One of the downsides of living in small New York apartment is that when you cook, the smells go everywhere. If I had a kitchen door, I'd close it but our apartment is literally one big room. Even with the fan on and the windows open, it's hard to avoid stinking the whole place up.
Sauteed onions are the worst. They taste so good and they're essential to so many dishes - particularly in Indian cooking - but the smell just lingers on.
But I have finally found a remedy!
My very clever friend Roshan recommended a brilliant solution. Keep a small pot simmering on a back burner. Put in a couple of cups of water, some cinammon sticks, a few drops of vanilla essence and an orange peel. Keep simmering while you cook, making sure the water doesn't dry out. The smell is wonderful and it really seems to negate the cooking aromas. Two days later, I can still smell the cinammon when I walk in the door!
Also, you know how after chopping onions and garlic it can be hard to get rid of that smell from your hands? Try rubbing your hands on something made of stainless steel - your sink, a ladle, a spoon... anything. Rub it like you would a bar of soap and you'll find the smell disappears!