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We’ve chatted about getting your feet sandal-ready, how to never deal with ingrown hairs, and even what sunscreen you should be using—but we’re still dealing with one unresolved summer issue: the unpleasant smell of a stuffy, non–air-conditioned home. We live in city apartments, and when we often walk through our doors in the summertime, we take one breath and think, Yep, it’s summer, because it smells like hot trash in here.

Even if you haven’t experienced the true pleasure of summers in New York (trash smell aside, they really are great!), you’ve probably noticed that the air in your home isn’t the freshest in warmer months. Not to worry: Here’s how to make your abode smell like a freshly trimmed English garden, no matter where you live. These natural air fresheners require practically zero effort on your part—we’re not even going to suggest you strike a match to light a candle.

The Au Naturel Fragrance

Waxed Planters, Modern Sprout ($14)

Start with nature and place a bunch of fresh eucalyptus or a lavender bouquet in a vase and let its soothing scent radiate through your home. Or buy your lavender potted for a longer-lasting fragrance.  


The Oil Method

Organic Peppermint
Peppermint Essential Oil, Vitruvi ($15)

Take an essential oil (bonus points for powerful ones like peppermint or lemongrass) and soak a couple cotton pads or balls with it. Then stick them at the bottom of your trash can, under the liner, to help prevent unpleasant odors from wafting out.

The Hands-Off Strategy

Aera Smart Diffuser
Smart Diffuser, Aera ($200)

If you’re really struggling with some unsettling smells, consider Aera, a high-tech diffuser that looks like a fancy speaker. It’s controlled through an app and works with Alexa, too. Plus, it’s powerful—if you want it to be. You can adjust the setting (there are 10) based on the size of the room and how strong of a scent you’d like.

What’s great about a diffuser versus a candle is a) you would have to light that darn candle every time you arrive home, and b) a diffuser is 100 percent safer since it doesn’t have a  flame. The Aera will diligently puff out your choice of scent all day long while you’re hard at work, so when you get back, your space will already smell divine. One capsule lasts up to 60 days.

The Sticks Fix

French Cade Lavender Reed Diffuser, Voluspa ($23)

If you love an old-school solution, then pick up some diffusing reeds. Voluspa is beloved for its bold scents, and for $24, its diffusers are a steal. Or if you want to splurge, Diptyque’s diffusers feature an inventive hourglass-like design (that, admittedly, does not use sticks).


The Oval Option

Baies Scented Oval, Diptyque ($52)

Cameos aren’t just for jewelry—they also come in scented wax form for hanging around the house. The aromatic ovals aren’t quite as powerful as other options, but they are great at keeping a single small room smelling great. We’re particularly fond of the Diptyque Scented Oval.

See more ways to stay fresh: The Reign of Black and White Status Candles Has Come to an End This Wellness Product Is a Best-Seller on Amazon, Muji, and Anthropologie Forget Candles—This Alternative Is So Much Better