Fill your home with the best scents of the holidays.

By Jessica Bennett
Updated December 14, 2020
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It's the most wonderful time of the year, and the vibrant aromas of Christmas are some of our favorite features of the season. The festive smells of crisp peppermint, fresh-cut evergreen, cinnamon sticks, and freshly baked sugar cookies can bring back fond memories from Christmases past, instantly boost your holiday spirit, or simply fill your home with cozy ambiance on a cold winter night. Don't wait until December 25 to surround yourself with your favorite seasonal scents. These nine easy projects and ideas will have your home smelling like Christmas all winter long.

Credit: Jay Wilde

1. Deck the halls with fresh greenery.

Nothing says Christmas quite like boughs of fresh-cut greenery. Incorporate fragrant foliage into your holiday decor to add organic texture and straight-from-the-forest fragrance. Layer a cedar garland atop your mantel, embellish gift packages with sprigs of spruce, or arrange evergreen boughs down the center of your dining table for an easy winter centerpiece.

2. Light a candle.

One of the easiest ways to make your home smell like Christmas is to light a scented candle. Whether you prefer an earthy fragrance or the aroma of freshly baked treats, there are so many lovely winter candles to choose from. Light one (or perhaps a few!) to create a cozy atmosphere.

3. Blend seasonal essential oils.

Essential oils are a natural way to make your home smell amazing, and certain blends are perfectly suited for winter. Mix oils like myrrh, cypress, sweet juniper berry, cinnamon bark, and tangy wild orange to evoke festive feelings. Fill up a spray bottle with distilled water and a few drops of your favorite oils ($18, Target) to use as a room spray or add the winter blend to your essential oil diffuser ($28, Target) to create a holiday-inspired aromatherapy experience.

Credit: David A. Land

4. Make pomander balls.

Poke whole cloves into oranges to create pomanders that give off an enticing holiday aroma. This DIY Christmas craft is easy enough to do with kids, and you can get as detailed as you'd like with the clove designs. Hang pomander balls on your Christmas tree as ornaments, tuck them among garland on your mantel, or gather a few in a nature-inspired arrangement for your holiday table.

5. Bake a holiday treat.

Who can resist the enticing aromas of freshly baked goodies? Before guests come over, pop a holiday pie into the oven or whip up a batch of your favorite Christmas cookies. Whiffs of sweet treats will greet visitors at the door, and, even better, you'll have a delicious homemade dessert to share later!

6. Heat up a holiday simmer pot.

A pot of water and a few items from your pantry are all you need to create a simmering source of Christmassy smells. Simply add your favorite holiday ingredients (such as apple slices, cinnamon sticks, vanilla extract, and cloves) to a saucepan of water and simmer on low heat, adding more water periodically as it evaporates. This stovetop potpourri can also be made in a slow cooker.

Credit: Adam Albright

7. Craft a dried-fruit wreath.

Dehydrate grapefruits, oranges, lemons, and limes to use in a fruity citrus wreath. Dust the dried fruit with fine glitter for a sparkly touch, then attach the slices to a foam wreath form with straight pins. Mount the wreath above your fireplace to infuse the room with a fresh citrus scent.

8. Swap out hand soaps.

Another quick way to immerse your home in seasonal charm: Swap out everyday hand soap for a holiday variety. Choose one that smells of peppermint candy ($4, Bath & Body Works) or a freshly cut pine tree ($4, Target) for a burst of Christmas cheer every time you wash your hands.

9. Make your own herbal potpourri.

Mix essential oils into dried flowers, leaves, and greenery to create a custom potpourri blend. Pour your homemade filler into vases and decorative bowls throughout your home to spread a subtle seasonal scent.

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