Christmas should be the best-smelling season of them all. But it’s also a time when the house becomes overrun with guests traipsing in various forms of muck, damp animals shaking themselves all over the carpet, and over-excited, overfed kids (not a good combination). Keeping your house pleasant for the nostrils can be done, but it takes a little effort. How about trying one of our homemade recommendations below?
Inedible fruit salad, anyone?
Homemade pot pourri lends an air of comforting naturalness at any time of the year, but at Christmas it comes into its own. This is when you can unleash all those spicy, citrusy scents that make people dizzy with seasonal joy. Feel free to let your imagination run wild, but we suggest using a base of dried oranges or Satsumas, encrusted with cloves. After that, you might want to chuck in dried rose hips, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, apple slices, and maybe even a sprinkling of dried red chillies for colour. Alternatively, if you want to keep things simple, just do the whole/sliced dried orange thing and use them as baubles.
Scented candles are great, but they can also be extremely pricey if you buy them from a shop. Making your own is easy enough; buy essential oils (orange, pine and cranberry are all good Xmas smells) and a few cheap candles to melt down (The great thing about this is you can re-use the wicks). You can add food colouring too if you like. Mix everything together in a bain-marie, then pour into moulds (glasses or old jars are ideal). Not only will these candles make your house smell fantastic, you can give them as gifts to friends too.
Flood, glorious food
Second best to the taste of food is the smell of it. When you’ve got a gathering of guests, their hooters will scream out halleluiah if you have something nice cooking in the kitchen (although try not to tease with something that’s not actually for them to eat!) The most sumptuous smells of the season? We reckon gingerbread, mulled wine and fresh mince pies are the way to go.
Cinnamon cut-outs don’t just smell great, they look wonderful as well. The only ingredients you need to make these are ground cinnamon, apple puree and glue. Mix these together, roll out on a flat surface, then form into shapes with festive cookie cutters. Remember to pierce a hole in the top of each decoration, so you can attach ribbon and tie to your tree, or hang from various other corners of the house. Much better than any shop bought air freshener, guaranteed!