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!
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
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.