While we love cool, fresh scents in the summer (think crisp cotton and coastal breezes), as the weather gets nippier, we start craving warming, spicier fragrances. Our favourite winter scents are often those we come across on a winter walk, or ones linked to our favourite comfort foods.
From festive DIY simmer scent pots to fragrant Christmas cookies, our tips will make infusing your home with these signature seasonal scents a cinch.
Our top winter scents
Fir or pine
The best winter scents combine two or more aromas. Try cinnamon, nutmeg and orange, or ginger with sandalwood.
Invite friends over for mulled wine
Few aromas say winter as much as mulled wine; it's one of our favourite winter smells. Whether you make it from scratch or buy a bottle, warm it up on the stove to fill your home with that distinctive spicy scent.
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Fragrance your home with a simmer pot
Not in the mood for mulled wine? You can create a similar fragrance by simmering ingredients in a saucepan on your hob. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add some apple and orange peel, a couple of sticks of cinnamon and some whole cloves and turn the temperature down so it keeps simmering. Just top up with hot water when it gets low (do keep an eye on it; burnt saucepans are not fun to clean).
Make your own scented candle
You’ve got to love flickering candles on dark winter evenings. Look for warmer, comforting fragrances like ginger or apple pie to bump up the snugness factor. Or search for Christmas candles with scents like mulled wine or pine. Can’t find the right scented candle? Why not make your own?
Take a nostalgia trip with winter potpourri
We’re betting your gran had a bowl of potpourri somewhere. Why not take a trip down memory lane by making your own? You’ll need some flower petals and your choice of other materials, like cleaned citrus peels, vanilla pods, sandalwood shavings and sprigs of herbs. Spread them out to dry in a warm room for a few days, or if you’re feeling impatient, just pop them in the oven on the lowest temperature for a couple of hours.
When they’re completely dry (petals should feel crisp rather than soft), tip them into a pretty bowl. If you want your potpourri to last, you’ll need to combine it with a fixative powder, like orris root, and top up the fragrance with a few drops of essential oil when the scent starts to fade.
Make the most of fabric conditioner
Not all fabric softener is created equal. Some fragrances disappear faster than the other half when you mention that the ironing pile is mounting up. Look for a conditioner with a fragrance that lasts, like Comfort Perfume Deluxe in Luscious Bouquet – its sandalwood and vanilla base notes are perfect for winter.
Treat yourself to an oil burner
Oil burners and wax melt burners are easy ways to fragrance your home and you get the added advantage of flickering tea lights. Choose good quality, undiluted essential oils from a reputable stockist. If you’re looking for a more rounded fragrance, try a blended home fragrance oil.
Who doesn’t love the scent of cookies baking in the oven, or warm gingerbread? Make extra dough next time you bake, so you can freeze some to use for quick and easy biscuits when you have guests over. Why not add cinnamon or nutmeg to your cookies for a warming winter treat?
Keep a home fragrance spray handy
Home fragrance sprays are useful for quick bursts of scent when you need it most. (Like when your neighbour knocks on the door when you’re mid-way through cooking a garlicy fish dish or your dog has eaten something that clearly doesn’t agree with him.)
Make a DIY reed diffuser
Add a few drops of essential oil to a base oil, pour the mixture into a glass bottle, pop in a few reeds and you have a homemade diffuser that should help to fragrance your home for weeks on end (try Amazon or eBay if you’re struggling to find reeds locally). For the base oil, you want something like almond oil or grapeseed oil. When it comes to the essential oil, you can take your pick from the list above or just buy a ready-blended home fragrance oil.