There’s so much to love about the Christmas season. Although it’s only just November — and there’s still Thanksgiving to navigate — it’s inevitable that around this time, thoughts begin to turn to the most wonderful time of the year.
Most of us have memories of Christmases of our childhood. If you think about the memories you have, you might be surprised to realize just how many of these memories are sense-based. The taste of cranberry sauce; the fragrance of pine needles and incense; the satisfying feel of a sliding fingers beneath wrapping paper in anticipation. Of these, by far the most pervasive memories tend to be fragrance-based. This is of no surprise, given how inextricably fragrance is linked to memory– for many of us, one inhalation can transport us back in time to another point in our lives, all based on memory alone.
Many of us now find ourselves playing hostess at Christmas, meaning that it’s the fragrances of our home this year that will last in the memories of our children. Even if you don’t have the traditional snowy weather, you can still use scent and fragrance to ensure the most “Christmassy” feel for your home– and a lifetime of memories for your children. Let’s explore some of the best ways to introduce fragrance to your home this year, as well as offer some tips on the most Christmas-appropriate scents that you’ll want as part of your celebration!
The Art Of Controlling Bad Smells
First and foremost, ensuring your house smells divine means you have to have neutral scents on which to work your fragrancing magic. Therefore, your first focus should be on neutralizing bad smells so that your home can become a cornucopia of fragranced delights.
The most obvious source of bad smells is the kitchen, especially if food burns or the trash hasn’t been emptied in the rush of last-minute preparations. If you don’t have a kitchen fan, then there’s still time to put one into place in time for Christmas. This will help ensure that any bad smells that do develop aren’t left to linger.
Another common bad smell that you might find yourself having to deal with is cigarette smoke. No vent is going to be sufficient for cigarette smoke; it’s notoriously stubborn, so your options are more limited. You could insist that smoking only takes place outside, or encourage the smoker in your life to head to Ecigwizard to stock up on vaping supplies. You’ll still need to remove the lingering smell of previous cigarette smoke, however; there’s a few great ideas to try listed here.
With your home now a scent-neutral zone, you can go to town on introducing the fragrances that will play such a huge role in your Christmas.
The Spice of Christmas
If a single fragrance was to be named the fragrance of Christmas, then without a doubt, it would be cinnamon. Cinnamon is a scent that we all associate with Christmas; it’s the scent of baked Christmas cookies, of incense, of candles burning over the hearth. You’re definitely going to want to make use of cinnamon for your festive fragrance needs.
There are various ways to do this. You can use the classic options, like candles, wax tarts, and incense burners– but there’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh cinnamon. Thankfully, cinnamon sticks are rather pretty, and can be made into lovely decorations that will go well with the rest of your Christmas decor. Tie a few sticks with some festive ribbon and you’ve got a simple ornament that also has a delicious scent when you stand close to it; add a few vanilla sticks in for a really Christmassy fragrance.
If you want to push things further, then these cinnamon ornaments are a fun DIY to do with your kids, so definitely worth considering!
Natural and Herbal Options
Of course, the one downside of using cinnamon as a Christmas fragrance is that it can make the whole household hungry! If this is an issue for you, you might want to use a blend of natural or herbal smells for your scent choices. Here are a few great options:
- The smell of pine needles is a guaranteed memory-stirrer for Christmas, as we all associate the fragrance with Christmas trees. Many of the major candle suppliers now do pine needle scented options, or you can buy bags of dried pine needles for use in homemade pomanders.
- Christmas roses don’t have a particularly different smell to standard roses, so you can use anything rose-fragranced you already have for this purpose. Rose fragrance goes well with pine needles and cloves to really enhance the Christmas feel.
- Berry scents are also popular for winter, especially dark berries such as blackberries. To prevent berry scents from smelling too edible, pair them with pine needles, pinecones, or heavy spices such as peppers– cinnamon or orange may make them smell too sweet.
- Finally, oranges make for a wonderful Christmassy fragrance, which work well when combined with essential oils such as clary sage, basil, or even lavender. These essential oils help to highlight the botanical, rather than culinary, notes of the oranges. You can also use star anise to decorate oranges for the perfect decoration.
You can use raw herbal and natural products, but they are less likely to fragrance an entire house. Essential oils, candles, and diffusers are the best option if you truly want the fragrance to permeate. You can use real products for decorations, just don’t expect to be able to smell these from more than a few feet away!
Mix and Match
Of course, there’s no reason you have to restrict yourself to just one or two of these options! Christmas fragrance should be indulgent and enjoyable, so play with ideas in different rooms. Berry options are wonderful for living spaces, whereas culinary choices like cinnamon and vanilla are a natural fit for the kitchen. Play around with whatever works for you, and you and your family will soon be enjoying a fragrant Christmas that will live long in your memories.