I think one of the strongest things attached to my memories of this time of year are the scents I associate with Thanksgiving and Christmas. There's comfort and warmth and the feeling of love that emanates from food, from homes, and even those outdoorsy smells we notice less or not at all in the warmer months of the year.
Some of those things are just simply more common to the fall and winter months, so it makes a lot of sense that I would associate things like apples and cinnamon or the sweet luscious mixture of apple cider with brown sugar and other spices- cinnamon as well as clove and nutmeg with the holidays. There's a feeling of comfort in sipping the hot liquid, the slight tingle of the spices on your tongue and in your throat.
As a child, the smell of those mixed apple and orange fruit bags planted me firmly in my grandparents house, peeling back the thick skin on a navel orange and then squeezing the oils so that they spritzed against the side of the wood stove, the sizzle as it hit and the aroma of orange filling the air, nearly burning your eyes with its pungent odor. But man, did it smell so good!
Oranges also smell delicious with whole cloves. Piercing the outer peel with those fragrant little stems fills the house with comfort and reminds me of my mom, who does this often. I just looked it up and found out it's called an Orange and Clove Pomander (here's a tutorial if you feel like being crafty.)
Another favorite smell of mine is pumpkin pie or one of those pumpkin rolls or logs. There's just something about the sweet rich aroma of pumpkin and spices, topped with whipped topping. My mom makes this fluffy Pumpkin Chiffon pie that's to die for! It has a light texture that's more airy than a traditional pumpkin pie, really more of a jelled set pudding pie and it's scrumptious- in aroma and flavor.
Another good one is sweet sugar cookies, baked with vanilla. It's soft and warm, and hints of the care and kindness and love that goes into baking and filling your home with the wonderful goodies, the aroma that greets the kids at the door when they come in on a cold winter afternoon after school.
And let's not forget the great outdoors. Though we'd generally rather stay in at this time of year, there is something wondrous and comforting when you step out into a bitterly cold night- one of those nights where you can almost "smell" the cold- the froze dampness of dead dry leaves and the hint of snow in the air as your breath materializes before you.
I take a deep breath and hold it, latching onto memories of time long past. Nothing hearkens me back to my childhood more than a cold blustery day when I can feel the tingling in my ears and my throat, when the wind stings my eyes. It's times like that when the woodsy odor of pine and cedar fills the air and the comforting tang of wood burning in someone's fireplace or furnace suffuses itself to me, clinging to my clothes and weaving it's way into every fiber of my being.
It's that touch of hearth and home that gets me, every time, that fills me with the knowledge that I'm HOME and I'm LOVED and really, that's what it's all about. (Here are a couple of the great smells I've discovered recently- Air Wick Apple & Shimmering Spice and Air Wick Vanilla Sugar Sparkle. One of Glade's Limited time Winter scents- Nutcracker Crunch, which smells of walnuts and mocha- delicious! Glade's Limited time Fall scent- Maple Pumpkin. Yummy!)
What are YOUR favorite scents this time of year? What brings back fond memories?
Have a SCENTsational Saturday!