There are so many sights, sounds and smells during the holidays that help to evoke comfort, wellness and happiness. Crisp and cold days contrasted with warm and cozy comforts within the home can transform feelings and bring about a sense of peace.
One of the aspects that I love most about the holidays are scents. Who doesn’t love the smell of a freshly baked pie or a newly-dressed Christmas tree? These smells can bring about memories of wonderful holidays that have passed and a sense of anticipation for the holidays to come.
Scents And Memories
The olfactory nerve is found near the amygdala which is the area of the brain that connects emotion and memory. Memories and smells are very closely linked. This may be why when you smell a particular dish or any scent for that matter that it may be a reminder of past experiences. In fact these areas of the brain are so closely linked that if the part of the brain that affects memories is damaged in some way then the ability to determine certain smells is impaired, as well. (source)
Natural Vs. Synthetic Scents
I have to admit that I have a bit of an addiction to candles. I love the ambience it creates and during the holidays I would love to have scented candles throughout our home to bring the smells of the season into our living space.
However, the more I researched about natural living, the more I realized that I would need to curb my addiction to candles or find alternatives because the ingredients included in candles are toxic and can pollute your indoor air.
The main ingredient in most candles is paraffin which is a by-product of petroleum. The by-product is then bleached which creates dioxins. While the candle burns, it emits benzene and toluene – known carcinogens. (source)
Natural scents do not pollute your indoor air and provide all of the benefits related to wellness and comfort without any side effects.
Scent Your Home Naturally!
I had the good fortune to spend time with some good friends of ours living in London. This friend is also a natural living enthusiast and I learned this easy and nifty trick from her! Not only are you reusing and recycling, you are creating a delightful home scent that permeates your entire living space.
These are just a few things that you will need to get started.
In the pot and ready to go!
- orange peels
- cinnamon sticks
- Add all ingredients together in a sauce pan, add enough water to cover all of the ingredients and simmer on the stove. These are very basic ingredients to get started. You can add additional spices, etc. according to your liking at the time.
I have also added vanilla sometimes, as well, to have a sweet note. It’s just a wonderful way to bring in the season naturally.
Live well and be happy!