Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh With Tips From Home Town's Erin Napier

A fresh smelling home is great for both those who live there and those who visit. Erin Napier of HGTV's "Home Town” knows that while living in a clean environment is great for the day to day, there is nothing worse than realizing you might have gone noseblind to an atrocious stink. You'll know it the second your guests' noses wrinkle up when they walk inside. Luckily, the star has plenty of ways to keep your home smelling fantastic (or neutral, if that's what you prefer) as scents are an important part of life for her.

"Scent memory. Gosh, such a huge part of who I am and what I've been reading about lately called 'core memories,'" Napier captioned an Instagram video. "This is a strange skill I've had since childhood, the ability for photographic recall of events and people and things in my life from a scent." You definitely want the memories associated with scent in your home to be pleasant ones, so take a page out of Napier's book and keep your home smelling fresh with these top tips from her.

Keep fresh greenery in the house

One of the easiest ways to keep your home smelling fresh is by keeping flowers and greenery in the house. When writing about her favorite options on the Laurel Mercantile blog, Napier names sweet olive as one of her go-tos. "Since the actual flower is not much to look at—just gaze upon the home with its namesake that you can smell from a hundred yards away," she wrote. And she's right, sweet olive doesn't look like much, but it smells fantastic. It has a sweet, tangy scent which kind of smells like an apricot. It is quite popular in southern gardening, which is probably why it's a favorite of Napier's as she's from Mississippi.

If you want another option, some of the other most fragrant flowers include lilacs, roses, rhododendrons, and magnolias. These flowers grow on shrubs that are easy to care for and do well in most USDA growing zones. So by planting a bush or two in your yard, you would have long term access to blossoms to bring inside. Just remember to swap out the flowers after about a week. Any longer than that, and you'll notice the most foul stench wafting out of the vase as the flowers begin to decompose.

Grab a candle from her collection

"A wonderful fragrance is a form of time travel—we are there again in that memory the moment we smell it again," Erin wrote about her candle line on Instagram. "You can take photos to remember a moment, but I wanted more: a way to capture the feeling with a scent." She's right, scent is a powerful memory tool. Studies show that our brains tie unfamiliar scents to significant events in our life. To make big moments a little bit more special, Napier recommends choosing a new scent before a big life event. "A pro tip from my [sentimental] heart: choose a new candle before a milestone day—a baby's birth, a wedding, a vacation—and burn it for the first time when that happens," she wrote. "You'll always be able to go back to that time and place when you light it again."

Napier has plenty of candles in her collection to choose from, most coming in 5,8, and even 10 ounce options. You can choose a candle that smells like a location such as Woodshop, or even a favorite item like Sunday Boots. Some choices even take you back to a specific period of Napier's life, like Summer '99 which is a light white tea tonic. Whatever scent you choose, burning a candle is always a great way to keep a home smelling fresh.

Start a load of laundry

If you think your house is smelling a bit damp or dank, just put in a load of laundry. You'll probably agree with Napier that there is little better than inhaling the fresh scent of a clean load of laundry, straight out of the dryer. In fact, Napier even loves the smell the clothes create while they are still being dried! "The laundry vent," she was quick to list among her favorite smells on the Laurel Mercantile blog. "I'd like to tell you that Gain is the ultimate, and while it is the only detergent and softener we use around these parts, I'm not particular. Any and all dryer vent smells put the wind in my sails. Mmmmm..."

Whether you choose laundry soap or detergent, Gain is Napier's scent of choice, but of course, any will do. You can even use dryer sheets (that come scented or are scented at home with essential oil!) for a little bit of extra oomph. Something to consider, though, is that it's important to keep your dryer vent clean to keep things smelling fresh. If left unattended, the build up of lint can actually be a fire hazard. There are a few effective cleaning methods for your dryer vent, but the best one is just to vacuum it out.

Pop something sweet in the oven

It's an old fashioned real estate trick: pop some cookies in the oven right before the potential buyers arrive for the open house. This way, the property smells delicious and it makes a great impression. Napier agrees that baked goods, real or not, are a great scent to have around the house. "I think of my mom's house always smelling like an apple cobbler around this time of year, and I made a candle at the Scent Library that is called 'Mama's House' because it left such a mark on me that that's what home should smell like around the holidays," she told Today.

So while the scent of a batch of fresh chocolate chip cookies might only last an hour or two, you can easily recreate the magic with a candle, wax melt, or even room spray. Scented items for sale are designed to play up on the smells we enjoy, and sweet treats are right towards the top of the list. Of course, if you have company coming over and feel in a pinch, there is nothing wrong with doing things the old fashioned way and baking something up to improve the smell. It's a win/win because now your guests have something to eat, too!

Try making DIY pomanders

If you are feeling a little crafty, Napier recommends getting hands on about your home's smell with orange and clove pomanders. "This scent is very personal to me — it reminds me of the hope and comfort I felt in my home as a child during the holiday season making [them] with my mama," Napier said in a Salvation Army press release. While referring to items available for purchase through her home scent line, you can also recreate the same refreshing smell by creating the pomanders at home, too.

They are easy to make and a great activity to do as a family. Take a medium, unpeeled orange and press cloves into it. Traditionally, you would use patterns like a cross, a ring around the fruit, or even diagonal lines to decorate the orange. If you struggle to press the cloves into the fruit, you can use a toothpick or a thumbtack to make the holes first, then press the cloves in after. Dust them with cinnamon and hang them up to enjoy their fresh scent! If you like a citrus smell, you can also use oranges and epsom salt to create a deodorizer that works to suck stench from the air.

Spritz a room spray

If you need a room spelling better ASAP, you don't have time to wait for a candle to melt or cookies to bake. Something that can take the edge off ASAP is a well-timed room spray. Napier has plenty of options in her scent line, including The Old City, which smells of Spanish moss and salty air, as well as Savannah, which is a delicious blend of orange and cucumber. While these sprays are not disinfectants, they are deodorizers. They won't kill the germs or bacteria that are causing any bad smells, but will cover them up so you don't have to bask in their stink.

For the best results, don't spritz the liquid directly onto any smelly things like a couch or a pair of shoes. Instead, stand well clear and give the bottle a few pumps into the room at large. This allows the scent to form a bit of a cloud and spread out throughout the space, instead of being clumped in one area where it wouldn't be as effective.

A quick tip to avoid: an ozone generator

When our favorite HGTV stars make suggestions for our homes, most of us are quick to try them out. Sometimes, though, what was once great advice becomes outdated as more information is available. Napier once tweeted, "PSA: we are working on a house that has been smoked in for many many years. A six hour treatment with an ozone generator that cost $99 has completely gotten rid of the smell in the 4000 square-foot house. #voodoo #magic."

Unfortunately, although the star tweeted that she stands by this as a great way to make homes smell less smoky, the science tends to point to them being more trouble than they are worth. Once, it was thought that ozone generators worked well to get rid of smells as long as they were not used in an enclosed space. Kind of like how you might leave the house when setting off a bug bomb. However, even with perfect use, most government agencies agree that the health risks of using one of these machines far outweighs its benefits. Ozone generators are not meant to purify air or get rid of smells. The best you can do is the good old fashioned standby of opening the windows and using fans to move air around. It's not worth the risk to do any differently, even if Napier said it worked for her.