The sounds of jingle bells, the look of freshly fallen snow — this time of year sure is a treat for the senses. For me, the best one is the smell of Christmas. You know that scent I'm talking about; the one that's almost impossible to describe (it's a mix of peppermint, fireplaces, and love), but when it hits your nose, your brain instantly realizes it's time.
In the spirit of getting in the spirit, here are 10 ways you can get your home smelling like the holidays.
1. Start a fire.
Light your logs if you've got 'em. Although they're nice and soothing, a digital yule log doesn't have quite the same smell as a real fire. So, if you don't have a fireplace, try one of those woodsy scented candles.
2. Make mulled wine.
I'm a sucker for mulled wine. Not only does it give off a lovely, spicy scent while it simmers on the stove (or in a slow cooker), but it's also wine! Warm, festive wine at that!
Get the recipe: Why Mulled Wine Is the Sangria of Winter
Not to geek out over liquid soap, but some of this year's holiday varieties really hit the mark, especially if you're a lover of all things classic Christmas. Get ready for hand and dish soap in all the best scents (pine, cranberry, cinnamon, and more) to hit the market. Then, stock up for the kitchen and your bathrooms.
4. Bake cookies.
There's a reason realtors put a batch of cookies in the oven during open houses. The smell of butter, sugar, and flour browning in an oven is intoxicating — and you get to eat the results! Bake up your favorite holiday cookies and they'll permeate the air in your home almost instantly.
Get Some Recipes
5. Bring in the greens.
Fresh-cut pine and evergreen? Yes, please! Even if you're going faux with your tree, get yourself some real greenery to add to the mix. Tuck a few branches into your artificial tree, or just use them on your mantel or tabletop. You could also dilute some essential oil of pine and spritz your fake greens, so they have that straight-from-the-winter-woods smell. Use one cup of water for every six drops of oil.
6. Craft pomanders.
Dedicate a crafternoon (or, more accurately, a few crafter-minutes) to creating a centerpiece out of these old-school deodorizers. You just need some oranges and cloves. Have fun with patterns and try using different fruits to switch things up, if you're feeling creative.
Get inspired: Not Just Oranges: More Fruit Pomanders
7. Get (pepper)minty fresh.
Create a room and linen spray that smells like candy canes with one cup of distilled water and around 20 drops of essential peppermint oil. A bottle of this stuff also makes a great hostess gift.
8. Use gingerbread men as ornaments.
Whip up an army of doughboys, and use them to decorate your tree (or your mantel). Go ahead and try to find a cheaper way to trim out your Douglas fir.
Even more ideas: 8 Small, Easy Ways to Decorate Your Kitchen for the Holidays
9. DIY a sachet.
Potpourri is a little passé these days, but most people can still get behind a sachet for a drawer or under a pillow. Buy little cloth baggies from a craft store and throw in things like crushed cinnamon sticks, rosemary, sage, and other herbs to create your own unique holiday blend. Then, whenever you open your sock drawer this season, you'll get a nice reminder of the upcoming holidays.
10. Put a ring on it.
Wreaths aren't just for the front door. If you buy a fresh one and hang it inside, you'll be able to smell it from the couch. (See tip number five if you prefer artificial.) You could even place a small wreath on a table and use it as a centerpiece for a dinner party.
Or hang some wreaths: Wreaths in the Kitchen? Here's Where to Put 'Em.
What's your favorite way to get the aromas of the holidays cooking in your kitchen?