It’s officially Christmastime and one of the staple scents in the home this season is the fresh smell of pine. For those of us eager to get into the festivities, the very first day of December marks the buying of a tree and a decorative session, whilst many wait a little further into the month before doing so. Either way, the Christmas tree is adored by all the family and bedecked with the most beautiful ornaments, some pieces passed down through generations. On a cold winter’s evening, there’s nothing quite like dusting off the box marked ‘Xmas decs’ and getting together to make your mark on your proudly placed tree.
Have you ever wondered why we welcome this scent into our homes in December? Before the big day rolls around, today on the blog, we wanted to dive into the history behind the Christmas tree and how it has evolved into one of the most recognised festive symbols across the world.
Coniferous trees have long grown in the great outdoors and have been used as an emblem at wintertime for thousands of years. Rooted in pagan tradition, fir branches were often placed in the home to celebrate the winter solstice, a date in the calendar that marks midwinter and the return of the sun. Unsurprisingly, Evergreen reminded people of the abundance of life that comes with the summer months, and the rebirth that happens with the onset of spring. We can all agree that winter is a dark and bleak time of the year, so back when people didn’t have the means of adorning their homes with artificial fairy light and bright decorations, the evergreen plant was a sign of eternal life; a move away from darker days and towards the light again.
Exactly when fir became used in a Christmas sense, no one is quite too sure, but it is approximated to have originated about 1000 years ago in Northern Europe. Plenty of historical figures lay claim to creating the Christmas tree tradition, particularly Martin Luther, who is said to be the first person to light a candle atop his tree, inspired by starlight making its way through the trees at Christmastime.
But it was in the Renaissance when the first clear records of trees being used as part of Christmas tradition can be found, especially on the stage, where the nativity and the story of creation were commonly depicted; evergreen was humbly named the ‘paradise tree’, symbolic of the abundant fruit trees found in the Garden of Eden at a time when Christmas Eve was considered Adam and Eve’s feast day. Candles were often fastened to symbolise members of the family, a precursor to the modern decorations we still use on our trees today. And in these early days, the tree wasn’t always fir either. People often turned to cherry, hawthorn or even just a branch, and if they couldn’t afford something real, they’d make wooden pyramids to decorate with edible treats and candlelight.
It was under Queen Victoria that the Christmas trees really came into its own. The Queen’s husband, Albert, was German and brought the Northern European custom of Christmas trees with him to Britain. Once the monarchy was seen celebrating Christmas with a decorated tree in the home and presents hanging from its branches, the nation followed suit. Soon, the rest of the world bought into the image of a happy family, standing around the tree, united through the fresh scent of pine, the exchanging of gifts and the beauty of a decorated piece of nature in the home.
Today, Christmas trees are a decorative staple in homes across the world. And no tree is the same. As more people have adopted the tradition, more trees have evolved into their own, adorned with decorations passed down through generations or styled to meet the aesthetic of the home. Whether you opt for a real tree picked out from hundreds at your local farm or you’re happy to settle for an artificial one, each tree signals the sense of family, identity and connection that comes with Christmastime. As the fresh smell of fir fills your home this December, think about how this wonderful tradition has not only brought you and your loved ones, but generations of people, together to congregate around the beautiful branches of an evergreen tree.
If you have an artificial tree or you want to enhance the smell of fresh pine in your home this December, then shop our favourite Christmas tree scents here.
OUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS TREE SCENTED CANDLES
SKOG (FOREST) SCENTED CANDLE BY SKANDINAVISK
This candle isn’t just for Christmas, it’s a year round bestseller. Perfectly capturing the crisp fragrance of Scandinavia’s vast forests of Pine and Fir trees, the Skog Scented Candle by Skandinavisk will fill your room with festive fragrance that a real tree would find hard to beat.
SPRUCE SCENTED CANDLE BY P.F. CANDLE CO.
The towering Rocky Mountains are home to dense forests of aged Blue Spruce trees. An American Christmas wouldn’t be complete without bringing one of these native tree’s into the home and decking it in bright lights and flashy baubles. The Spruce Scented Candle by P.F. Candle Co captures this festive mix of fragrant natural beauty and bright lights.
CANOE SCENTED CANDLE BY HOLLOW TREE
Hollow Tree candles hail from Canada, and every one of them takes inspiration from the dramatic woodlands that stretch across the country. The Canoe Scented Candle is a fragrance celebration of the humble pine needle; avoid getting them stuck in the carpet (and your feet) this year, and enjoy the warm scent of drying pine with this candle instead.
Who doesn’t love the fresh pine scent of a lush, green Christmas tree? It brings back memories of festive family moments and conjures up images of sparkly Christmas lights, shiny tinsel and of course a big pile of brightly wrapped Christmas presents!
Unfortunately as the festive season progresses, needles seem to make their way into every corner of your home, and of course your new novelty xmas socks. Bring the festive fir fragrance into your home this winter, minus the spikes, by lighting one of these beautiful Christmas tree scented candles.