It’s Beginning To Smell A Lot Like Christmas

Here you'll find the ultimate guide to scenting your home this Christmas, helping you create the perfect cosy atmosphere for seasonal cheer.
What Does Christmas Smell Like?
The festive season is full of wonderful fragrance. From the warm spices of mulled wine and mince pies to the fresh pine of tinsel covered Christmas trees, each scent fills our home with nostalgia and familiarity. Here you'll find the ultimate guide to scenting your home this Christmas, helping you create the perfect cosy atmosphere for seasonal cheer.
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Christmas fragrances are filled with nostalgia and tradition. While scent and the memories evoked by it are incredibly personal, there are certain smells that instantly fill a room with festive feeling. So what are the top twelve christmassy smells? Here’s a list of our favourite festive fragrances…


  1. Christmas Tree
  2. Roasted Nuts
  3. Mulled Wine
  4. Log Cabins
  5. Pumpkin Spice
  6. Fireplace
  7. Snow
  8. Church
  9. Spiced Orange
SKOG (Forest) Candle by Skandinavisk

1. Christmas Tree

Notes: Pine, Fir & Spruce


For thousands of years people have been using evergreen fir trees as an integral part of winter festivals. From pagan festivities where branches were used to decorate homes during the winter solstice reminding them that spring would return, to the 16th century tradition of decorating trees that we still do today.


It’s not just the glorious greenery that we are drawn to. I have yet to meet a person who didn’t enjoy the sharply sweet scent of pine, spruce and fir trees. I’m not talking about that awful fake-pine smell found in car air-freshners, but the refreshing smell given off by real conifers.


That piney scent is actually due to chemical compounds called terpenes that are found within the trees resin. There are a number of different terpenes given off by Christmas trees, each giving slightly different fragrance notes. β-pinene has a fresh, woody fragrance, while Bornyl acetate provides the “heart of pine” because it produces a rich odour, described as balsamic or camphorous.


Different Christmas tree species give off slightly different scents depending on the levels of these terpenes they give off. Other scent notes you may be able to smell on your tree are limonene (a citrus scent), myrcene ( imagine the aroma of hops, thyme, and cannabis), camphene (a camphor smell), and α-phellandrene (peppermint and citrus).


You don’t have to fill your home with pine needles to bring the fragrance of Christmas trees into your home. We have a great selection of scented candles that capture the fresh woodyness without the mess!


Skog Candle by Skandinavisk

Discover all Skog products by Skandinavisk at Osmology. Boreal forests cover half of Scandinavia stretching unbroken from the far south to the Arctic Circle. A morning mist of spruce and pine needles, of woodland lily of the valley, musk and aged leather.


Spruce Candle by P.F. Candle Co.

The Spruce Candle by P.F. Candle Co. is an autumnal favourite. The fragrance is fresh and invigorating, capturing the scent of dense, old-growth forest with notes of blue spruce and cedar. Bright citrus notes add a refreshing element.


Canoe Candle by Hollow Tree

The Canoe Scented Candle by Hollow Tree is inspired by Canada’s pine trees in all their glory. Inspired by the explorers who discovered their great land and the leaders who shaped the country, reminiscent of their voyages throughout Canada’s endless forests.


TRÆ Candle by Skandinavisk

The TRÆ (Tree) Candle by Skandinavisk captures the delicate scent of wintery coniferous forests and freshly fallen snow.


2. Roasted Nuts

Notes: Chesnuts, Pecans & Brazil Nuts


If you’ve ever wandered around a Christmas market in the brisk coldness of December, the smell of toasting nuts will be a warming memory. The scent of roasted chestnuts is a Christmas scent staple –  the open flames crackling, heating them up until they pop open sharing their sweet nutty-ness with passers-by. Delicious.


3. Mulled Wine

Notes: Cinnamon, Ginger, Star Anise


Mulled wine, Glühwein, Vin chaud, Glogg: Whatever you call it, the evocative aroma of this classic, Winter-warming drink is a festive favourite. The warming fragrance of hot wine combined with a myriad of spices will heat you up on even the coldest December evening. The smells of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and citrus, combined with sumptuous red-wine are a treat for the senses.


This scent will wrap your home in warmth and joy, filling it with contented cosiness. If you’d prefer to avoid a very boozy winter there are plenty of scented candles that will fill your room with the spiced fruity fragrance.

JUL Candle by Skandinavisk

The JUL (Christmas) Candle by Skandinavisk is full of the nostalgia and traditions associated with a Scandinavia at Christmas. A richly spiced scent with bold notes of baked gingerbread, melted honey, cloves and warm glogg. Jul is the essence of Christmas.


4. Log Cabins

Notes: Cedar, Wood, 


Take a trip to the Nordic wilderness, where dark nights filled with stars reign and your sanctuary from winters cold is a cosy log cabin tucked amongst the trees. Inside, the sweet musty smell of dried wood fills you with security and cosiness. Fragrant smoke lingers from last nights fire, and favourite blankets envelop you in warmth.


If this festive daydream doesn’t quite reflect your reality, the next best thing is to light a woody candle and let the fragrance transport your imagination to that rustic cabin in the woods.

Cedar Stack Candle by Boy Smells

The Cedar Stack Candle by Boy Smells features a warm, woodsy scent from its combination of cedarwood chips, dried tobacco, bay leaf and crushed peppercorn. This is a slightly more feminine version of the log cabin candle, with the sweeter notes of juniper and white musk accentuating the sawdust highlights.


