Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Smells of Christmas

WAIT!  Isn’t that supposed to be the “Sounds of Christmas”?  Certain smells just might be as important to your Christmas memories as that favorite yuletide carol.

Think a moment, what fragrances bring a feeling of Christmas even if it’s the middle of June? 

I’ve talked about the human sense of smell and how it is the strongest memory provoking sense we humans share.  Seriously, fry up a piece of bacon and try to keep the smile off your face.

The candle and oil industries have made a fortune scenting our homes.  Something perfume manufacturers knew for thousands of years. 

Let’s take the fragrances most likely to invoke a holiday memory:

·         Pine:  Even if we don’t want the mess of a live Christmas tree anymore, most of us love the smell of fresh pine in our homes. 

·         Pumpkin pie:  This is the dominate smell of cloves and cinnamon.

 ·         Sugar Cookie:  This is essentially the smell of vanilla.  Vanilla invokes comfort.    

 ·         Peppermint:  Peppermint oil is strong and easily resembles candy canes.

 ·         Orange or Tangerine:  For me, this is the smell of Christmas morning when I’d find one of these citrus fruits in my stocking.  As they are peeled, the fragrance fills the entire room.

 Often the cheaper man made fragrances have a chemical smell.  It’s why the more expensive candles and oils still have good sales.  Recreating those fragrances in your home is pretty easy without much muss or fuss.

Pine is simple:  Cut a few boughs (or purchase) and strategically place in arrangements or simply in a vase.  Replace when they become dry.

Pumpkin pie:  Put one cup of water in a two cup measuring bowl.  Add a tablespoon each of ground cloves and cinnamon.  Heat in the microwave until your home is fragrant.  Try in 30 second intervals since it tends to boil over and you don’t want it to have a mess or scorched scent.  Open the microwave and let the scent fill your home – this container will be VERY hot at first.

Sugar Cookie:  Same as with the pumpkin, except only add one teaspoon of pure vanilla to the water instead of the spices. 

Peppermint:  Same as with the pumpkin, except only add one-half teaspoon of peppermint oil to the water instead of the spices.

Orange or Tangerine:  Peel a fruit and lay the peeling in a ceramic/glass saucer.  Hide behind something and let it scent the room for days.  Remove and replace when it starts to dry. 

And “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” fragrance now.

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