Everyone’s sense of smell is different. I know my nose is more sensitive than my husband’s because I often ask him, “What’s that smell?” and he has no idea of what I am talking about. My younger sister has had allergies throughout her life, so her ability to smell has also been diminished.
Our homes all have distinctive smells. Smells come from anything and everything including food, pets, humans, weather, materials and much more. All these various odors seep into our walls, carpet, window coverings and furniture. I think the biggest contributor to the smell of our home is based on what type of food we prepare in the kitchen. In our house, we get a variety of smells because I tend to cook mostly Asian food, while my English husband loves his stinky cheeses. Whenever I cook salmon in my oven, the house has that fishy smell that takes a while to get rid of. Another smell that is difficult to disguise is tobacco. In most countries outside of the U.S., smoking is more common and when we used to entertain in our home, at least half the guests were smokers. We do not have a pet, but pets also have a distinctive smell. So, over the years, I have picked up a few tricks that seem to work for me.
Obviously, ventilation is important. You need a powerful kitchen vent, hood or exhaust, which ever way you wish to call it. When we moved into our home, the house did not have one and when I pointed out this fact to the previous owner, they said, “Just open the window”. Well, that does work but not as quickly or efficiently as I had wished for. We finally installed one several years ago.
For the more pungent odors such as cigarette smoke and fish, I open the windows and burn a number of candles. This works quite well. Another trick someone recommended was to put citrus peels in the oven on low heat. Fragrance oils also work but sometimes it can make the smell worse because it just masks the odors not eliminate them.
All and all, the best solution is to clean your house and to have a few indoor plants, especially in your kitchen. Plants filter the air and improve the overall air quality. Nature always has the best solution.