US Housing

How to Make Your Home Smell Like the Holidays

The holiday season brings about gift-giving, spending time with loved ones, and of course, delicious holiday smells. From cinnamon to gingerbread to pine tree, there are many different scents of the season. If you are looking for the best ways to make your home smell like the holidays, we’ve got the article for you.

We reached out to experts to share their favorite scents and ways to bring in the best scents of the holiday season in your home. So whether you’re celebrating in Bridgeport, CT or Anaheim, CA, read on to see how to achieve the sweet aromas of the holidays.

A small candle between pines

1. Place candles in high-trafficked areas 

First impressions are important. Especially if you are hosting a holiday party. 

“When welcoming guests for the holiday season, what’s better than a warm cozy scent? Start with a candle around the high-traffic areas, like the kitchen and bathrooms, for the biggest impact,” shares candle company River Birch Candles

They even recommend spraying room spray by your front door so guests can enjoy the scent right when they enter your home.

2. Blend your scents with your texture material and colors

It’s all about the scent and calculating its spread area when trying to make your home smell like the holidays.

Mohammad Shaban of Adore Scent, a fragrance company says, “Rooms scent selection has to match the outside view and the furniture texture material and colors. Scent blends to give you the life that you are looking for today and the memory you will remember tomorrow.”

A white wax melt on a tray

3. Use wax melts 

There are many different ways you can bring scent into your house. One of the easiest ways is through a wax warmer and wax melts.

Gold Rush Wax which specializes in coconut wax, shares, “Wax warmers combined with candles are a great way to get into the holiday spirit. Combining a cinnamon-scented candle with a pine-based wax melt creates your own holiday scent. In addition, bakery-type scents are sure to get you in the mood for a holiday treat.”

4. Purchase a home diffuser 

A home diffuser is a cheap and minimal way to bring your favorite scents into your home.

“With a home diffuser, you are able to give your entire home the seasonal scent effortlessly. Replacing the oil with your favorite holiday blend welcomes in the season,” says Our Aroma, a natural scent company.

“It’s a perfect time to usher in some holiday good cheer with a great diffuser,” adds ZGO Perfumery. “A perfect home scent can range from a traditional pine fragrance, spicy cinnamon chai, or fresh and clean ’snow’ fragrance. And offering a diffuser makes the perfect and easy gift too.”

5. Place Incense sticks and incense cones around your house

Incense sticks and cones can be directly lit by a flame which leaves an ember that slowly burns and leaves a delightful scent.

“To add a variety of beautiful aromas and scents to your living space and home, you can use natural and non-toxic incense sticks or incense cones,” notes Aroma Shop, which focuses on organic incense.

A reed diffuser on a shelf

6. Add essential oils to a spray bottle 

If you don’t have any aroma machines such as a home diffuser, consider using a spray bottle.

“Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a spray bottle, top it off with witch hazel, or even water will work in a pinch. Your family and guests will enjoy the warm, spicy, and delicious home scent.,” shares Desert Naturals.

7. Dedicate different scents to different rooms

Much like you choose a paint color for a room, you can choose a scent and create an olfactory experience in several spaces of your home. 

“For example, try a wintery forest-scented candle in your living room, bathroom, or den for a crisp holiday freshness, and try stovetop potpourri in the kitchen—think rosemary, cranberry, and orange slices simmering in a pot or pan of hot water,” recommends Spoken Flames, which sells sensory candles.

“Your foyer can welcome guests with a reed diffuser that diffuses a warm cinnamon scent, and as you make your way to the living room, greet your guests with an orange-scented candle to layer the cinnamon with the orange. You can burn a candle in the dining room that compliments the cinnamon and orange such as a warm apple scent. Layering scents truly creates a unique experience in your home and will make the holidays unforgettable,” shares Washington D.C.-based Smell of Love Candles.

Virtue Alchemy Candle Co. adds, “Try using soy wax scented candles in larger spaces like your living room, bedroom, and kitchen, and reed diffusers in smaller spaces like your entryway, hallway, or bathroom with holiday-themed scents like pine, cinnamon, spiced orange, or peppermint to create a festive atmosphere in your home. To get rid of any unwanted odors, try boiling a pot of water with cinnamon sticks, cloves, and orange peels for a natural and delicious-smelling air freshener.”

