We’re back to scent as a powerful stimulant to memory here. I bet you can get just one sniff of a familiar scent and be transported back to a time or place. For me, it’s a sweet-floral perfume called Normal Hartnell’s In Love. My mother loved it, and used it every time she was going out. This was back in the 1970’s, early 80’s. It came in a crystal bottle, with heart-shaped talc and body lotion to match. I still catch a breeze now and again that reminds me of it, and takes me back to the nights when, as a young girl, I would sit and watch my Mum getting ready to go out, bath, underwear, black dress with a frou frou cape over, and always the smell layered on. Body lotion, talc and perfume.
Christmas for me is orange and cinnamon. I love the scents anyway, but they gain an extra layer of importance when they can take me back to the Christmas of my past. To the early days of marriage, to the days of children crawling around and threatening the tree with sudden death, to the baking and the making and the fun. And I like to use the scents as much as possible in my house.
I take the same approach as my Mother used to with her Norman Hartnell, and layer them around the house.
The base layer is my cleaning products. My all-purpose cleaner is orange cleaner and degreaser. I use it in kitchen and bathroom, and on any surface that isn’t wood. Wood gets a dose of marzipan with Method Touch Wood Cleaner, while my laminate floors get a good wiping over with Method Lemon and Ginger floor cleaner.
I don’t tend to burn scented candles, as I find the fragrance released tends to be too strong, but I do have scented candles that I leave open to release the fragrance. Here, too, you often find the citrus and spices dominating my choices.
Lily Flame candles are beautifully packed in little tins just right for leaving around the house. I have a Festive Cheer candle already, but my daughter has ordered me a Christmas Spice candle as a present, so I know Boxing Day will be a very pleasant smell indeed!
And if scented candles are never your thing, then you can always diffuse your scents. Alison May, on her beautifully hygge blog, Brocante Home, is a great one for putting good smelling stuff in a saucepan, covering with water and simmering away while the scent spreads around the house. Try a sliced orange, a cinnamon stick, a couple of star anise, a small branch of pine off cut and some cloves. Simmer gently, but make sure you don’t taste the concoction or let the pan go dry.
And making your own room spray is easy. Take 1 portion of vodka, 2 portions of water and essential oils to suit, mix and spray. I use a small spray gun sold for hairdressers, at about 200ml capacity, but any spray bottle will do. My current spray of choice is 10 drops of neroli (sweet orange_), 5 drops of frankincense, 4 drops of pine balsalm and 4 drops of cinnamon. Christmas in every spray. I spray the back of my curtains, the throws on my settee, my bedsheets and I have even been known to spray my toilet paper when company is due round.
Talking of paper…. a few drops of essential oils dripped on the inside of the toilet roll give a light scent in the smallest room, while my current tissue box on my desk holds Christmas scented tissues available just for the effort required to open the box and drop a few drops on to the tissues!
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