Alternative Health

How to make your home smell like Christmas

home made Christmas decorations

How to make your home smell like Christmas

This festive season, try some new ways to make your home smell like distilled Christmas spirit, courtesy of the warming scents of cloves, frankincense, gingerbread and more. Evoke the spirit of Christmas through scent by creating some homemade decorations, baking some festive treats, and more.

Make your own scented Christmas decorations

Your kitchen cupboard cloves and cinnamon can be the basis for scented Christmas decorations that are easy to make at home.

You’ll find various instructions online, but the basic method involves cutting citrus fruits (such as lemons or clementines) into thin slices, then piercing them with cloves and
drying them out carefully in the oven, turning every now and again (check they don’t completely shrivel up).

The fragrant results are your building blocks for festive-smelling decorations, and can be threaded together to hang on your tree using thin ribbon, arranged on a mantelpiece or weaved into a Christmas wreath.

Adding small bundles of cinnamon sticks to your decorations will provide another strong hit of fragrance, and give a more natural look and feel than sugary candy canes (though those can smell pretty good, too).

Enjoy some Christmas aromatherapy

Having a real fir specimen as your Christmas tree makes your home smell wonderful (perhaps that’s why we’re willing to put up with the hassle of all those dropped needles?). But it isn’t the only way to ensure there’s a quintessentially Christmassy aroma in your home at this time of year.

Using an aromatherapy diffuser is a highly effective way to distribute a fine mist of pleasingly fragrant essential oils scent throughout your home, and will really add to your super-host credentials when friends or family drop by for mince pies or a round of festive cocktails.

During the Christmas season, make a point of trying oils you might not normally burn in your diffuser, such as wise man’s favourite, frankincense. It has a woody, spicy aroma that some people enjoy as a background note to meditation, too.

Clove oil is another winter winner. For best results, you could set up your diffuser with your chosen scent an hour or so before any visitors arrive.

Guests might not know quite where it’s coming from – but they’ll definitely notice that your home smells wonderful.

Shop Nature’s Truth’s full aromatherapy range here.

Try some great-smelling festive recipes

gingerbread cookies

If you’ve fallen into the habit of buying shop-bought mince pies, Christmas cakes and puddings, why not choose one or two easy recipes you can make by hand this year?

That way, you can still enjoy the hit of spice and scent in the air from your mixing bowl or when you open the oven.

A simple spiced apple cake recipe, which could be vegan or dairy free, is an easy way to add the festive cheer of the scent of cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves to your kitchen.

Children will love to be part of a gingerbread baking and decorating extravaganza, too. Buy simple cutters in star or Christmas tree shapes and don’t worry if the icing and sprinkle distribution is a little haphazard – that’s all part of a Christmas cookie’s charm.

It’s possible to buy a ready-made gingerbread mix, but whipping up your own doesn’t take long (though it will usually involve a break for the dough to set in the fridge, so build in time for that). The result is far more satisfying – and fragrant.

For those who drink alcohol, mulled wine is another smells-like-Christmas winner. You can buy mulled wine pre-mixed and ready to warm up, or purchase a teabag-like bag of spices that you add to any bottle of red wine in a pan on your hob.

Prefer a healthier, non-alcohol option for your fragrant festive drink? As an alternative to hot chocolate, try heating up a non-alcoholic apple cider, and serve in a classic thick white mug, accompanied by a cinnamon stick. (Mulled apple or cranberry juice also works brilliantly for children.)

Create your own scented gifts

Christmas potpourri

Homemade potpourri makes a thoughtful and cost-effective gift. It’s not entirely hassle-free, as some initial outlay and organisation is required, especially to source enough flowers – if you’ve just received a birthday or thank-you bouquet, this could be a great way to re-use those fading blooms.

Once you get going, you’ll be able to scoop your potpourri supply into small gift jars ready to wow friends, neighbours, teachers or any last-minute or even unexpected guests. Remember to hold back any suitable small jars or gift containers that might otherwise be going into your recycling bin.

You will need to have one or two favourite essential oils to hand before you start, such as a suitably festive cinnamon or clove oil; dilute a few drops of these in water in a spray bottle and mix well.

You can then spritz this lightly over a lined baking tray, spread out with your potpourri components, including flower petals and heads (cut off the stems), sprigs of herbs, and slices of citrus fruit. You’ll usually need to bake for a couple of hours on a low-to-medium heat, until the flowers become brittle, taking care not to burn them

The internet is full of various ‘recipes’ for creating potpourri, so choose your preferred method, then shop online for essential oils and get all your kit ready in advance.

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Nature's Truth

Nature's Truth

Writer and expert