It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas.
There are certain memories some of us can relate to every Christmas. Think gingerbread houses that your aunt bakes for the season. Or the jug of eggnog you chug down with cousins at the family Christmas dinner. Or the candy canes you received growing up as a kid (and perhaps you still receive them, we won’t judge).
Whatever fond memory you can jog of the season, there’s almost definitely a scent associated to it. That’s the wonder of Christmas – it’s not just about the decorations that captivate the eyes; the joyful carols that are music to the ears; the hearty dinners that indulge the palate; and the thoughtful gifts that come with warm embraces.
It’s also about the scents that evoke recollections, both old and new, with friends and family, of all the above. And that’s just what we need to complete our Christmas celebrations this 2019.
We’ve compiled a list of scents inspired by our favourite festive traditions, including cinnamon, fig and frankincense. Now it’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas.
We may not have pine trees growing in this part of the globe, but picking an evergreen to bring home for Christmas is a popular tradition for those who live in temperate areas. If you’ve been pine-ing for one instead of the faux tree you have at home, perhaps a pine-scented candle might help with your whimsy. Try: Diptyque Protective Pine Candle. W kensapothecary.com.my
2. Cinnamon and spice
Festive meals often have a hint of spices like cinnamon, clove, star anise and more. And if you love the sweet, comforting smell of cinnamon cookies, then say no more and treat yourself today. Try: Halcyon Days Antler Trellis & Stag Red Lidded Candle. W halycondays.com
Think Christmas candy and peppermint-flavoured candy canes immediately come to mind. While there’s no clear reason why candy canes have to be made of peppermint, the flavour became synonymous with other festive confectionary too. Try: Anya Hindmarch Chewing Gum Candle. W anyahindmarch.com
It’s in Christmas cookies. It’s in eggnog. It’s also probably found in your kitchen. Vanilla is the scent and flavour we all know and love during Christmas, so why not spread its aroma all over the house? Try: Yankee Candle Sweet Frosting Large 2-Wick Square candle. W yankeecandle.my
5. Mulled wine
There’s nothing like a glass of mulled wine to warm the heart and soul over Christmas dinner. Rich and full of aromas of fruit, spice and red wine, a gentle whiff is sure to raise your Christmas spirits (no pun intended). Try: Lilin + Co’s Santa's Naughty Christmas: Mulled Wine. W lilinandco.com
One of the incense associated with the tale of the three wise men who visited baby Jesus at his birth, frankincense is symbolic of worship. You could even say it was one of the first Christmas gifts, although the celebration was only initiated much later. Today, its sweet, woody scent is often used in aromatherapy to ease stress. Now we could use some destressing before bed. Try: REN Silent Nights Pillow Spray Stocking Filler (2019). W kensapothecary.com.my
Did you know that oranges were traditionally stuffed in stockings as a symbol of charity and giving? You’ll also find orange bitters in a number of Christmas cocktails. We’ll have a pick-me-up orange candle stuffed in our stockings, please. Try: Jo Malone Orange Bitters Deluxe Candle. W jomalone.com.my
Whether you get them from your aunt or your favourite bakery, gingerbread houses are one of the many spiced treats we love to indulge in at this time of the year. Ginger is known to calm the stomach, making it perfect to finish off those heavy Christmas meals. Alternatively, the smell of ginger can help whet your appetite for the season’s spice delicacies! Try: Diptyque Ginger Hourglass Diffuser 2.0. W kensapothecary.com.my
In traditional times, cedarwood was commonly used in the fireplace to warm the body during Christmas, which falls in wintertime for the northern Hemisphere. Interestingly, cedarwood also symbolises strength and spirituality. Often used in essential oils, the scent cedarwood is said to relax the body and clear the mind. Try: Louis Vuitton Écorce Rousse Perfumed Candle. W louisvuitton.com
Like pine, eucalyptus is commonly associated with Christmas. It is typically used to create garlands or wreaths for festive decorations. The aroma of burning eucalyptus has also been said to soothe physical discomforts – all the more reason to light a candle made with the scent. Try: L’occitane Source D’harmonie Harmony Candle. W myloccitane.com
Now bring us some figgy pudding, now bring us some figgy pudding... Yes, the lyrics of the carol, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” hint at another popular festive item: figs! Dried figs are often used to bake puddings, cakes and sweet treats, or eaten on its own during the season. You should refrain from eating the wax off this delicious-smelling candle though. Try: Le Labo Figue 15 Vintage Candle. W lelabofragrances.com
Besides frankincense (and gold), myrrh is the third gift brought by the Magi to the infant Jesus. It has a warm, woody scent and is often used in perfumes, embalming or the making of medicine. Inhaling its scent has been said to lift negative moods, which we should definitely get rid of this season. Try: Diptyque Myrrhe Candle. W kenspothecary.com.my
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Photos: Respective brands