How to: Make holiday scents on a budget.

Does your grocery store have those amazing smelling brooms? 
Or the pine cones that smell like cinnamon?

Now, I am not a huge fan of Holiday festivities, I will be the first to admit that.. 
but I do love two things about the Holiday season;

First I love Christmas Music. Which is funny because I practically hate Christmas and as a kid I would have preferred my mouth be washed out with soap on a daily basis than listen to Feliz Navidad-- I am ashamed to admit it, but I am listening to Christmas music right now & occasionally in July this temporary insanity happens too. (I also really enjoy Christmas trees-- but "Christmas" trees originated with the Pagans, so my non-Christmas celebrating self can justify participating in that custom)

The second thing I love are the smells. I just love the way Thanksgiving and Christmas smell. I love the way the markets smell with the cinnamon brooms, pumpkin pies and clove spiced dishes galore. 

Fact: I use to smoke Djarum Blacks {Those are Clove Cigarettes} strictly because I loved the way they smelled. To this day, I can smell one of those things from a mile away, and find it hard not to indulge myself in a smokey treat on occasion. 

But there is a problem. While Glade has some great seasonal scents.. I don't like chemicals, and in the event that I cave and let extra chemicals in my home, those things get pricey! 

So if you have a stove top and you cook, I betcha you could raid your cupboards right now and make your home smell 10x's better than any sprays, oils or candles.. If you don't have the following ingredients-- you need to make more homemade meals number one, and number two-- it will cost you less to buy this stuff with more uses than the store bought stuff. 

Ready? Okay. 

You'll need:

Cinnamon (~4tbs)
Ginger Root (~ 1sq inch)
Nutmeg (1 nug)
Cloves (~8-10 peices)
Almond & Vanilla extract (1tbs each)

Directions: Roughly grind the nutmeg and cloves. They just need to be crushed down so the essential oils can escape in the boil. Grate a small piece of Ginger Root. Then add the cinnamon, a TBS of vanilla and almond extract or essential oil (1/2 for essential oils), ginger, and crushed nutmeg and cloves to a sauce pan filled half way with water. 

Let it come to a boil for about 5 minutes, then lower the heat to your stoves lowest setting, and enjoy the lovely smells. I give it a stir every hour or so and add a little more water if the levels are looking low. 

It'll look something like this. :) 
{I added a bit of h20 after I took this pic-- you can see how much evaporation happens in about one hours time} My mom use to do this when I was a kid-- it made the house smell great for days.

I leave the pan unattended while I am home, and turn it off if I leave just to be safe. Just make sure the heat is on as low as it goes after that initial 5 min boil-- and stir occasionally so it doesn't stick to the pan (I have stainless steel everything, so that is a real problem for me on higher heats)

You can also do this with citrus; lemons, grape fruit, oranges and a little clove.. YUM. You can exchange the water for apple juice or cider, even a little bourbon or whiskey would smell good in there too if you have it.



  1. Oo, Djarum blacks! And Bali Hais! And the Splashs... I have been at many a party and called it across the house that someone is smoking a black, people are always impressed! haha

  2. Bali Hai's are my favorite guilty pleasure. Better than cake!

  3. I'm your newest follower! Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

    And this looks awesome. Definitely going to try this!


  4. This is interesting! I use Glade Plug-Ins to refresh my stuffy apartment...they are expensive and do smell somewhat artificial. I'm keeping this post in mind - would be an interesting experiment for the holiday season!



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