Friday, December 15, 2017

Scents of the Season

by Cindy Pitts Gilbert December 2017 Gwinnett Citizen
Dear Sister Knowitall,
I am looking for natural alternatives for my home for the holidays I want to avoid candles and store-bought scents if possible. Can you help? ~ Nosey Nelda Mistletoe
Dear Nosey Nelda,
There are so many alternatives to artificial scents for the Holidays. Here are a few simple scents of the Season;

Easy Hot Apple Cider 
Place apples in a large stockpot and add enough water cover by at least 2 inches. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. Bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered, for 1 hour. Strain apple mixture though a fine mesh sieve. Discard solids. Drain cider again though a cheesecloth-lined sieve. Serve hot or cold.

Homemade Christmas Potpourri 
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries OR 
1/2 cup dried cranberries. 
2-3 cinnamon sticks crushed. 
1-2 star anise optional.
1 tablespoon cardamom crushed. 
2 teaspoons whole cloves.
1/4 cup candied ginger.
1 vanilla bean halved lengthwise. 
1 fresh pine or 1 sprig rosemary.
Simmering Pot 
Get a pot of water simmering on the stove or the small, inexpensive simmering crock pots. Drop in a combination of natural aromatics like cinnamon stick, pine, orange peel, or cloves. 

Real Beeswax Candles 
Few things smell as heavenly as beeswax, with its potent honey scent. It’s a smell that never loses its charm and provides excellent alternative to the artificial candles. 
Few things bring out the warmth and comfort of the Christmas season like the smell of cinnamon: try in mulled cider or hot chocolate 

Orange and Cloves 
The delicious combination of orange to make pomanders to set out in bowls at Christmas. Pre-punch the holes in the orange with an awl or knitting needle, and the cloves should go right in. 

Evergreen Garland or Wreaths. Nothing says Christmas like the smell of fresh pines in wreaths and swags as well as fresh-cut trees. Peppermint Use Dried Peppermint to make peppermint tea. This makes a great alternative to candy canes 
Make a Liquid Candle 
Create a custom-scented candle with a mason jar, lantern wick, and any oil that burns—even the olive oil. Add your favorite aromatics, like vanilla bean, cinnamon, clove, pinecones, or oranges. More cost-effective than a wax candle, it will both look decorative and smell delicious.

Christmas with Essential Oils Many of these scents can be mixed and diffused or sprinkled on pinecones or clay balls or even potpourri: 

Pine, Cinnamon, Peppermint, Frankincense, Myrrh, Clove, Sweet Orange, Nutmeg, Anise, Sweet Ginger, Cedarwood. 

All of these are a pleasant scents to diffuse throughout the entire winter season to make your home feel like a cozy and inviting retreat from the harsh cold weather outside.