You're not limited to the scent of smoldering logs in your wood-burning fireplace. Think of your fireplace as an over-sized potpourri or incense burner -- but don't throw just anything into the fire. To add a spicy scent to your fireplace without inadvertently releasing unknown chemicals into your home, make your own toss-ins with pine cones from your yard and items from your pantry.
Things You'll Need
1 cup ground cinnamon
Large zip top plastic bag
Purge the pine cones of dirt and bugs by soaking them in a bucket of cold water for 1 hour. Keep the pine cones submerged the whole time.
Remove the pine cones from the water and lay them out on paper towels. Allow the surface water to drain out for one or two hours.
Place the pine cones on a cookie sheet. Bake them in a 200 F oven for 30 to 45 minutes, until they are dry and open. Allow the pine cones to cool and continue to dry overnight.
Mix 1 part flour and 3 parts water in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then remove it from the heat, stirring frequently, until it thickens into a paste. Allow the paste to cool.
Add 1 cup of ground cinnamon to a large zip top plastic bag while the paste cools.
Coat the pine cones with the flour paste with a foam brush.
Place the coated pine cones, two or three at a time, in the zip top bag filled with cinnamon. Close the bag and shake it to coat them.
Place the cinnamon-coated pine cones on wax paper. Allow the pine cones to dry for two or three days before using them.
To use the scented pine cones, toss one or two into the fire. You can use any kind of powdered spice or spice blend you like. Display the scented pine cones in a decorative bowl or basket to add a light cinnamon scent to the room.
Don't skip the soaking and drying steps -- you could wind up bringing bugs inside.