Christmas smells so good!
I just made a batch of vanilla fudge and it smells heavenly.
The best smell of Christmas is the scent of a fresh cut Christmas tree. A fresh cut Christmas tree smells clean and earthy like nature. The scent and sight of Christmas greenery can make a person feel refreshed and invigorated and is actually therapeutic. The scents of pine and cedar have healing properties.
Most of us have artificial trees. They are not as messy as live Christmas trees and are much easier to use. There is no watering and minimal shedding of needles. Artificial trees come with their own stand so there is no struggle to keep them standing upright. Also, many any artificial trees come with lights already attached which can save a lot of time. Unfortunately, artificial trees have little or no smell, which is fine except we miss the fresh tree scent. We can buy candles, aromatic oil diffusers, sachets, and scented ornaments to replace the fresh tree scent.
There are natural ways to replace that fresh tree scent. A small potted tree or arrangement for your table can be very attractive and less messy. Wreaths made from live trees smell great but are pretty messy when they start shedding. Essentials oils are the most natural replacement. Balsam fir is the most popular scent. but there are many different kinds and combinations that smell lovely. Place a few drops on your ornaments or hanging pinecones. Make your own Christmas spray by mixing a few drops in a spray bottle of water.
The sweet scents of Christmas create nostalgia and cheer. Most of our memories of Christmas are linked to smell. There are the decorating smells: greenery, popping popcorn to string into garlands for the tree, melting waxy candles, and the scotch tape smell of gift wrapping. There are the baking smells: vanilla frosted sugar cookies, hot yeasty breads, sweet cinnamon rolls, and spicy gingerbread. And then, there are the very fragrant eating and drinking smells: eggnog, spicy mulled wine, a roasting turkey or ham, hot cocoa and marshmallows, and sweet juicy oranges. Bliss!
A clean house has no smell. A fragrantly, decorated house smells like a home. Cinnamon, vanilla, apples, oranges, balsam, gingerbread, and peppermint are the most popular scents of Christmas. The sweet and spicy smells of baking are my favorite. I loved baking Christmas treats with my grandmother as a child. I have wonderful memories of Christmas on the farm.
Gingerbread is my favorite scent. I have gingerbread candles everywhere and I light them everyday. I have cinnamon stick oil diffusers and cinnamon scented pinecones on my tree. I have a variety of hand soaps at every sink: Twisted Peppermint, Vanilla Bean Noel, and Fresh Sparkling Snow. I use Philosophy Gingerbread Shower Gel everyday. I just love that smell. I loved the Iced Gingerbread products from Bath & Body but they have been discontinued. I am always searching for new gingerbread products.
It is very easy to make your own scented decorations for Christmas and other holidays. I’d like to share a short list of my favorites.
1 cup cinnamon
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cloves
3/4 cup applesauce
2 tablespoon white glue
In medium bowl, combine cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Add applesauce and glue; stir to combine. Work mixture with hands for 2 to 3 minutes or until dough is smooth and ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Divide dough into 4 portions. Roll out each portion to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut dough with 2-inch cookie cutters of desired shapes.
Using drinking straw or toothpick, make small hole in top of each ornament. Place cutouts on wire racks; allow to dry at room temperature for several days. Insert ribbon through hole in each ornament; tie with knot or bow. DO NOT EAT. (Pillsbury.com)
These ornaments smell heavenly on the tree and can also be hung in closets.
Firm, fresh citrus fruit: oranges, limes, or lemons. (If it is too shriveled or too mushy, it will be harder to poke with cloves.)
A few toothpicks or a nail.
A citrus zester or a sharp vegetable peeler.
Kitchen twine or fine ribbon for hanging.
Use citrus zester or vegetable peeler to create a design on your fruit. You can also place a rubber band around the fruit to get straight lines.
Use toothpicks or nails to poke holes in the designs made with the zester and then insert cloves.
For extra fragrance: roll orange pomanders in ground spices for extra fragrance. Ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves are good choices.
To hang: insert large needle through orange with twine or ribbon and tie in a bow.
Arrange in a bowl with pine branches and pretty ornaments or hang on your Christmas tree.
Note: pomanders will begin to mold in a few days. Hang and dry in a dark cool place for about a week before displaying or dust with orrisroot powder. Pomanders can also be placed in the refrigerator at night to prolong freshness.
3 three inch cinnamon sticks
6 bay leaves
1/2 cup whole cloves
2 quarts water
Cut lemon and orange into slices or quarters. Combine fruit, spices, and 2 quarts of water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer. Add more water as needed. Cover any left over mixture, refrigerate and reuse. Makes 8 cups.
This potion smells wonderful and can be reused. It can also be given as a gift. Simple place all ingredients except water in a pretty plastic bag.
Tipnut.com has 15 different recipes for simmering potpourri recipes.
Scents have the power to bring back fond memories, wake you up, change your mood, and ease your tension. There are dozens of essential oils in drugstores to relieve and revive discomfort. For purity, open the windows in your home for a few minutes to get that fresh, clear, cold scent wafting through your house. Nature is medicine for the brain. Bake up a batch of slice and bake chocolate chip cookies or a loaf of frozen bread dough for a sweet happy home smell. Light your favorite scented candle. Festive aromas will make you happy!