5. Spiced Pumpkin

Notes: Pumpkin, Ginger 


From the moment the trees begin to shed their leaves, the calling for Pumpkin Spiced Lattes wakes up within us – the unquenchable lust for pumpkin goodness continues throughout the festive season, from hearty soups made from jack-o-lantern innards to thanksgiving pumpkin pie.


If you can’t get enough of pumpkin then I highly suggest you fill your home with it’s delectable cosy scent with help from one of the many autumnal scented candles that captures this fall fragrance favourite.

Forever Sunday Candle by The Nomad Society

The Forever Sunday Candle by The Nomad Society is a scent perfect for a day of slow living, taking a moment to unwind ready for a fresh start. This scented candle features top notes of pumpkin and base notes of cinnamon.


Spiced Pumpkin Candle by P.F. Candle Co.

The Spiced Pumpkin Candle by P.F. Candle Co. is a seasonal scent only available during Fall. It features the fragrance of ripe pumpkin, creamy butter, and brown sugar, topped with toasted cinnamon and nutmeg. Delicious.


6. Fireplace

Notes: Smoke, Wood 


Gather around the open fire, telling tall tales of Father Christmas and his merry band of flying reindeer as the wind howls outside. The fragrant wood smoke adds an extra layer of cosy to the room, delicately swirling around the stockings hung ready to be filled on Christmas Eve.


Luckily you don’t need to install a woodburner to recreate this ultimate winters evening – just light a scented candle like D.S. & Durga’s Portable Fireplace to enjoy the fragrance of a real fire in your home.

Flamma Candle by Skandinavisk

The FLAMMA (Flame) Candle by Skandinavisk perfectly captures the sweet smokey notes of burning logs and golden resin. While you may not be lucky enough to have an open fireplace in your home, this fragrant candle perfectly captures the comforting warmth of the hearth, with its flame reminiscent of fireside glow.


Smoke & Wood Candle by The Nomad Society

The Smoke & Wood Candle by The Nomad Society is a scent to take you to the woods. Inspired by days hiking through the Pyrenees and nights spent by a log fire. Featuring top notes of birch wood and camp fire.


Portable Fireplace Candle by D.S. & DURGA

The luxurious, authentic scent of pine wood burning alongside cedar and oak ash creates a delicate smokey fragrance, perfect for your humble hearth-less abode. It’s also good for those folks lucky enough to have a fireplace, when they’re feeling too lazy to light it.


7. Snow

Notes: Snow


What does snow smell like? You could almost say it surely smells of nothing, but if you’ve ever had the pleasure of being in a wintery wonderland with powdery snowflakes filling the sky you’ll recollect an almost indescribable but undeniable snow scent.


According to olfactory scientists it’s not just in your imagination; right before it snows smells in the air really do change. The fragrance of snow is created by three things: cold weather, humidity, and a stimulated nerve in your brain.


When it comes to snow scented candles, the fragrance is more often crafted from personal memories with notes that allude to time spent in the snow rather than the fragrance of the snow itself. For example Skandinavisk’s SNÖ scented candle reflects the crisp scent of frozen wood and berries, while other scent creators use clean bright notes such as cotton, water and citrus that reflect snow’s freshness.

SNO Candle by Skandinavisk

The SNÖ Candle by Skandinavisk captures the beauty of fresh winter snow as it lays itself across the frozen landscape. The crisp scent of fresh air is warmed by the infusion of winter berries and rich woodland. Far from cold, this fragrance captures the reflection of early morning light as it glitters through delicate icicles and frosty windows.


8. Church

Notes: Incense, Frankincense, Myrrh


On Christmas Eve, many a parishioner makes their way against the cold night towards the glowing warmth of their village church. Inside the midnight gathering, Christians welcome in Christmas Day with jubilant celebration.


As well as song and church bells filling the air, many scents accompany Midnight Mass. From the mossy fragrance of the ancient church building’s cold stone and old wood, to the evocative blend of candle smoke, frankincense, sandalwood and church incense. Sacred, timeless, evocative and warming, it’s a combination that instills a sense of reverence and communal celebration.

North Candle by Evermore

The North Candle by Evermore is inspired by the dazzling North Star, burning bright across velvet black skies, lighting the way on a winter’s night. The scent features top notes of black pepper and cinnamon married with a mysterious base of oud, maple and tobacco.


9. Spiced Orange

Notes: Mandarin, Orange


As a child, amid the chocolate coins and small gifts in my Christmas stocking each year, without fail there would always be a small orange. Once upon a time an orange was the pinnacle of Christmas gifts, filling a child with exotic wonder and some well need vitamin C. Unfortunately, this was always lost upon me and the fruit was either mislaid under piles of shredded wrapping paper or added back into the fruit bowl for someone else’s enjoyment.


According to legend, the tradition of oranges at Christmas comes from the story of St. Nicholas. When a poor man was unable to marry off his daughters because he lacked the money for their dowries, jolly old St. Nick came to the rescue tossing three gold balls down the man’s chimney. Each of these golden balls found their way into the daughters’ stockings, which hd been hung by the fire to dry. Later in history, people began to honour the story and saint by gifting oranges instead of spheres of gold.


Oranges are also a traditional Christmas tree decoration. Whether sliced and hung with a ribbon or spiked with an intricate design of spiced cloves, the oranges gradually dry as they hang, giving off the spicy citrus scent many of us find integral to the festive season. Known as pomanders, these spherical scent decorations have been used in various forms for centuries, firstly as a way to ward off bad spirits and then in the 17th century becoming a popular Christmas gift.

What are the festive fragrances that make Christmas come to life for you?

Let us know your favourite Christmas scents in our comments section below!

You can find more Christmas scented candles here.

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