The sense of smell has a powerful impact on our mood. Just getting a whiff of a pleasant scent can bring back memories of happy times. The smells of pumpkin pie, cookies, pine needles, peppermint and gingerbread make the holiday season feel satisfying and complete. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult or expensive to create these fragrances in your home. Be sure to use all-natural scents, which are healthier and safer than artificial home fragrance sprays and diffusers.
Step 1 ~ Buy an effusion lamp. An effusion lamp can diffuse scented oil through a room, kill germs and help to remove odor-causing compounds from the air. Purchase the alcohol-based fuel recommended by the effusion lamp manufacturer. Also get some all natural essential oils such as cinnamon, orange, ginger, clove, pine or peppermint. Soak the wick in the alcohol fuel in a sealed container for at least 30 minutes. Replace the wick in the lamp. Fill your effusion lamp about halfway with the alcohol. Add three to four drops of essential oil per ounce of alcohol. Light the wick and allow the flame to burn for about three minutes. Extinguish the flame. The hot stone inside the effusion lamp will continue to heat the essential oil mixture for several hours.
Step 2 ~ Place a small saucepan on a stove burner. Fill it about halfway with distilled water. Add some cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans, ginger peel, orange peel, whole cloves, whole allspice, anise seed and coarsely grated nutmeg to the water. Bring it to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow this mixture to simmer for several hours. Do this when you’re working in the kitchen. Turn off the heat if you plan to leave the room.
Step 3 ~ Prepare some holiday treats. Bake pumpkin bread and cinnamon and gingerbread cookies. Make an apple, pecan or pumpkin pie. Make some peppermint hot chocolate. Coordinate your baking for times when you know company is coming. The pleasant scents of these baked goodies will infuse the air of your home and linger for hours.
Step 4 ~ Purchase some all natural candles in holiday scents. Favor natural soy and beeswax candles which are made without petrolatum. Look for candles that are both decorative and fragrant. Get scents such as vanilla bean, cranberry, sugar plum, apple cinnamon, pumpkin spice, sugar cookie and apple pie. Light the candles when you know you’re going to be in the room for a while. Blow them out before you leave.
Step 5 ~ Use natural evergreen boughs to decorate your home rather than artificial ones. Place them over the mantlepiece, over book shelves, cabinets and tall furniture such as hutches and wardrobes. Their natural aroma will help to complement the other fragrances you have created.
~ Place orange and ginger peels in the freezer to boil on the stove later.
~ Never leave a burning candle or effusion lamp unattended.