It’s almost sweater weather season! And nothing says fall quite like the evocative smells of smoky fires, autumn air, and pumpkin spice. Thankfully, for all of you who are trying to stay indoors during quarantine, there are countless cruelty-free fragrances out there that allow you to bring the crisp, autumnal scents indoors.
What makes a cruelty-free home fragrance?
Unfortunately, not all fragrances are created equal. Many home fragrance products are still tested on animals.
Animal rights nonprofit Cruelty Free International reports that millions of animals are kept in laboratories around the world and used for scientific purposes.
The animals used in these tests—such as guinea pigs, rabbits, and mice—are bred specifically so that they can be used for the experiments. Examples of animal experiments that are commonly performed include eye and skin irritation tests. Researchers routinely force the animals to inhale chemicals to test whether or not they are toxic or rub the ingredients directly onto the animals’ skin.
Due to the ethical issues surrounding animal testing, CFI and other animal rights groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) lobby for bans on animal experimentation. And they’re not alone.
The National Institutes of Health—a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the largest biomedical research agency in the world—has published studies showing that animal experimentation is notoriously unreliable. A 2015 study indicates that animal tests “often significantly harms humans through misleading safety studies, potential abandonment of effective therapeutics, and direction of resources away from more effective testing methods.”
What ingredients to look out for?
In addition to not being cruelty-free, many home scents and fragrance products are also not vegan because they contain animal-derived ingredients.
Examples of animal-derived ingredients include beeswax and honey. According to PETA, there are thousands of ingredients that stem from animals that can be found in not only home fragrances, food, household cleaning products, and other cosmetics items.
But good fragrances don’t have to come at the expense of animals. PETA offers a helpful guide called Beauty Without Bunnies that indicates which companies are cruelty-free and vegan.
How to Make Cruelty-Free Fall Scents
So, you’ve got your festive wreath hung up on your door and a delicious PSL clutched in your hand. All that’s missing is an aromatic array of seasonal scents to transport you to a place of pure nostalgia. For those that love to DIY, you can easily make your house smell just like fall! Here’s how.
1. Essential Oils
One of the easiest and inexpensive ways you can make your home smell like fall is to diffuse fall-friendly essential oils. And there are countless seasonal scents to choose from! Try diffusing cinnamon, orange, eucalyptus, or frankincense essential oils for cozy, winter wonderland indoors.
2. Bake something
What better way to give your home a seasonal aromatic makeover than by baking a classic fall-inspired treat? So warm up your oven and try making this mouthwatering vegan pumpkin pie. Or whip up this taste bud-pleasing vegan pecan pie!
3. Make a simmer pot
Stovetop potpourri can leave your home smelling absolutely delicious for hours. Simply bring a pot of water to boil and add in seasonal ingredients. These can include oranges, apples, and cinnamon sticks. Have fun with your scents! Throw in spices like vanilla extract or cloves and then let the pot simmer. Add in water as it evaporates to keep the sweet, fall-smelling scent around longer.
4. Opt for cinnamon-scented pinecones
You can also opt for a classic basket of fall-smelling potpourri or hang cinnamon-scented pinecones around your home. Just bake the pinecones in the oven to help them dry out. Then infuse them with cinnamon essential oil—or any essential oil of your choosing—and water.
5. Make a fall bouquet
For an inviting fall fragrance, put together a beautiful fall floral arrangement. Some examples of seasonal fall flowers include pansies, celosia, aster, and dianthus.
The Best Cruelty-Free Fall Scents for Your Home
Give your home a seasonal scent with these cruelty-free and vegan home fragrances.
1. Lulu Candles Spiced Vanilla
Hand-poured in the U.S., this Spiced Vanilla candle by LuLu features a 100 percent cotton wick and is paraben- and cruelty-free. It’s made with naturally biodegradable and eco-friendly soy wax and has an essential oil blend. It will smell so good you’ll want to eat it.
2. Sam’s Natural Cedarwood Candle
Bring the smell of the outdoors inside with this certified vegan and cruelty-free cedarwood candle. Featuring a fresh, cedar scent, the hand-poured 100 percent soy candle not only smells amazing but burns for more than 35 hours.
3. Maroma Pine Needles Incense
Nothing says fall quite like the smell of pine needles. For a “feels like Christmas” scent, burn this incense by Maroma. It features an essential oil blend of pine needles, eucalyptus, and elemi.
4. Homesick Pumpkin Picking Candle
For a classic, nostalgic scent—smell no further than Homesick’s Pumpkin Picking candle. It features mid notes of ginger, cinnamon, and clove with base notes of vanilla, tonka bean, and sugar.
5. Sweet Water Decor Warm and Cozy Candle
This scented soy wax candle will have you feeling like you’re curled up beside a cozy fire. With notes of pine, orange, cinnamon, fir, and cypress—this candle is perfect for burning throughout the winter months. The non-toxic and cruelty-free candle is infused with natural essential oils and burns for more than 40 hours.
6. The Body Shop Salted Caramel and Vanilla Reed Diffuser
For a sweet-smelling scent that will have you dreaming about your favorite dessert, look no further than this salted caramel and vanilla reed diffuser by The Body Shop. The delicious scent features a blend of soft caramel, vanilla extract, praline, and salt.
7. The Handmade Soap Winter Reed Diffuser
If you liked the last diffuser, then you’re definitely going to want to snag this one. The Handmade Soap’s winter reed diffuser features a seasonal scented blend of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and pine. It even comes with a matching scented candle!
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