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Winter scents that warm our senses

By Melissa Aurora Adlebush

There are certain winter moments that tickle our senses and help us embrace the frosty season: The moment we walk outside and feel that crisp cold chill in the air. Then the moment we step back inside and enjoy the comfort of warmth.
When we think of winter, there are certain scents and tastes that bring the season to mind: Peppermint, cool and sweet. It conjures thoughts of candy canes in our stocking and on our tree. Speaking of trees, there’s another scent that will put your mind in the snowy season. Be it pine, fir, juniper or cedar; these scents remind us of being in the woods, cutting a fresh Christmas tree or sitting in front of a crackling fire.
As long as we are on the fire front, let’s talk about those classic warming scents. The first one is cinnamon, followed closely by clove and ginger.
I remember cinnamon stick ornaments on the tree and homemade ginger and cinnamon ornaments that Gramma always warned us not to eat because they kept their smell for years, so she gave us gingerbread cookies instead. We also made Pomanders (fresh oranges with cloves poked into the skin of the orange in pleasing patterns, and then rolled in powdered cinnamon.) We also dusted apple slices with powdered cinnamon and dried them by the fire.
When I got older, I was introduced to Wassail – warmed, spiced apple cider with or without brandy in it. Mulling Spices can be used to warm spiced cider or red wine. They consist of any combination of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, star anise, cardamom, and usually orange peels, (typically real orange and lemon slices would float on top of the wassail in the crock pot.)
Today you can enjoy all of these scents without all the fuss using convenient little bottles of essential oils. Here are two blends that you can put into your diffuser, or humidifying bowl of water on the stovetop. You could also make a room spray by adding it to a mixture of half water half vodka in a spray bottle, or refresh potpourri by adding a few drops of the oil.
Use any combination from its appropriate list:
Cool and Crisp: Warm and Spicy:
Peppermint Cinnamon
Pine Clove
Cedarwood Ginger
Fir Orange
Frankincense Vanilla
Rosemary

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