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Holiday Scents

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 1

Holiday Scents

Fresh Baked Cookies

Many of the holiday scents evoke memories from our childhood past either at our own homes, a grandparents' home or during fun festivities. The olfactory system, sense of smell, is responsible for the areas of the brain that assist our memories and emotions.

As we inhale, scents are transferred to the limbic system of the brain which is the body's area of reason and emotion. The olfactory nerve sends signals to the brain and is the reason that many holiday scents and aromas can enhance not only our holiday experiences but also our overall health and well being.

This article will review some of the most popular holiday scents, how we can use them in our current homes to create new memories and traditions for those we love.






Black Cherry










Uses of Holiday Scents

Candles – are probably the easies and most popular way to add holiday scents to your home during the holiday. Candles come in a huge assortment of scents and are also safer to burn these days with the invention of soy candles that prevent the smokey burn of regular wick candles. Candles have the disadvantage of needing watched to prevent fires.

Holiday Scents Candle

Aromatherapy – essential oils are a popular way to add the holiday scents since they offer intense fragrance when only a few drops are placed in an oil diffuser and become heated with a small tealight candle from below. Essential oils can also be added to cloth ornaments and hung on a holiday tree as well as placed in a decorative pillow and placed on the furniture to scent the room.

Essential oils have an added benefit that they can also be used in a warm bath to scent the bathroom while scenting the person bathing or a few drops on a pillowcase to scent the bed which can be very relaxing for any holiday guests. Use pure essential oils without chemicals for the richest scents.

Aromatherapy Essential Oils


Reed Diffusers – another way to add aromatherapy and essential oils to any room is to use reed diffusers. These bamboo skewers simply rest inside a jar of oil and as they absorb the fluid, they fill the air with the particular scent. Reed diffusers can be used in any room of the home and work well in a small room such as a guest bathroom.

Simmering Holiday Scents – a popular way to fill the air with the reminiscent scents of the holiday is to place a vanilla bean, clove, cinnamon or nutmeg into a pot of water on the stove and to simmer gently. Simmer a batch of cider as a warm drink that will also scent the air. The combined ingredients will quickly fill the air of the kitchen and adjoining rooms with the smell of home baked goods.

Holiday Scent Cider

Pinecones – grow during the fall/winter season and are often used to decorate the home during the holidays. These can be made to use as fire starters for your own fireplace or to give as a gift to someone with a wood burning fireplace. Another idea is to hang them as decorative ornaments, on a tree or simply placed in a decorative holiday bowl or vase to fill the room with the scent of the oil.

Melt paraffin wax into a double boiler pan

Add 8-10 drops of pure essential oil in your favorite holiday scent such as pine, cinnamon, orange, peppermint or vanilla. Use one scent or combine several.

When the wax is melted, carefully dip a pinecone into the fragrance oil using the small stem as a handle. Gently remove and allow the extra wax to drip off.

Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and allow the cone to dry completely.

Tie a festive ribbon at the stem.

Package a dozen in a holiday gift box for the fireplace lover on your gift list!

Candle Warmers – these candles avoid any burning at all and instead use a battery or electric to heat a small light bulb that creates the heat that slowly and continually scents the room. This is a popular alternative to burning candles which need watched to avoid fires.

Wreaths – holiday wreaths are popular decorations for the entry to the home if used on the front door or porch. Many are already pre-made and can be purchased at a local craft store or easily made using fresh evergreens on a pre-made wire form. Adding a few drops of your favorite essential oils can add even more intense holiday scents.

Fresh Evergreens – cut small branches from the evergreens in your backyard and decorate your home using them to add this popular holiday scent. They can be draped along a staircase, atop a mantle, above a doorway, placed in a basket near your entry door or any other way that you can think of.

Room Sprays – many room sprays are available in a variety of holiday scents that can be used sparingly to add fragrance to any room or particular items in a room.

Spray a cotton ball with any favorite scent and place into the filter area of your vacuum cleaner. As you regularly vacuum your carpets, the aroma of the holiday scent will fill the air.

Bundles of Scent – vanilla beans or cinnamon sticks can be gathered together to create a small bundle wrapped with jute and used around the home in baskets, placed on gifts or under the tree to continually fill the room with the holiday scents.

Potpourri – Fill a holiday bowl or vase with scented potpourri for a quick and easy way to add holiday scent to any room.


Baking – is one of the original ways that the reminiscent holiday scents were spread throughout the home and a way for you to easily duplicate. Do your own holiday baking as close to the holiday event or party as possible to keep the scent throughout the home. Bake an apple pie or fresh batch of cookies using many of the favorite spices such as cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg to bring the family near.

Fresh Baked Cookies

By adding and maintaining holiday scents throughout your home during the holidays, you may notice an improved attitude among your family members since you are enhancing everyone's olfactory system to produce happy emotions and memories.

Think of other ways that you could use holiday scents throughout the entire season and even throughout the year to improve the overall health and wellness of yourself and everyone that enters your home. You'll be making memories that last a lifetime!



Sep 8, 2010 7:06pm
They say that people will remember how a home smells, longer after they have forgotten what it looked like! Great article on all the choices in holiday aromas!
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