DIY Holiday Home Scents!


I’ve talked about home scent signatures before; this is essentially what you smell when you walk into someones home. When it comes to your own home you typically don’t notice it. When you walk into someone else’s home, you most certainly do. So with the holidays upon us, you can generally expect at least a few instances of family or friends coming over—and let’s be honest, some holiday scents you just want to enjoy yourself regardless of who’s coming over. With that in mind, we’re trying to find ways to change up our scent signatures here at the CMS HQ and incorporate some holiday-inspired scents.

DIY Room Spray

If you’re having guests come over and you want to up your scent signature game, particularly in the front entryway or living room, you might want to make your own DIY room spray. This is a super simple recipe:

  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp of rubbing alcohol
  • 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil

You can obviously use more essential oils if you want a stronger scent. I would say the minimum would be 5 to 10 drops and the maximum would be about 40. Add all of these ingredients to a spray bottle and give the area in question a good spritz 15 to 20 minutes before people arrive. Remember, this isn’t a commercial air freshener where the scent will last for a really long time—this is natural stuff so it will fade quicker. If you want to keep the scent going you’ll want to refresh it throughout the day.

chocolate chip cookies


One of the things that Chad remembers most from his childhood in and around the holidays is the smell of baking cookies. Now, this isn’t something that’s exclusive to the holidays. In fact, real estate agents use this trick all the time! They put out a sheet of freshly baked cookies out when they host an open house to create a sense of homey-ness and comfort for potential buyers. So if this is a scent that takes you back, give it a try—and bonus, you get some freshly baked cookies to eat!

Essential Oil Diffuser

Now, these things have different names but you should be looking for something that’s called an ultrasonic diffuser. I really like them because, of course, they help add a little bit of moisture to the air(they’re definitely not full-blown humidifiers), but more importantly, they can diffuse a scent throughout a room over a long period of time. Essentially you just fill it up with water, add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil(s) and then turn it on—set it and forget it. We use ours every day, and I’m often changing up the scents based on the season. Come the holidays I love the mint family—spearmint, peppermint, and wintergreen. Add a little vanilla to the mix and you’ve got yourself a nice candy cane scent! I also really love tree scents—balsam fir, cedarwood, cinnamon leaf, frankincense, and clove. These mix really well with lemon and orange. This is a really nice way to bring the warmer holiday scents into your home.

Melissa Maker DIY Cleaners

Cleaning Products

It wouldn’t be a Clean My Space video if we didn’t talk about actual cleaning products! When you’re getting your house ready for the holidays, whether it’s making your own DIY hand soap, or making your own DIY cleaners, you can always incorporate scent into that mix. Adding essential oils to these products makes even tedious jobs smell incredible—if that makes sense. During the holidays you can switch it up based on what you want your house to smell like, or use some of the scent combinations I outlined above. This year I’m really into the Thieves mix for all of my general purpose and counter cleaners.

Scented Candles

Candles are a really fun way to make your home smell great. Plus, having that nice flickering light helps brighten things up, especially around this time of year when it gets dark at 4:30 in the afternoon! The only real issue with candles is that they’re on such a large spectrum—you’ve got cheap and disgusting and/or weak smelling candles, and then you have the super expensive $75 candles. There has to be a middle ground! What we like to do (in Canada) is go to Winners; Essentially they sell end-of-line, end-of-year and/or distressed high-quality name brand merchandise at a heavily discounted rate. You can often find some really nice candles for a great price—candles that are normally $40-$50 selling for $10-$15.

christmas tree

Christmas Trees!

Growing up, I never experienced the smell of a fresh, (or, frankly, a fake) Christmas tree in my home, but I have since experienced the delight that is the scent of a real Christmas tree. If you want to really bring the smell of the holidays into your home (and you celebrate Christmas), consider getting yourself a genuine evergreen conifer Christmas tree. I know it’s a bit of a mess, but there are ways to mitigate the mess. And honestly, your house will smell incredible for the period of time that you have the tree. Now, if you’re like me, and you weren’t brought up celebrating Christmas, most grocery stores sell live branches of trees that you can put in your home—on your mantle, in a vase etc. So it still looks holiday-ish, but it doesn’t necessarily make it Christmas, and you’re going to benefit from that wonderful scent.

Pamper Yourself

This has become my favorite way to take a shower: I put about 5 to 10 drops of essential oils (or a mix of oils) into the tub when I get in the shower. The hot water and the steam hit the essential oils and carry that scent throughout the shower. Whatever scent I put in there, that’s what I experience for pretty much the entire shower. Once I get out, the bathroom has this really nice lingering scent which lasts for a while afterward. So if you’re having guests over you can try this little trick—you’ll have a really enjoyable shower and your bathroom will smell great for your guests!

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. The most popular essential oils come from plants toxic to cats. And with cats, being so sensitive, there are a lot more plants that are toxic to them. Why on earth would you take that risk? I only use them in very small quantities for cleaning or for my hair or skin but NEVER would I diffuse them. It is not worth the risk to me.

  2. I diffuse Lemongrass and Peppermint Everyday. At home and at the office as well. People walk in my home and tell me “Uhm, smells good.” I have 4 dogs (my limit was 3, but my daughter past away so he has adopted us) anyways, I always worry about the house smelling like dogs. I will even put the diffuser in one of their kennels and diffuse over night. To the person asking about diffusing around her cat. I diffuse all the time with my pets in the house. Especially Lavender when it rains and thunders. BUT do Not diffuse Tea Tree, they say its not good. I don’t know whos THEY but I am not willing to take the chance. Oh, I diffuse in our office as well. Everyone loves it.

  3. Love your channel. I only use USDA certified organic essential oils. They are more expensive. Are the cheaper ones as effective?

  4. I love to use peppermint and vanilla essential oils in my diffuser! And I use peppermint in all my diy cleaning products year round. It’s such a clean, fresh scent.

  5. Hi Melissa,

    Do you run your diffusers around your cats? Is that safe to do since cats seem to go everywhere?



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