Christmas to me is a time of making new memories and reminiscing about Christmas past. If there is one time of the year where smells and scents are most evocative and transformative it’s the festive season, and I love how familiar and comforting the scents of this season are.
I recently baked some Christmas shortbread flavoured with orange and was instantly taken back to childhood memories of my dad peeling huge oranges at the kitchen table and cinnamon and citrus scented decorations hung up around the tree. I want our girls to grow up forming memories of this time of year which will bring smiles to their faces and help them remember their childhood when they are grown up and flown the nest.
Beauty and evocative memories go hand in hand, especially at this time of year. I can smell Clinique’s Aromatics perfume a mile off, as it’s the scent my mum wears at this time of year, and there is something individual yet familiar about it which always brings a smile to my face when I smell it. For the past couple of years I have worn Jo Malone’s Pomegranate Noir in the winter, as the rich fruity notes just feel so festive and warming, especially when snuggled up in fluffy jumpers and hats. Freya picked up a scarf the other day which had the lingering notes still on it and said it smelt like me – festive memories beginning to imprint on her little mind…. We recently bought a limited edition huge version of Aldi’s famous candles, in the pomegranate scent, and it’s every bit of gorgeous as the original perfume and the perfect way to have a festive scented backdrop in your home at this time of year.
My recent love affair with the Body Shop’s Pumpkin scented shower gel prompted me pop in the other day to have a browse of their festive selection and I couldn’t help have a trip down memory lane smelling scents such as Satsuma, White Musk and Mango. One sniff of these and I’m transported straight back to younger years when I’d discover a body shop lip balm at the bottom of my stocking and treasure it as I would a Chanel lipstick these days.
Of course the most festive scent of all is that of a real Christmas tree and I can still remember the excitement of picking the perfect lopsided one and keeping our fingers crossed it would fit in the car. If you choose not to have a real tree then I can highly recommend Scenticles which give off a deceptively similar scent to that of a real tree, and can be hidden amongst the branches to fool even the most dedicated real tree lover. I couldn’t resist a sniff at this year’s festive Diptique candles in Space NK and I can confirm that the Sapin de Lumiere scent really does smell like a pine tree filled forest cased in the most beautiful holder (which can be used year after year as decoration). Eye wateringly expensive but indulgently gorgeous…..!
If you fancy baking some festive shortbread and making some scented memories then the recipe is below –
190g plain flour
125g unsalted butter
55g caster sugar
zest of one large orange
A few drops of orange flavouring (I used Waitrose’s)
Preheat the oven to 180 C/ Gas 4
Cream the butter and sugar together and sieve in the floor and mix into a dough.
Leave to chill in the fridge for approx. 30 mins and then roll out to approx. 1cm thick. Cut out shapes ( I did stars of course!) and place on a grease proof lined tray.
Bake for 15 mins, not letting the biscuits turn golden, and then leave to cool before decorating.
Eat and enjoy!