Smells Like Rosemary and Verbena…Or A Brothel.

Jessica The Housewife with Nest’s Moroccan Amber candle.


I must have been a hound dog in a past life. My sense of smell is keen. That said, perhaps this is the appropriate moment to gently address the lady in yoga class: lay off the lactose before class.

If you ever want to pay me a compliment, you can say two things. One, tell me I look thin. Second,tell me that my house smells incredible. This will grant you perpetual devotion and a lifetime of reveling in your light and thinking you are the kindest, most charming, sincere, brilliant human being with impeccably discerning taste.

I am all about smells. I choose my aromas according to season and mood. A holiday dinner party fragrance should not be the same fragrance as spring’s book club meeting, which is not the same as summer’s Sunday family get together. Mood, venue, theme, and time dictate the ambiance I want to create through the sense of smell. In a nutshell, a sugar cookie candle goes in the kitchen, NEVER in the living room. #fauxpas

I have an arsenal of home fragrances such as aerosols, liquid sprays, candles, Lampe Berger, simmer pots, reed, electric,oil, and plug in diffusers. I do not discriminate. I like the expensive stuff  just as much as I like the cheap stuff.

It takes a village.
Fancy french way to freshen air and kill bacteria. Read history here:

Top of my list for sprays is AP Fragances, which  I discovered at Homegoods, a.k.a. Mecca. It was a one time deal, never found them again, but super sleuth google always comes through, pinpointed their website and was able to order online. I highly recommend them, great quality and the pricepoint (4 bottles for $22 bucks) is even better. The smell actually lingers, does not dissipate in 10 seconds, and the intensity will not singe your nose hairs or make your lungs collapse.

ap fragrances
My favorites are Sweet Pea, Cashmere, Crisp Linen and Cotton Breeze. The Man Collection is great and useful in Juan Carlos’ closet and home office.

A few years ago, a girlfriend asked what home fragrance I used. At the time, I was all about a liquid air freshner I buy at the local supermarket. It’s by the brand Oro and the scent is Fresca y Natural (Fresh and Natural).

Oro  Fresca y Natural


It smells anything but fresh and natural! To me, it smells oppulent and rich, similar to Bond No. 9 Astor Place and Volupspa’s Blanc Suede. It’s fabulous! It’s a specific and branded scent, like Abercrombie and Fitch. You know you are fast approaching A&F half a mile before you even hit the mall parking lot because of their branded scent. Anyhow, a few weeks later, said girlfriend, casually mentions to me that she followed my lead and purchased Fresca y Natural, but that her husband (insert eye roll) said to throw it away because it smelled like a bordello.



STOP!!!!!!! HOLD ON!!!!! 


Did she just innocently tell me that my home reeks like a whorehouse? Moreover, did she also just reveal that her husband is familiar with a brothel? (OK, that was shade… it can go both ways dear Jedis.) Needless to say, from that day on, he (I still like her very much) catapulted to the top of my persona non grata list. Intentionally, I have never invited them over again because of his grave offense (which, between us, I am certain he is completely oblivious to). Really, we wouldn’t want him to choke while having flashbacks of his wild nights at the cathouse now would we? Meoooooow! #glovesareoff #gameonmister

house smells
Dear Friend’s Husband, you are cordially uninvited from all my dinner parties from now until the end of time. Graciously Yours, Jessica and Eau De Brothel

Here are a few of my simple DIY versions of home fragances that will NOT make you choke or remind you of a brothel.

1-The infamous William Sonoma Scent. I have never gotten a whiff of this at any William Sonoma store, but at any rate, it’s really great. I make this whenever Mirka makes orange juice or lemonade, using the leftover citrus. Fill up a pot with about 2-3 cups of  water, add 2 tablespoons  (or more) of  vanilla,  several slices of limes (any citrus will work), a bunch of rosemary and/or thyme and simmer. Lemongrass and basil work great too, but must always add the citrus. You need the oil from the skin to heighten the fragance. You are welcome!

William Sonoma Scent
key limes, rosemary, thyme, vanilla, and a pot with water.
William Sonoma Scent


2- DIY Liquid Air Freshner is so easy and cheap to make. It can also be used as a fabric refresher (homemade febreeze). I repurpose a 10oz spray bottle. Make sure it sprays well and doesn’t spit out thick streams. I really hate that! (Pat Reyes, you know what I am talking about!)  Fill it up with a little less than 1/4 cup of Downy Infusion fabric softner (or whatever fabric softner you have on hand), funnel in 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and fill the remainder of the bottle with hot water. Shake really well and spray away!  Again, you are so very welcome!

Do It Yourself Home Air Freshner


3- This one I inherited from a family friend, Hilda Mena Blanch. Let’s call it Mistolin Simmer. Pour mistolin (scented all purpose cleaner) into a pot, fill about half way and simmer on low. That’s it! No more to it! I use mistolin because it is cheap and because Mrs. Meyer’s (not so cheap) is not sold in Domincan Republic. Mrs. Meyer’s lemon verbena would be amazing for Mistolin Simmer! My all time favorite scent for this is gardenia. Dominican Republic doesn’t carry the gardenia scent,in lieu I use lavanda (lavender) at home in Santo Domingo and while in Casa de Campo I opt for brisa marina (ocean breeze).

Mistolin Simmer
Mistolin Simmer Luxe, the upgraded version.


Let me know if you try any of these simple concoctions. I would love to hear any of your own. What are your favorite fragrances?  We really need to discuss smelly candles. The options are endless! Don’t forget to like and follow me here and on instagram: @jessicathehousewife. XOXO!




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