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Christmas decorating is a real five-sense experience. The gorgeous lights, the characteristic music, a warm cozy fire, and the tastes of Christmas cookies. However, one of my favorite parts about the Christmas season is all of the amazing smells! You can light scented candles or use a spray, but I’m breaking down some more natural ways to make your home smell like Christmas with six fun, festive scents.

When I was young, we had a scratch and sniff book called The Sweet Smell of Christmas. Like many of our decorations, the book was damaged in a basement flood. But a few years ago, my sister found and sent us all new copies. Some of my favorite Christmas scents can be found flipping through this book, but I love adding them to my house in a more natural way. Here are a few of my favorites!

The Sweet Smell of Cinnamon

This is probably my favorite smell! I even mentioned it in my wedding vows, when I promised to create a house filled with the smell of cinnamon. One easy way to do that is to add fresh cinnamon sticks into your holiday decor. You can tie them with ribbons to hang on the tree, add to wreaths, and place within other garlands around the house.

Another fun way to introduce cinnamon is by making salt dough decorations. This is a dough made of flour, water, salt, and cinnamon that you bake at a lower temperature. I used some seasonal cutters to create these sweet smelling cookies that we use year after year to add a fresh cinnamon scent.

Fill Your Home With Vanilla

In my house, I always like to have something baking in the oven, especially when I know I’m going to have guests over. If what you’re baking is heavy on the vanilla like cupcakes or sugar cookies, that smell will fill up the house.

However, if baking isn’t your idea of fun or takes too much time, you can cheat the smell of vanilla. Add a few drops of vanilla extract to cotton balls, and place the cotton balls in inconspicuous areas around your house. You can fit these into your centerpieces and decor by surrounding with other pretty items.

Make Your House Smell Like Apple

I love the smell of a fresh baked apple dessert, but I’m not making pie everyday in the month of December just so it smells like apples. Although, I’m sure my husband would be okay if I decided to do that.

Instead, I like to get that apple smell by heating up some apple cider in the slowcooker. A bonus to this is getting to drink hot apple cider! If you don’t have cider, you can use fresh apples in water as well. You can even add some mulling spices for more depth.

Tree Topper | Tree Advent Calendar


Get Festive With the Scent of Pine

The best way to get that true pine smell is to have a real tree. However, that’s not always possible or easy for everyone. If you love your artificial tree or don’t have the room for a tree at all, you can still get that forest scent by adding smaller pieces like a real wreath or garland.

Another trick is to doctor-up your fake items by placing just a few sprigs of pine throughout an artificial tree, wreath, or garland. Just the small addition can create an aroma that you can catch of whiff of each time you walk by or through a room. If you have pine trees on your property, it’s free and easy to trim a few branches off.



Brighten Up With Orange

Making orange pomanders by studding fresh oranges with cloves can be a fun short term way to add a citrus smell to your home, but these can get moldy after just a couple days. For a longer term solution, you can dehydrate orange slices and add them to garlands, make ornaments, or place in a bowl as  potpourri.

Another trick is similar to what I mentioned before with the apple smell. You can heat water on your stove or in a slow cooker and add orange peels. This will spread the fresh, bright aroma throughout your kitchen and home.

Smell the Aroma of Peppermint

Brew up a big batch of peppermint tea, and your home will have that distinct Christmas smell. Many brands make an herbal tea that contains only dried peppermint leaves. Or if you prefer, you can use a blend that adds lemon or chamomile for more depth.

Another subtle and pretty way to add peppermint throughout your home is to add crushed candy cane pieces or whole candy canes into your decor. These do contain sugar, so be careful about leaving them out for too long. When I add candy canes to the tree, I leave the plastic wrapping. This blocks some but not all of the smell, but keeps them usable for longer.

The Sweet Smell of Christmas


What are your favorite Christmas smells, and how do you make your home smell amazing during the holidays?

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16 thoughts on “6 Scents to Make Your Home Smell Like Christmas, Naturally!

  1. These are fantastic suggestions! Since I have an artificial Christmas tree, I’ve been using essential oils and natural candles to provide the evergreen scent, and I do love adding in cinnamon and peppermint here and there as well! Oh and I leave clementine peels out when I can for that bright citrus smell!

    1. Before I had real trees, we always had at least real wreaths or a few boughs around for the smell. Nothing beats getting a whiff of something festive when you walk by! I love the idea of using essential oils, and also the clementine peels. Blending all these smells works so well too.

  2. My favorite smell is pine. I diffuse it all year round. I need to try some of your other ideas, though. Cinnamon would totally remind me of Christmas 🙂

    1. I’m the opposite! To me pine reminds me so much of Christmas, and cinnamon is a smell that you can find in my house all year!

    1. Yes, definitely! If you put them all together, you really get that Christmas feel, but individually, these scents all work any time of the year.

    1. These two go so well together too. I really love hanging cinnamon ornaments on my Christmas tree, or adding sprigs of pine to cinnamon salt dough decorations.

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