spot. Feel free to add a few more balls - around the tree or in the room - to boost the christmas tree scent. TIP: don’t put the cotton ball directly on wood or fabric - you can use a small bottle cap underneath. Otherwise, the essential oils may end up staining your surface.
Let me tell you - this PINE, PEPPERMINT & EUCALYPTUS scent would make such a great bathroom air freshener! Since I want to keep the spray handy at all times, I transferred the freshener to a fancier spray bottle that I got online at a beauty supplies store. TIP: To get yours, just google “fancy spray bottle online.” There’re so many choices that you may even find one that matches your tiles :-)
Don’t forget to use the cotton ball trick (STEP 9) to keep it fresh throughout the day! Just dip the ball in the freshener and place it in a hidden spot. TIP: don't forget to use a small cap under the ball to avoid staining or damaging the area.
If this post inspired you to make your own fresheners, here are few essential oil fragrances to try for the holidays:
— SWEET ORANGE
I especially like the cinnamon, vanilla and sweet orange combo, and well as the cedar wood and vanilla blend. You can even replace the 2 tablespoons of alcohol by vanilla extract (yes, the one used in cooking!) Since it has alcohol it would work well here. Go with your favorites, as long as you keep the proportions suggested in STEP 1.
Enjoy that holiday scent!