Creating an atmospheric setting not only makes friends and family feel welcome, but placing scented candles in the main living areas, to complement your decorative scheme, can transform a home and set the stage for some nostalgic memories.
“On Christmas Day, I always like to burn many scents together and create a unique scent for the day. Burning Feu de Bois and Ambre, both from the woody family, creates a scent of an open log fire and warm toasty marshmallows,” says Amanda Morgan at Diptyque. “I also like Pomander [orange and cinnamon], creating a warm scent like mince pies and festive treats.”
And that’s the joy of a perfumed glow – you can give guests a hint of things to come. And while decorating a mantelpiece or side table can look grand and impressive, with clusters of votives arranged among pine cones, red berries and cinnamon sticks, the idea is a simple one, and the secret is to focus on key areas where you will entertain.
“Take time to think about how you want your home to feel this Christmas, before you choose a colour scheme,” advises Debbie Wild, London lifestyle director at Jo Malone. “Red, green and white are Christmas classics, while you could go for something more unexpected with silvers and purples, for instance. The countryside is full of green foliage this time of year, from beautifully scented pine to holly, ivy and rosemary sprigs, to birch, beech and berry branches.
“Embrace these and use them as your base. Mix different hues of green, combining dark and lush pine needles with the silvery foliage of clean and fresh eucalyptus, and then nestle an aromatic pine and eucalyptus diffuser or candle alongside, to echo the arrangement.”
Morgan agrees: “It’s nice to choose a scent that works with your theme, whether it be pine or cypress to enhance the scent of your tree, or a spiced plum or warm orange to allow the smells of mulled wine and Christmas cake to fill the room.”
Or why not go one step further and burn candles with spice and gourmand notes, to fill your home with the scents of Christmas baking? Little touches, such as fragranced Christmas decorations which can be hung from a wreath or swags on the mantelpiece and staircase, are a wonderful way to add a subtle hint of spruce or fir, lift the spirits and get you in the mood.