8. Make your closet smell good with verbena-scented soaps 

Even the smallest spaces, like closets, can smell good.

“To make my closet and clothes smell naturally good, I put 2 verbena-scented soaps in the closet so my clothes smell fresh and my wardrobe is without humidity,” notes scent company ALALELA.

artisan soaps

9. Use cinnamon bark oil 

Cinnamon enhances the mood and gets rid of bad odors leaving a clean, subtle aroma that friends and family can enjoy.

“If you want to make your house smell like the holidays the only answer is Ceylon cinnamon bark oil. Make natural cinnamon-scented pine cone decorations, add a few drops of the Ceylon cinnamon bark oil to an ultrasonic diffuser and diffuse it in the kitchen, toilets, and living room, or better still, add a few drops to baked foods,” shares Cinnamon Vogue, a company specializing in Ceylon cinnamon from Sri Lanka.

10. Make your home smell nice through holiday-scented room and linen sprays 

“Not a candle lover? No problem, you can still capture the aromas of the holiday season by using holiday-scented room and linen sprays, wax melt warmers, or oil diffusers,” says Homes by Cyn.

11. Mingle crisp pine and mulling spices together

It’s said smell is the strongest of the 5 senses, and nothing beats the smell of crisp pine and mulling spices.

“For the holidays, we like to mingle crisp pine, mulling spices, or cinnamon with the smells naturally arising from the kitchen. You can pair this with clean burning soy candles that fill a space without consuming it. Holiday favorites include English Pine, Pompeii Cider, and Moroccan Tile,” shares Circle 21 Candles, a candle company.

Cut oranges, cinnamon sticks, and sugar

12. Go with an eco-friendly option 

Are you trying to be more eco-friendly? Many people don’t realize that some candles may contain toxins.

Trillion Candle, a luxury scented candle brand notes, “A lot of different candle wax produces chemicals when burning and is released into the air. Coconut wax emits zero soot particles or toxins in the air. You can also enjoy your candles longer because coconut wax burns slower.”

13. Be sure to select the appropriate candle sizes

Scented soy candles are the perfect way to make your home smell and feel cozy for the holidays, but for the best fragrance throw, be sure to select appropriate candle sizes for the rooms in your home.

Light + Bark Candle Co. shares, “Remember that larger spaces require bigger or multiple candles to fill them. When burning multiple candles, we especially love to mix them with complementary seasonal scents to create a unique and nostalgic fragrance blend in the home – like a sweet orange and clove-scented Spiced Pomander candle along with afresh-cut fir and leather-scented Evergreen Woods.”

14. Install an aromatherapy patch 

“Why limit the scents of the holidays just to your home? Try an aromatherapy patch that you can take with you anywhere. 

“A warmth patch will have you in a festive mood in your car, at work, or out finishing your holiday shopping,” notes Breatherapy Aromatherapy Tabs.

15. Don’t forget to mix and match fragrances 

Fill your home with fragrances that smell like the holidays using room sprays and diffusers. 

“Mix and match fragrances that will take you on a holiday journey from the moment you and your guests enter the front door, all the way to the dinner table, or use one fragrance that smells like the holidays to you,” recommends Elevo Home, a UK based homeware company.

16. Create your own fragrance scent 

If you aren’t in love with premade scents, you can go to a custom perfumer or candle maker and make your own.

“Can’t find the scent you are looking for? Make your own,” recommends Canada-based Sleep Easy Candle Company. “One of the best parts of fragrance is making your own fun combination. A few of our favorite candles paired together are Coffee Lover with Santa’s Cookies and Tree Farm. The first combo has notes of coffee hazelnut and sugar cookies, and the second has notes of balsam, pine, orange, clove, & cinnamon.” 

Australian-based perfumer Sensoriam adds, “Create your own unique holiday essential oil blend. A few drops of 100% natural essential oils mixed together can bring the holidays alive in your home. Think of mixing myrrh, cypress, sweet juniper berry, cinnamon, and some orange. Or white pine, birchwood, and cedarwood with some lemon and rosemary to keep it fresh and outdoorsy.”

