The Joy of Christmas Scents & Fragrance
The way scent transports you to Christmas as a child is something we can all relate to. Perhaps it’s the vibrant zest of satsumas. Maybe it's the smoke from a just-pulled cracker. Or the overladen Christmas tree releasing its spellbinding scent. It’s hard to think of Christmas without conjuring up the scents that so often accompany this magical time of year.
Christmas is full of distinctive traditions and experiences. The joy we experience as children at the sheer magic and wonderment of Christmas returns in force when we catch a breath of those scents first experienced when we were small. Even 80 years on, those memories – for a brief moment in time – immerse us completely.
Spices, Citrus and Greenery
Christmas has long been the time for precious spices and ingredients. From the delicious wafts of cinnamon and nutmeg we smell in our mince-pies to the evocative richness of incense at Midnight Mass, spices from far-flung lands typify Christmas for some of us.
There are brighter, fresher fragrances that conjure up Christmas too. It might be the slice of lemon in your mother’s perfumed G&T or the tangerine you hastily ate in your bedroom at 5.30am as you opened your stocking.
Citrus’s tantalising freshness is a zesty foil to the richness of oriental spice. We’ve brought greenery into our homes for centuries at this time of year. Decking the halls with boughs of holly fills our homes with a woody fresh scent that even the most expensive diffusers can’t replicate. And let’s not forget the tree, perfuming your home in their inimitable fashion, can anything beat this most festive of fragrances?
Filling your home with the scent of Christmas
As adults, we want to recreate those Christmassy scents. But can we do it justice? How can we recreate those memories and build new ones? For me it’s about the experience associated with the fragrance. Christmas is a deeply personal occasion, I want my home to smell beautiful in a way that’s unique to me and my family.
Here are my favourite ways to bring scent into my home at Christmas:-
1. Greenery. If you can, choose a real Christmas tree, choosing the most fragrant variety available.If you prefer an artificial tree, think about adding some festive sprigs of holly or mistletoe to your home for a naturally joyful ambience. Mistletoe hung at opportunistic spots around the home will add some fun too!
2. Get baking. Whether you’re a seasoned mince-pie baker or a pop-to-the-shops faker, there’s no doubt that the smell of festive baking ranks high on most people’s list of festive scents. For a nostalgic scent throughout your home, make some gingerbread dough and pop it in the fridge ready to roll out, cut into pretty shapes and bake when guests arrive. As a bonus, decorating these tasty biscuits is a sure-fire way to keep excited little angels quiet for at least 30 minutes!
3. Festive fruit. With all that rich food on offer, guests and family will be grateful for a bowl of fresh fruit. Fill your prettiest bowl with oranges, limes, pomegranates and dates and place it centre stage, ready to refresh jaded palates and garnish the obligatory drink.
Everyone gets a vitamin C boost while they effortlessly scent your home. Stud one or two oranges with cloves for a pretty and beautifully scented (non-edible) addition to your fruit bowl.
4. Flames. A log or coal fire is the ultimate festive delight! For those lucky enough to have an open fire or wood-burner then now is the time to indulge. If you're able to lay your hands on them, pine and yew will both give off a particularly festive scent.
No fire? Light as many candles as you can and bathe in their soft glow and gentle scent. Beeswax candles, gifted candles that smell divine and the novelties you couldn't resist all add their touch of atmosphere and contribute to the festive scents in the air.
5. Fresh air. With all that celebrating, rooms can become a bit stale. Keep things fresh by opening the windows for half an hour to let in clean air and refresh your home. A walk out in the crisp winter air clears the lungs and gives you an excuse to indulge in one (or three) of those gingerbread biscuits you just baked. And returning to your beautifully festive home full of evocative fragrances is a delight in itself.
There are so many ways to make your home smell perfectly festive this Christmas. Enjoy making your own traditions and recreating those memories you treasure, they're one of the most important elements of Christmas.
With festive wishes,