Scent the halls

Published: Sunday 22nd November 2015 by The News Editor

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The power of scent is well-known – it can turn back time, bring back memories and transport us to other worlds in a nanosecond, which probably explains why more and more of us are embracing home fragrances. Especially at Christmas time, when we feel nostalgic as well as merry.

The season has its characteristic scents, from fir trees and woodsmoke to mince pies and mulled wine – and just a hint of those conjured by the magic of a room spray, candle or diffuser, can evoke the warm, welcoming spirit of holiday time.

There are a myriad more increasingly sophisticated scents too, which can appeal individually and say as much about our style and taste as a personal fragrance.

“This winter, fragrance is all about the beauty of the outdoors, and those who want to be reminded of all their best childhood memories of the season need look no further than the enchantingly beautiful scents conjuring crisp frosted pines, fir tree, winter citrus, holly, ivy and soft white musk notes, representing the first snowfall of winter,” says Roz Wicks, marketing manager at fragrance house, Symrise.

“For some, nothing makes the season like the smell of spice and there’s an increased focus on food inspired scents this year – brambleberries, cranberries, clementines, cloves, gingerbread, roasted chestnuts, cinnamon, ginger, tonka beans and cardamom. These will fill the house with warmth and cheer on a cold, dark winter’s eve.”

Those seeking glamorous scents for late-night winter soirees could, she suggests, embrace warm oriental notes; rich frankincense, sweet myrrh, velvet rose, sandalwood, cedar and golden amber, to conjure a party atmosphere.

Choose super scents for every seasonal occasion, whether to soothe stress as you battle with the preparations, conjure festive atmosphere or simply ramp up the party spirit…

Wick wisdom

Use a candle snuffer when extinguishing candles. This avoids movement in the wick and debris falling into the melted wax which will cause smoke when you relight.

Ensure wicks are trimmed to a maximum length of 5mm before lighting and the wax is clear of debris or dust. Keep a candle on a flat surface and not near draughts, which can cause flickering and uneven burn. Make sure you burn a candle long enough so the wax fully pools across the surface, but no longer than four hours at a time.

Stress soothers

For all its charm, the pressures of Christmas preparation can leave us feeling frazzled rather than festive – so call for the scent soothers. Running a hot bath, dimming the lights and lying back to soak up the scent of a scented candle can bring peace of mind and also re-energise.

Woodland walks

“Just like a favourite perfume, scented candles can transport us back in time and bring back wonderful memories, with many people using a favourite seasonal scent year after year,” says Laura Lee, a florist and event specialist who’s helped Kenneth Turner – the fragrance-maker beloved by celebrities including the Prince of Wales, Vanessa Redgrave and Sting – to create three new seasonal scents: Masquerade, Winter Berries and Midwinter.

“Midwinter’s based on a walk on Boxing Day through trees laden with lime-green mistletoe – so it includes the fragrance of that with pine, rosemary and thyme, and sparkling musks.”

Man up

Home fragrance doesn’t have to a girly pleasure nowadays, as there are plenty of scents to appeal to the boys. The tangy-sweet odour of old books, beeswax polish and wood-panelling is conjured up for a ‘library’ scent using plum, peach, leather, violet and patchouli in Bibliotheque by Byredo.

Copyright Press Association 2015

Published: Sunday 22nd November 2015 by The News Editor

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