When biscuits or cakes are baking in the oven, or a pot of home-made soup is bubbling away on the stove.
When Chase has decided to treat us to some of his home-baked bread, or Harmonie has talked me into making lasagne or Japanese Curry.
We aren't completely undomestic at Chez MIA!
But there are times when there is nothing in the oven, the garbage is waiting to be taking out, the washing is festering in the laundry, or the house has been shut up because no one has been home all day.
And we open the door and are hit by an ... aroma. Kind of like a combination of mouldy socks, wet dog, and fetid school lunch boxes.
Even after giving our home a good clean, a kind of 'lived-in' smell often lingers. I guess it's not altogether gross, but society and advertising makes me feel that houses must smell of vanilla, cinnamon, and unicorn sprinkles to be homes. (I may have made that last one up).
Before kids, I used to burn incense and candles for ambience, but I've learnt it's not a good idea when kids are about, not even now my two are older. Candles are just too tempting for young ones, and my kids find the smell of incense overpowering.
We tried air fresheners, but we never really found one that didn't smell like something lovely trying to cover up something that Was Not Lovely. And that was worse than the original smell!
And then we interviewed Layla Subritsky, of Big Brother 2012 fame, and the official Ambi Pur/Big Brother 2013 ambassador.
Apart from learning a lot about living in the Big Brother house, we were sent a few of the most popular Ambi Pur products to try at home.
First up, was the Ambi Pur Car Mini. It arrived, happily, on the day we had to take a road trip with our mini chihuahua-pomeranian Lucy. For some reason, known only to her, she had decided to wee in her bed, just before we left on our journey. Excitement maybe. But stinky for us.
My son Chase simply clipped the car mini thingy onto the car vent and the odour was magically eliminated. And it wasn't just masked, it was replaced with a pleasant vanilla-like smell. We all travelled quite happily. Except perhaps for Lucy, who knew she was in disgrace.
When we returned from our road trip, we tried the Ambi Pur adjustable diffuser and fragrance. You put a little bottle into the diffuser and plug the whole thing into an electrical socket.
This particular one was supposed to smell like green meadows after the rain. Okay, it didn't smell like that to us. At first. But it still smelt pretty nice.
To be honest, we did have to turn it off from time to time because it took a while for our allergy-sensitive noses to get used it.
But we soon found it was lovely to switch on before visitors arrived, or when the house needed a freshen-up.
In fact, I leave it on all the time now, switched on to low. It's funny how it really makes a difference to come home to house that smells lovely and fresh and - welcoming.
There is no lingering smell of cat, or dog, or lived-in couch; just a happy aroma reminiscent of flowers and, I'll admit it now, rain!
We were also sent some Ambi Pur Air Effects, for the bathroom and shower. They work much better than products we've used before. (Can you believe some expensive and highly recommended products used to make Harmonie cry because she couldn't stand the smell? So we just gave up on using them altogether. Until now.)
The Spring and Renewel Febreze has a pleasant lavender aroma, that is so nice Harmonie has taken to spraying it in her room when she leaves for the day, and the room still smells inviting when she arrives home.
But by far my favourite product of those we were sent to try, was the Febreze Ambi Pur extra strength fabric refresher.
Our cats are both rescue pets, and one of them lost his mother a little too early. As well leaving him with an adorable fondness for suckling and massaging my childrens' soft toys, his abandonment issues mean that he doesn't like moving. (Well, who does, right?)
And so it was, that a week or two after moving here and having our couch professionally cleaned, Kit Kat well and truly let his feelings well and truly be known. Yep, right on our good-as-new couch. (It's okay, there was a blanket on it at the time. But, you know. Seepage.)
Despite my very best efforts, working my way through odour and stain busting
Not any more. The room and couch smell as fresh and clean as they look.
If you'd like to give the range of Ambi Pur products a try, you'll be happy to know that they are giving 2 MIA readers the chance to win an Ambi Pur summer survival kit!
The kits each contain contain:
1 x Car Mini, New Zealand Springs
· 1 x Electrical Plug In, Meadow and Rain
· 1 x Toilet, lavender and Rosemary
· 1 x Febreze
· 1 x Candle, Medlow and Rain
· 1 x Air Effects, Lavender and Comfort
To win, simply make sure you are a liker of my Maid In Australia Facebook page, and leave a comment below, sharing your favourite smell and why. The competition ends on Sunday the 17th of November at 5 pm. Good luck!
Layla Subritsky with an armful of Ambi Pur goodies