Scents capture the festive spirit

Winter Warmer Candle, £7.95, Iapetus.  Photo: PA Photo/HandoutWinter Warmer Candle, £7.95, Iapetus.  Photo: PA Photo/Handout
Winter Warmer Candle, £7.95, Iapetus. Photo: PA Photo/Handout
For me, it’s the woody scent of pine needles that always captures the spirit of Christmas, conjuring a memory of lugging the spiky tree home, closely followed by the smell of mulled wine, fragranced by cinnamon and reminiscent of wintry gatherings.

Those smells are as integral to the seasonal celebrations as the presents and the decorations. But you don’t have to have the real thing. We can conjure those atmospheric aromas, as well as many more, with home fragrances, whether in scented candles, diffusers or oils, and their huge popularity demonstrates that they’re an essential enhancement for modern homes.

“Scented candles are so much more than just decorative objects these days,” agrees designer, Sophie Allport, who has her own range which includes seasonal scents.

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“They can add something special to your home and have gone from being a utility object to a lifestyle feature.

“Candles also provide ambient lighting, and with an appropriate scent, such as cinnamon and orange or eucalyptus, highlight the festive mood and add to the celebratory spirit.”

Home-scenters now think outside the box and have signature home fragrances, just as they wear signature perfumes.

“Fragrances are intrinsically linked to our memories and emotions, so choosing one will help you cast your mind back to a special memory,” says John Fontana, president of specialists Yankee Candle Europe.

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“Choosing the right scent for your home needn’t be difficult. It’s a little known fact but flavours are the combination of smells and tastes, so if there’s a particular flavoured ingredient that you like to cook with, this will probably also appeal in a fragrance.

“Many people simply gravitate to floral, fresh scents, while others prefer sweeter notes, like vanilla, or spicy or fruity tones. It’s as individual as the perfume you wear, and the scent of a home speaks volumes about your taste.”

There’s a nose-boggling range on offer this season but at the end of the day, it’s the classic scents that we all yearn for, according to Rosey Barnet, artistic director for Shearer Candles.

“At Christmas, people love to go back to traditional scents and trends fall away,” she says. “Fragrances of cinnamon, clove, fig and sandalwood, and candles in rich reds, oranges, gold and silver, will instantly impart that celebratory atmosphere, even if there’s not a bauble or Christmas tree in sight!”

Follow your nose and fill your home with scents that suit the season.