Several behavioral studies have demonstrated that smells trigger more vivid emotional memories and are better at inducing that feeling of “being brought back in time” than images. Never is that more apparent than during the holiday season. Winter holidays would not be the same without the warm, cozy scents of the season. How can you incorporate this memory inducing phenomenon? Here are a few suggestions from the experts:
- Fresh greenery: Wreaths, garlands and arrangements filled with winter foliage. You can add to your sensory experience by adding sprigs of sage, rosemary or pine into your centerpieces at the table.
- Make pomander balls: These are citrus fruits pierced by whole cloves, creating a great smelling decoration. They are believed by some to bring strength and fortune…something we can use during the holidays! To make these, use any firm citrus such as oranges. Carve a design into the skin of the fruit using a vegetable peeler. Poke a row of holes into the fruit with a toothpick to make you design. Push the cloves into the holes and place the arrangement in a bowl to be used as a centerpiece.
- Light a scented candle: This a simple way to bring home a sense of the holidays. Choose a favorite scent and keep it consistent throughout the house…even the bathroom!
- Simmer a pot: A quick, easy way to fill your home with delightful seasonal scents is to simmer a pot with water (or use a slow cooker) and fill it with orange or apple peels, cranberries, nutmeg, cloves, and/or a stick of cinnamon.
- Bake some treats: There is nothing like the delicious smells of gingerbread, apple pie, or sugar cookies baking in the oven.
- Essential oils: Add essential oils to a bowl of pinecones. Unlike burning candles, essential oils are safe to use round the clock and provide a continuous mood-enhancing aroma.
Have a memory-filled holiday season enhanced by the many scents of pine, cinnamon, cranberry, and gingerbread. And enjoy with friends and family!