Slow Down and Smell the Season: DIY Scents for Your Holiday Home

On a recent holiday shopping trek, I stopped into a popular home furnishings and design store and was immediately engulfed with a scent that I can only describe as an enchanted winter holiday. The smell was so cozy and welcoming that visions of sugarplums were starting their dance in my head. The scent was slightly spicy with the distinct aroma of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and cookies. Yes, I could have sworn there were cookies baking. Just as I was about to throw down the shopping bags and sprawl out on the red velvet couch (they really rope you in this season), a nice salesperson came over to see if I needed assistance. I sprung up and asked what that glorious scent was? She said the scent was sprayed around the store during the holidays and she handed me a can. Yuck! All that lovely holiday dreaming evoked by an aerosol spray bottle. Not right!

My quest then became to nail down a holiday scent and whip it up in my EcoNest—naturally. The baking part was easy but to fit my eco-sensibilities, all the scents needed to be in their purest form.

Here are some ideas for giving your home the gift of a natural aromatic holiday scent:

• Essential oils dish–add some to your tree or spray an oil and water blend right onto the branches. Use pure essential oil in a 2 oz. bottle (with fine mister) and fill it water. Spruce, sweet orange, cinnamon and vanilla bean smell yummy. Read here for some essential oils and DIY supplies.

• Oranges studded with whole cloves give off heavenly scents and can be made for gifts. Here’s how to make Orange Pomanders.

• Pine air fresheners? Who needs them with a natural Christmas tree. Read here about “green” Christmas trees.

• Buy or make scented candles–many scented candles use synthetic chemicals fragrances. I don’t relish breathing synthetic chemicals. Care2 has a great DIY article on eco-friendly candles.

Balsam Sachets are easy to make and are a nice natural addition to holiday stockings.

Here’s a DIY natural holiday air freshener (use the leftovers for gifts) recipe:

What you need:
2 cups cold applesauce
1 cup nutmeg
1 cup ground cinnamon
1 cup ground cloves
Cookie cutters
Wax paper

What to do:
Make a dough by mixing all of the above ingredients.
Roll dough out 1/4″ thick and make shapes with cookie cutters.
Poke a hole on the top of the shapes.
Lay out shapes on wax paper until they are completely dry, for a day or two.
Insert ribbon or string through hole and hang.

No time? Buy some natural essentials oil holiday spray online at Etsy. I like this company because Etsy is an online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade. Their mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers. Their vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice. Their motto: “Buy, Sell, and Live Handmade.”

Now if I only had that velvet couch in my living room to catch me when the hectic holiday crazies are over.

Ronnie Citron-Fink lives in New York with her husband, two children (when they come home to the nest), two dogs and a cat. Ronnie is a teacher and a writer. She has been a contributing writer for Family Fun magazine. She currently writes articles about education and home design. Her writings are in four books including Family Fun Home and Some Delights of the Hudson Valley.


Sonia Minwer-Barakat Requ

Great ideas,thanks for sharing

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.3 years ago


marlene b.
marlene barrett3 years ago

Great ideas! Shared :)

Ana Passos
Past Member 3 years ago

thank you

Gudrun D.
Gudrun D.3 years ago

Thank you :D
Happy Holidays!

Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M.3 years ago

Thanks Ronnie for posting these ideas. I received an orange pomander years ago from my niece, and it still has a glorious smell. I store it wrapped in tissue and in a tin.
I make a fragrance from orange, lemon and lime peels, put pot on stove and add cinnamon, ginger and cloves, bring to a boil and let simmer ~ smell radiates the house.
I save all ribbons, bows, paper, tissue and reuse. I also take Christmas cards, if the picture side has not been written on, I cut on the fold and save to use as labels for Christmas presents. I use a punch to make hole and put ribbon through and attach to bag. Save all bags also. One year I wrapped a present with the comic section from a newspaper, and stuck a few cut outs on a bow (using double sided tape). It brought some laughs, but the person the present was for, laughed the most as it was his favorite comic strip. I don't get the newspaper anymore, ends up in the recycle bin and sometimes never read. Also when the girls were little we made a mixture similar to play dough, used cut outs, when half baked put a hole through near the top and when cooled added ribbon and they hung them on the tree.

Megan Martin
Megan Martin3 years ago

Me & my kiddos make these ornaments every other year ....they are WONDERFUL and last a long time!!

Shelley G.
S G.3 years ago

Thanks for sharing...Love these ideas...Really want to try making the last one...

Karen R.
Karen R.3 years ago


susan k.
susan k.3 years ago