Essential oils around flowers

17. Blend scents of the same family

Having scents of the same family in each room is important to creating an integral holiday smell.

Rock & Roll Candle Co. shares their favorite scent pairings. “Pair roasted pine cones candle and a balsam fir reed diffuser, or gingerbread cookie candle and cinnamon apple wax melt. Clashing scents won’t make the holidays fun for anyone.”

18. Use an old fashed pomander

“Scent can be a powerful link to a sense of place. While we often think of the furniture, paint colors, and layout of our homes, we don’t often think about how they smell. We love to make our homes aromatic with an old-fashioned pomander, a firm orange whose skin is studded with cloves,” recommends Perfume on the Radio, a radio show about smelling.

19. Place sculpted candles to bring in the holiday smells

“Add sculptured candles to your mantle or dinner table to make your holiday decor stand out. Then, light them up (carefully, of course) for a festive, glowing menagerie of fun,” shares French Press Candle Co.

20. Bake cookies and put up a pine tree

Sometimes the best scents are those of freshly baked cookies and pine trees. 

If you’re wondering how to make your home smell like the holidays, be sure to bake sugar and cinnamon cookies, put up a real tree – no plastic, just fresh pine, and light a harvest candle. Its warm and cozy notes of pipe tobacco, sweetgrass, and lavender evoke cherished memories of quality time spent with family and good friends,” shares Van Dang Fragrances.

A red candle

Vanilla and white birch, clove and cranberries, peppermint & white chocolate

“Some of the holiday scent combinations that my customers and I love this season include Vanilla & White Birch, Clove & Cranberries, Peppermint & White Chocolate, and Mulberries & Pine. For persons who would prefer a flameless option, linen sprays in your favorite holiday scent are a great alternative,” says candle company Oh D’Luxe Candle. 

Fire, Colorado pine, vanilla bean, and sugar plum

“Our customers love our unique selection of holiday scents such as Fire, Colorado Pine, Vanilla Bean, Sugar Plum, and Cinnamon Stick. Using a variety of scented products in each room can create a fun experience as guests & family enjoy your home for the holidays,” raves Dainty Blossom, a Colorado-based company that focuses on luxury handmade goods.

Candles with notes of wood

“While traditional evergreen or spice-scented candles are always lovely, there are certain unexpected fragrances that can bring the feeling of holiday nostalgia to your home. Look for candles with notes of woods and smoke to evoke a wood-burning winter hearth,” recommends candle company Coven Candles.

Cardamom, black spruce, and frankincense

“We suggest enchanting your home with a blend of essential oils of Cardamom, Black Spruce, and Frankincense. These oils symbolize breath, energy, and reflection, all good focal points during the segue into the new year,” says Copenhagen-based Apres-You, which shares information about essential oils and diffusers.

Holiday scents

“Just add two drops of Holiday Joy and two drops of Holiday Peace essential oil to a diffuser. You and your guests will feel energized, peaceful, and in the holiday spirit,” notes essential oil company, Choose Essential Oils.

Balsam fir

January Scent Project shares, “Nothing smells more like the holidays than balsam fir. A few drops of balsam fir essential oil on a napkin placed on a shelf will add a beautifully sweet, woody smell of greenery to a room. Homeowners might also try balsam fir candles or add the essential oil (along with some orange and benzoin oils) to an existing potpourri or drizzled over some pine cones to create an amazing festive scent to your dwelling.”

Sage, lavender, cinnamon, and nutmeg

“One of the easiest ways to make your home smell like the holidays is with an essential oil diffuser. Add water with a few drops of your favorite holiday essential oils or any body oils fragrance or cologne that you like,” remarks Scents Event. “It will run for hours, with no flame to worry about. Some of my favorite holiday scents include sage, lavender, cinnamon, and nutmeg.”

Frankincense, cedarwood, clove, and mandarin

“In the diffuser, add Frankincense (3 drops), Cedarwood (3 drops), Clove (2 drops), and Mandarin (4 drops) On an emotional level, here is a blend that creates a connection in our body. It brings us back to the here and now filled with warmth, light, and energy,” shares Clarisa Ayllon

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