Scents of the Season

The autumn and winter seasons are defined by the luscious barrage upon the senses we all experience: the vibrant gold, orange and red hues of the leaves exchanging their wardrobe and the delicious crunch as you stomp through them on the sidewalk, the glistening rainbow reflecting off freshly fallen snow, and the Christmas music that flows from every home and store and radio station around.

But one of those senses that most brings the season alive is the smell. The scents of the season can bring back memories of childhood holidays and melt away the stresses that often accompany hectic family gatherings and last-minute shopping.

Follow some of these suggestions to fill your home with the scents of the holidays:

Hot mulled cider. Pour apple cider or apple juice onto the stove and add a half cup of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon whole cloves, 1 teaspoon whole allspice, and 3 cinnamon sticks to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower and let simmer on the stove. You can also add slices of lemon or oranges, or zest their peels into the mix. If you are going to be using the cider as more than an air freshener, you’ll want to combine the seasonings in cheesecloth and tie them into a bag so that you can remove them for drinking.

Candles, melters, diffusers. Candles are available in almost every scent available. Salt City Candles has a special holiday line including scents such as candy cane, autumn cottage, Christmas Eve, gingerbread, holly berry, peppermint bark, pumpkin spice, and more. They also have votives, wax tiles and bricks, diffusers, car fresheners, and aerosol sprays. This can often be the easiest approach to dispersing delicious aromas throughout your home.

Trimmed pine boughs. When you get your Christmas tree, you often have to trim the bottom branches to make it fit in the tree stand. By distributing these branches throughout the house, you’ll also spread the fresh smell. You can arrange them around a nativity set, across the fireplace mantel, or even weave them into a wreath with ribbons and berries.

Potpourri. Get the kids involved with this eye- and nose-friendly addition to your home. Take a walk and gather fall items such as pine needles, cedar bark, acorn caps, or walnuts. To make sure you don’t bring insects home as well, sealing them in a plastic bag in the freezer for a week or two will alleviate this problem. In a paper bag, combine six cinnamon sticks, six whole nutmegs, and a half cup of cloves. Tape it shut and allow your children to smash it with a hammer to blend them. Dry orange peels from the plentiful Christmas oranges that abound this season. Then combine 10 cups of autumn supplies with 2 cups each of the spice blend and dried orange peels. After mixing the ingredients thoroughly, store the potpourri in a tightly sealed container for two to four weeks so the fragrance can strengthen, shaking it once a day. Then divide the potpourri into jars and decorate with ribbons to distribute throughout the house or share with friends as gifts.

*What scents remind you of the holidays? Leave a comment below.
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