How to Make My House Smell Good During the Holidays
Does your Philadelphia home feel stuffy and a bit closed off now that the windows are sealed tightly for winter and the heat’s on? These simple tricks can help improve the air in your home, making it smell festive and fresh for the holiday season.
The winter holidays have one major drawback: They happen during winter, when the weather in Philadelphia tends to be cold, if not snowy and wet. That means you can’t throw open your windows and let fresh air in the way you can in spring, summer, or fall. With so many holiday gatherings happening this time of year, you may be thinking to yourself, “I need to know how to make my house smell good this holiday season.” Luckily, you have plenty of options that don’t involve welcoming freezing air indoors.
Image Source: Flickr/Diana Mieczan
Make a Simmer Pot
If you want a completely customized, warm scent to fill your home during the holidays, a simmer pot might be the way to go. A simmer pot is simply a saucepan filled with water and a number of spices or other highly fragrant things. Place the pan on the burner over low heat and let the water come to a simmer. The heat of the water will release the scent of the spices, filling your home with a lovely fragrance.
What you put in the pot really depends on your tastes, but options include cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla beans, and slices of citrus. While the cost of spices can be prohibitively high, some places in Philly, such as Essene Market, sell spices in bulk, by the pound. You can get a couple of cinnamon sticks, a few vanilla beans, and some whole nutmeg for a lot less than you would buying the spices in glass jars.
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Fill a Bowl with Pomanders
There are many types of pomander (a scented ball whose name comes from the French term for “apple of amber”). Around the holiday season, though, when people think of pomanders, they think of little oranges or other citrus fruits studded with cloves. The process of making your own pomanders to make your home smell good is relatively easy. Use a marker to draw a design on the oranges, then poke several holes into the skin of the orange, tracing along the design. Push a clove into each hole. You can also completely cover the oranges with cloves.
After you’ve decorated the citrus with the cloves, you’ll want to dry the fruit, so that mold doesn’t grow and so that the pomanders actually last more than a week or so. Martha Stewart recommends tossing the oranges with orris root powder. A less expensive and less messy way to dry the fruits is to hang them in a dark closet for a few days or to stash them in the refrigerator for about a week. Once the pomanders are dry, place them in a large bowl and set on a table to fill your home with fragrance.
Image Source: Flickr/ Redcorn Studios
Light Some Candles
If you’re still wondering “how to make my house smell good” the easiest way possible, look for scented candles in festive, winter-ready fragrances. Add a little local flair to your tablescape by choosing locally made candles. Bee Natural is a small apiary from Delaware that produces beeswax candles in a variety of scents. You can order the candles online or pick them up in person at Reading Terminal Market.
A house that smells great can help put you in a festive mood. It also can help any guests who come visit for the holidays feel at home. You don’t have to do much to bring a holiday scent to your home. Try these ideas in your Philadelphia home this winter.
Main Image Source: Flickr/Rob Faulkner