Trying to make a fragrant campfire ? Starting a barbecue fire that smells good? Or simply making your fireplace smell good for the home ─ it is all achievable !
Whatever your reason for wanting to make a nice smelling fire is, it will definitely be worthwhile. Kick back and relax while you get enchanted by the dancing flame and mesmerizing scent.
Warning: For your own safety, always start a fire in a controlled environment with the proper firefighting tools on standby. Open flames should generally be started outdoors in a controlled setting where one can easily detect and mitigate any potential hazards. Hazards such as unexpected sparks, pops, or embers may arise. Proceed with extreme caution and always be on the lookout for potential fire hazards.
Natural Aromatic Fires
Nice Smelling Firewood
- Cedarwood ─ Ever walk passed a wooden furniture that smelled great, it’s probably cedar and those aromatic properties are elevated when burned.
- Hickory ─ The classic campfire firewood for the reminiscing smoky smell.
- Pine ─ Want an early Christmas ? Pine smells amazing with the fresh coniferous aromas that is slightly citrusy and absolutely healing for the mind.
- Apple Wood ─ A sweet smoky scent that is very pleasant, especially good to use for barbecues or the fireplace as it puts out quite a good scent when burned.
- Cherry Wood ─ A very unique and highly pleasant aroma that is unforgettable. It puts out a rather sweet aroma that ignites the sense and sets the ambiance. Its strong lingering powers also happens to make the area you burn smell great for a long time.
- Oak ─ A subtle yet pleasant aroma that burns well, perfect for some deep thoughts.
Using any of these woods will definitely create a pleasant fire that smells great. What could be more healing for the mind than staring at a fire while watching it crackle and pop; the pleasant sounds of mother nature.
You could always make a base fire with whatever cheaper regular wood you have that burns well and simply add this aromatic woods into the mix for a longer lasting fire.
Light up dried skins of aromatic fruits
Now this one is pretty simple, most families have nice smelling fruits laying around in their homes. For instance oranges or lemons that pack a strong sweet citrusy fragrance.
When prepped properly and thrown into a fire, it makes a wonderful and pungent smell that wafts around the area. Who doesn’t like the smell of oranges and lemons ?
Now you could always experiment with other fruits, but the citrus family is usually a time-tested failproof way of making great smelling fires. If you could get your hands on some Yuzu, Bergamot Orange, Citron, Lime or perhaps some Tangerines, their skins all make for a good an aromatic ingredient to burn in a fire.
Blaze the Pinecones
Another scent that smells like Christmas ─ Burning them simply brings you on a journey into the great pine forests with earthy, fresh, and cozy vibes.
They also happen to be good fire starters so you can keep that in mind if you ever run out of fire starters but have some excess pinecone laying around. They smell great when burned but do require an additional base for a long lasting fire.
Great Smelling Spices or Herbs
There’s a reason why we use spices and herbs in cooking; they simply enhance the food with their fragrance. These aromatic properties are imparted into the fire if you choose to burn them in it.
Ingredients to consider for aromatic fires:
- Fresh Rosemary
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Lemon Grass
Simply put the spices and herbs into some ignitable wrappers such as newspaper, regular paper, or roll up some flexible thin wood slices and toss them in with your other fire bases. Light it up and as the herbs and spices slowly catch fire they release a wonderful and pleasant scent out into the open air.
Torching Essential Oils
Note that we said essential oils not fragrance oil ! Fragrance oils are synthetic and made for the cosmetic industry. Thus, I would avoid them to be used in a flame where you might inhale the fumes.
Essential oils however, are highly concentrated, smells great, and are naturally extracted from plants, thus, they are safer and befit the overall ritual of starting a wonderful smelling fire.
It’s a fairly simple trick, after-all it’s oil, perfect for combustion and the essential oils simply enhance fires with that much needed fragrance.
Do not drip the oil directly over an open flame, it is dangerous ! Instead simply drip them over the base of your fire such as dried wood, bamboo sticks, or whatever material you have at your disposal – that can can easily absorb the oils and is combustible.
Let the oil sit and dry for a short while, then proceed to simply torch those suckers and enjoy the wonderful dancing flame and heavenly aromas.
Essential oil suggestions: Sandalwood, Warm Vanilla, Cypress, Bergamot, Lavender, Patchouli, Sweet Orange and Jasmine.
Flame Cooked Food
What’s better than the smell of delicious food ? Instead of making the fire smell great, why not use it as a medium to make something else smell great ?
With little effort you can achieve the same pleasant aroma around your fire by simply cooking. Marinate the meat with spices & herbs or simply barbecue it naturally.
Cooking over an open flame is a good and delicious way to enjoy the fire. As your mind is captivated by the burning flame ─ feast on the deliciously cooked steak, catfish, lamb chops, marshmallows, or whatever your heart desires. An absolutely amazing way to relax that might even attract your neighbours !
