Breathe the perfume in the air...

MONSOON BLUES

Breathe the perfume  in the air...

It’s that time of the year when the monsoon hits the City in full force. These are days of heavy downpour, slushy roads and cold weather.

Of course, we would also like to lock ourselves up in the house with a nice cuppa, sitting comfortably by the window watching the downpour, but thanks to our lifestyles, we need to step out quite often.  It is but natural then that the monsoon takes a toll on our homes as well.

Damp clothes drying under the fans, slush-ridden shows by the door, closed windows to keep away the cold and the rain that can come in from gusty showers…all of this works at giving your homes some really unique monsoon odours. In most cases, simply opening the windows or turning the fan on will not do the job.

Kiran V Ranga is the Chief Fragrance Creator (CFC) and founder and Managing Director of Ripple Fragrances Pvt. Ltd, the fragrances division of the Mysore-based NR Group. An ardent fan of fragrances, Kiran is also Director of NESSO (Natural and Essential Oils), a unit of the NR Group, dedicated to the science of floral extraction.

Creating some great fragrances for your home is a speciality and here are his suggestions for some of the most common odour problems that you will face during the monsoons.

Use reed diffusers
Rooms with heavy furniture: Every home has a room or two like these. The living rooms and the bedrooms often have heavy furniture and can be stuffy in the monsoon.

Kiran says, “Reed diffusers are a special category of fragrance products that can be used to cheer up the scent of crowded spaces like small offices or living rooms. They are eco-friendly, free of ash and fire and maintenance-free.

Fashioned from tall, stiff grasses, reeds are porous and excellent for diffusion. When partially immersed in a container of essential oil, fragrance travels up the reeds and permeates the room.

These are available in variants like orange blossom, lavender, lemongrass, melon musk, etc.  Aroma candles are also a good option; they come in many shapes and forms which make it a delight to both your eyes as well as the nose!”

Heavily loaded storage spaces
These are a reference to closets, cabinets that need airing like those of crockery, curio cases and book shelves. Kiran suggests the use of fragrance sachets. They contain vermiculite powder and are multipurpose - they absorb moisture as well as release cheerful, long-lasting fragrance.

Rooms that have little ventilation
This can be a reference to rooms with little natural light or even guest rooms that are seldom opened. Dampness from the monsoon can take a toll on them. For such rooms, Kiran suggests fragrance vaporisers as being ideal for using in poorly-ventilated areas. 

Vaporisers work their magic when a few drops of essential oil are added to a bowl of water and heated from below by a tea light candle.  As water heats, the scent gently spreads out enveloping the room, lingering for long. These vaporisers can be placed on a coffee table/side table in your guest room, walk-in closet or a dark pantry.

The stale smell of a room that has been left unused for long can be quickly turned around by lighting up incense sticks. Their strong smell will camouflage any unpleasant odour and the fresh scent that will captivate you for long!

Tips to keep mustiness away
*Start by keeping living spaces clean and organised. Declutter often. Vacuum and dust regularly.

*Open the windows. As long as you don’t have allergies, take advantage of any warm weather to let some fresh air into your home. It will make everything smell cleaner.

*Put things out in the sun when you can. The sun is a great deodoriser. Put everything from musty suitcases to clothing outdoors in a sunny spot, and it will become fresh-smelling in no time.

*Light incense sticks. For centuries, Indian women have been using incense as a great way to get rid of odour. 

*Use fragrance vaporisers. This is particularly true for those who are allergic to smoke. The essential oils in the vaporisers, when mixed with water scents the entire room, giving it a fresh feel.

*Hydrogen peroxide for mildew and mold. To get rid of musty smells and mildew, such as in the basement or in your bathroom, mix one part three per cent hydrogen peroxide with two parts water, put in a spray bottle and spray the area (let it sit for an hour or more before rinsing).

*Freshen the air and your drains with vinegar. Vinegar combined with baking soda is a powerful freshener for drains.

*Deodorise closets with freshly ground coffee. Leave the coffee in an open container in the corner of the closet and the musty smell will vanish.

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