The Heavenly Scents of Christmas.
It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas and one of the best things about the festive season is the scent of it.
Nothing evokes memories like a scent. Certain scents trigger wonderful memories of Christmas past, whether it's pine trees, your grandmother’s fresh-baked gingerbread, or spicy mulled wine.
There are many fun ways to give your home a festive fragrance. Scented candles come in all the Christmas fragrances you can imagine. Pot Pourri a pretty dish is an easy way to add a seasonal feel to a room, reed diffusers, incense, herbal wreaths, and natural oils. Or why not do it yourself with a homemade orange and clove pomander ball?
Make this festive season one to remember with a scented home that will put everyone in a holiday mood.
Here are selections of my favorite smells that bring my Festive Season alive.
Christmas greenery -Surely nothing says Christmas like the smell of fresh evergreens, in wreaths and swags as well as fresh-cut trees. It’s the best argument I know to buy real and not artificial trees and wreaths.
Balsam or pine incense– Incense sticks bring instant Christmassy fragrance to any room for those of you who do not have an open fire or log burner.
Frankincense - Our German friends burn cones of frankincense incense in their Santa smokers at Christmas, and we love the treasured fragrance. Not having a Santa Smoker I prefer to use oil in an oil burner for this fragrance.
Woodsmoke – whether it’s from the garden bonfire or an open fire in the home this fragrance certainly triggers an abundance of happy memories. Christmas Eves of childhood, with a fire in the living room fireplace and my stocking hung by the chimney with care.
Real beeswax candles- Few things smell as heavenly as beeswax, with its potent honey scent enhancing the rich gold color of the candles.
Cinnamon - Few things bring out the warmth and comfort of the Christmas season like the smell of cinnamon: cinnamon sticks in mulled cider or hot chocolate, hot cinnamon buns or coffeecake, even the cinnamon-infused pinecones in bags as you walk into the supermarket. When the cinnamon sticks come out at your house, you know it’s Christmas!
Orange and cloves- The delicious combination of orange and cloves first imprinted itself on me as a youngster when we would stick whole cloves into oranges every December to make pomanders to set out in bowls at Christmas. The whole house, as well as the airing cupboard where we would dry them, was filled with their wonderful fragrance.
Mulled Wine– An all time favorite for me, nothing puts me in the mood more than a warming, scented glass of fruity mulled wine – delicious.
Fresh baking– whether you like it or not, Christmas time generally creates an excess of baking! Hot bread, cookies, mince pies, cakes you name it, we will give it a go… The heavenly smell of baked goods promises a very, very merry Christmas for everyone.
Make this festive season one to remember with a scented home that will put everyone in a holiday mood. Why not try the traditional scented Pomander Ball for starters…
For me, few things say Christmas quite as much as the scent and sight of an old-fashioned orange and clove pomander ball. I clearly remember making these as a youngster, with my mum and sister, often leaving little dents in our fingers from the sharp cloves. The dismay when you would break the bulbous clove head, seeing it drop and leaving an angular star in its place was heartbreaking but never enough to stop you filling your orange until it was complete.
This is an authentic Christmas smell and is so easy to make with your kids or just for yourself.
For a straightforward pomander, take:
Half a cup (or a good handful) of whole cloves
A festive ribbon
Your or your children will need to decide on the pattern for your cloves. The easiest way is to just dot them all over the orange or use a lattice pattern.
The more artistic might want to add the cloves in lines, or even use them to make a face!
If you want to hang your pomander, be sure to leave a nice clear section for your ribbon. The picture shows how this will look once you've added it.
As orange peel can be tough and cloves may break, it can help to make holes first using a sharp object (adults and responsible older kids only!) and then push the cloves into these holes (kids can do this!).
Once you're happy with the look of the pomander, tie on the festive ribbon and make a loop at the top so that you can make a hanging decoration for your Xmas tree or window. Or you can leave the ribbon off and place it on a mantelpiece or shelf.