Would This Scent Of Mom's Cooking Make You Feel Happy Or Sad?

Photo: Courtesy of Air Wick.
Recently, I received a pitch from Air Wick for its new scent, Mom’s Baking. According to the brand, this fragrance has “three distinct fragrance accords”: vanilla, homemade pie crust, and baked pear. Fresh-baked goods? I love the smell of those, but the idea of having them manufactured into a vaporized scent sat funny with me.

On the one hand, I can totally understand the need for an air freshener — especially if you live somewhere like NYC. On other, the company’s appeal to childhood nostalgia and creating “a sense of coziness” made me think of the episode of Shark Tank with the Cuddletunes teddy bear (anyone else see that one?). The bear has the ability to capture and play voice recordings, so kids can fall asleep to their parents' or grandparents’ voices if they are apart. A lovely idea in principle, but, as Shark Barbara Corcoran pointed out, a voice recording like this can just remind kids of what they’re missing. It's similar to when you're really aching for your significant other and someone walks by wearing their same fragrance — is that moment a comfort or a torture? (For me, there is a fleeting moment of solace, followed by a rapid descent into Sad Town). Along those lines, then, if you’re feeling homesick and baking smells make you think of mom, home, family, etc., would an air freshener make those feelings worse?

As Refinery29's food editor, I feel it's my duty to suggest that you instead fill your house with the scent of real baked goods — and the added bonus is that you have delicious, homemade treats to help you eat your feelings. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Baking can be a total drag and a lot of work! And, you're not entirely wrong. However, there are easy, fun ways you can whip something up in minimal time, with minimal mess, and with maximum good smells. Don’t have an oven? No problem! Here are 40 things (including desserts) you can cook from scratch in a microwave and a cup.              
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