Open flame cooking ideas for aromatic dishes:
- Buttery corn, does anyone actually hate the smell of butter ?
- Lamb Chops
- Alligator or Catfish (More common in certain states)
- Marinated Salmon
- Aromatic soups
- Fragrant Boiled Tea
- Kebabs, Hot Dogs
- BACON. Bacon smells amazing.
I Can’t Start A Fire
Staying in an apartment ? Afraid of a fire hazard ? Perhaps you simply don’t want to go through the hassle of cleaning up the mess after a fire. No problem. There is nothing wrong with using good old scented candles.
The convenience of fire in a controlled setting with minimal effort. Simply light up the scented candle and let the fire do the trick. Many scented candle companies have become creative recently that they even offer candles that crackle and pop just like an open flame burning wood. Now that’s ingenious and definitely ASMR worthy.
It saves you from a lot of trouble and you no longer have to fuss over a fireplace setup or where to enjoy a nice relaxing flame outdoors. Simply get one of these special scented candles, in your room, with a cup of hot beverage, some classic jazz, and soak in the good vibes. If you live near nature, simply gaze at the majestic sights and breathe in the pleasant aroma offered by the mini fire.
Ok, But how do I start a fire ?
Now that you know how to make a nice smelling fire, how do you actually start the fire ?
Now for the experienced veterans and outdoor campers, this is probably not for you. If you read all the way here and thought “Hey, I actually don’t know how to start a fire in the first place” ─ don’t worry a lot of people don’t either, so here are some tips and tricks.
Fire is a primal art form that humans require to survive, so it doesn’t hurt to learn how to actually start a fire, a great smelling one nevertheless !
- Quick & Easy Spark ─ Get a blow torch, light a stick with your stove, use matches, or a cigarette lighter. Sounds like common sense right, because it is. If you have fire-starting equipment, use it, lesser work, lesser trouble, great results. Pair it with a store-bought fire starters or full kits and you’re good to go honestly.
- The Survivalist Sparks ─ If you’re feeling wild or simply don’t have an easy ignition tool, it’s time to go back to basics. Use friction – Rub two dry sticks rigorously to achieve a spark. The caveman used it and so do soldiers, because it simply works; although it requires some practice to be good at it. Use a camper’s magnesium fire starter, even though it’s man-made, it’s an efficient yet unconventional tool to have. Or simply ‘science the heck out of it‘. Some regions have strong sunlight, where if you redirect the light with a magnifying glass, mirrors, or whatever good reflectors you have, the concentrated ray actually ignites your combustion source.
- Have a good base ─ This means having a good combustible source. The best option would be a decent firewood to use as fuel for burning a long lasting fire. Wet or damp wood wouldn’t work or take a really long time. You don’t necessarily require big logs or professional wood, suitable branches and twigs work just fine. The base burns strong slowly to maintain the fire.
- Make a perimeter ─ Making a perimeter around the fire is good practice as it contains the fire and protects you. This could be adding stones, bricks, or damp wood ‘walls’, flooding the areas outside the fire with water, and even digging a hole. This makes sure that the fire doesn’t have a chance to go wild, even if it did, it’s limited to the perimeter you control. It also protects the fire from disruptive elements as well.
- Tinder & Kindling ─ Every fire requires good tinder to start as it is easily flammable and burns good. Cotton, dryer lint from your laundry, and fibrous wood would be good examples. Kindling is what you use to keep the tinder flame going and burning. Again you can use small twigs and branches.
- Fan the fire ─ Fundamentals of fire is that it requires good oxygen sources. Fanning the flame drives fresh oxygen towards it to make the fire burn well. Adjust strength and speed accordingly, you want to keep the fire going not put out a weak one.
- Monitor the flame ─ If it looks like it’s getting weak and going out, it probably is. Time to add some fuelwood (Same stuff you use in your base) to keep it going. The
Putting out the fire
- Drown it. Soak the whole fire with water, make sure there’s no residue such as embers that may start unwanted fires.
- Mix up the pile. If the fire is super weak or simply reduce to hot glowing ashes; often mixing it around would be sufficient to put it out entirely. Throw in some dirt while you’re at it.
- Suffocate it. As mentioned earlier, fire needs oxygen to thrive, if you have a giant metal lid (I won’t ask why you have it), simply cover the fire with it and check after 5 – 10 minutes or till cooled. Repeat until it is fully extinguished. Throw some rocks or dirt on it if you don’t have a lid or whatever works to starve it of oxygen.
- Water, More mixing & More water ─ You want to be completely sure the fire is out and can’t resurface even after you have left the area. Dousing it with water, mixing it with dirt and gravel, and drowning it with more water (even outside the perimeter) again is often enough to completely ensure no wildfire can reemerge from careless mistakes. Hose the heck out of it if you’re near a water supply to be on the super safe side.
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