There are many smells associated with the holiday season. When you smell something, the olfactory neurons in your nose pass an impulse along the olfactory nerve up to your brain. The olfactory bulb in your bran processes the impulse and passes information about the smell to the limbic system.

Smell is closely linked with memory and emotion. You may associate holiday smells with fond events from your childhood and brining those smells into your home can be easy.

To fill your home with holiday smells, you could buy air fresheners and plug-ins. If you’d rather go a more natural route, here are some easy and inexpensive ways to bring holiday smells into your home. You may even have many of the ingredients around the house already.

Make your own potpourri. Potpourri is easy to make and, when created from fresh ingredients, can last longer and smell better than the in-store options. Gather small pine cones, whole cinnamon sticks (2-3), star anise pods (5-6), and dried orange slices (6-7). You can buy the orange slices or simply make them at home.

To dry orange slices, thinly slice an orange and bake at 140 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 hours, monitoring frequently.

Arrange all of the ingredients in a bowl or dish. The potpourri can be left out for days or can even be given as a festive gift.

Make your own scented candles. If you enjoy burning candles but don’t like the hefty price tag that can accompany store-bought scented candles, simply take any unscented candle and your favorite essential oil. Put a drop or two of the essential oil right next to the wick. The oil will fill the room with warm and festive scents. Holiday favorites include pine, vanilla, cinnamon, and peppermint.


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