Research shows that the sense of smell is one of the most important elements in evoking memories. And I’ve found that each season has its own unique scent.
In Spring, the aroma of flowers—maybe roses or that out-of-control jasmine along your fence—fills the air with scents designed to pull us outdoors and back into the sunshine after a long winter’s nap.
In the fall, the crisp air carries the smoke from fires, either in fireplaces or from someone burning leaves in the yard.
But I think the scent of Christmas has the greatest potential to arouse the pleasure centers in our brains. What does Christmas smell like? For me, it’s cinnamon and cloves and vanilla, mixed with a citrus tang, like an orange. It’s the smell of a hot, gooey pecan pie as it’s pulled from the over. Cedar from the fresh cut Christmas tree tints the air in the living room as the proud tree stands guard over the pile of presents at its base. It’s my grandmother’s homemade yeast rolls as the brown in the oven.
Words cannot begin to capture the fragrances that make me smile. But a recipe can. I found a wonderful recipe on www.food.com that I think captures my Christmas.
The Scent of Christmas
- 2 -4 tablespoons cloves (whole) (optional)
- 2 -4 cinnamon sticks
- 4 bay leaves
- 1/2 orange, sliced
- 1/2 lemon, sliced
IF you simmer it for a few hours, you will need to add more water or liquid occasionally so it doesn't boil dry. Store in refrigerator when not in use to prevent molding. It can be simmered over and over again! Always add more water to equal 4 cups before each use.
So that’s how Christmas smells to me. Tell me about your favorite Christmas scents.
To celebrate the season, AND to celebrate the release of
Texas Two Step in print on January 1, 2013, I’ll give a digital copy of Two Step: The Prequel to the first TEN people who write me via my website contact page. I’ll pick one lucky person to win a digital copy of Texas TWO STEP. Occasionally I’ll have some swag (pens, jar openers, magnets, etc) just for the asking! Send a note through my website contact page for swag. TEXAS
Cynthia D’Alba began writing after a long career in both the medical and academic worlds. Her debut novel, Texas Two Step, was released by Samhain Publishing in digital format on February 28, 2012. It comes out in print on January 1, 2013. Want a taste? Here’s an except from Chapter One.
A BOY, A GIRL, AND A TIGER in the Wild At Heart Anthology, Vol. 1, available now in Digital and Print formats.