“Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays,” crooned Perry Como in the iconic 1954 classic Christmas song of the same name. That stirring sentiment, for many, rings particularly true this year as we look forward to once again hosting celebrations at home with loved ones. If you’re planning to stay home for the holidays, now is the time to start thinking about how you can create a festive and joyful atmosphere for yourself and your guests.
Decorations, food and entertainment are all important aspects of the holiday season, but another impactful way you can create a homey holiday feel is through fragrance. “Our sense of smell is our strongest sense,” said Harry Slatkin, home fragrance expert and founder of Slatkin & Co. “It goes straight to your brain and can recall a memory and give you a sense of joy in an instant.”
As you return home for the holidays this year, Slatkin, dubbed the “Candle King” by The New York Times, offers these five home fragrance tips to create a festive and joyful holiday atmosphere with scented candles.
1. Scents to greet your guests
When your guests arrive, you’ll want to have a scented candle burning that makes them feel relaxed and uplifted as soon as they walk in. In your entryway, light an aromatic candle with notes of pine or fir balsam to greet guests with a fresh, woodsy fragrance.
Even if you don’t have a Christmas tree, a scented candle with notes of pine needles and juniper will have guests believing that you brought one home that day. You can also opt for other evergreen candles with notes of white birch and crisp winter air to capture the scents of a snowy winter day in the woods.
2. Scents to gather around
No matter where you start the evening, chances are everyone will eventually gather and end the night in your living room. To create a cheerful and festive atmosphere, choose a candle with bright, invigorating notes like Christmas Joy. This lively fragrance blends sparkling citrus notes with a variety of holiday spices, fresh cranberries and blue spruce that will remind you and guests of cherished holidays spent sipping mulled wine in front of the fireplace.
3. Scents for the cooking and dining areas
Choosing a scent for spaces where you will be cooking or eating can be tricky because you don’t want a candle fragrance to compete with the aroma of your holiday dishes. Likewise, burning a scented candle during dinner can interfere with the dining experience and take away the enjoyment of the meal and ambiance.
Instead, after the cooking is finished, burn a gourmand-scented candle in the kitchen with notes of buttercream and brown sugar that will have your guests’ mouths watering. Even if there is nothing cooking in the kitchen, the inviting fragrance will have them thinking you just took a tray of freshly baked sugar cookies out of the oven.
4. Scents for you
As a host, don’t get so caught up in the party planning that you forget to enjoy the holiday season. Take time to take care of yourself by relaxing alone at home in your favorite spot with an aromatherapy candle. A scented candle with soothing notes of geranium, frankincense and cedarwood can produce a sense of tranquility and calm to help you find a sense of inner peace during the busy holiday season.
5. Scents for the ones you love
Gift a sensory experience by buying scented candles for those near and dear to you. While the act of gifting scented candles may have served as a punchline on late-night TV in recent years, the $23 billion U.S. home fragrance market is no joke. Americans love scented candles. For a wide variety of choices, check out the Homeworx by Slatkin & Co. collection of 4-wick candles. Whether your loved ones prefer warm, comforting candles with notes of cinnamon, pumpkin and vanilla, gourmand and fruity scents or woodsy, winter-themed fragrances, you’re sure to find options to satisfy them all. Best of all, they’ll think of you every time they light their candles.
“There is no stronger connection between scent and feelings of peace and joy than during the holiday season,” said Slatkin. “It is a special time when we create and celebrate memories with family and friends, and scent is the common thread that ties them all together.”
Set the seasonal mood with scents that evoke warmth, relaxation and togetherness. Using these five home fragrance tips, you can create a holiday everyone is sure to remember.