Candles are perfect for a winter day and night. They offer light on early-sunset nights, offer a sense of calm during the busy holiday season, and make your home smell warm and welcoming. There are many scents that are ideal for winter days, synonymous with the season, and even spark happiness when they’re lit.
Scents are proven to evoke memories, according to an article in The Harvard Gazette. “Smell and memory seem to be so closely linked because of the brain’s anatomy," said Harvard’s Venkatesh Murthy, Raymond Leo Erikson Life Sciences Professor and chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. The article added that “odors take a direct route to the limbic system, including the amygdala and the hippocampus, the regions related to emotion and memory.” In other words, memories are closely related to scents, and scents have the power to bring back good moments in your past. So if you select a candle that brings back happy winter memories — the smell of baking cookies with your grandmother or the smell of a roaring fireplace, for example — you’ll likely feel happy when smelling that scent. Here are some candle scents that may remind you of happy memories from winter’s past.
The smell of balsam and cedar is instantly associated with a cozy winter day. The two scents combine to create an alluring smell that’s just as happy-memory-inducing as a Christmas tree itself. There are many balsam-and-cedar-scented candles available at popular home goods stores, via online-only shops, and in your favorite spot for holiday gifts in your town. This scent is also great for those who don’t have a real Christmas tree — it’ll trick your nose into believing you just chopped down your tree from the Christmas tree farm in your favorite flannel shirt.
Almost every candle brand has a classic cinnamon candle, and cinnamon goes hand-in-hand with the winter season — cinnamon rolls on Thanksgiving or Christmas morning, cinnamon cookies to gift to neighbors, hot chocolate topped with cinnamon on a cold night, and spiced cocktails that smell of the spice. Purchase a cinnamon candle to light throughout the winter season after baking a fresh batch of holiday cookies or as family members come over for a holiday meal.
You can even light a cozy cinnamon candle before taking family photos in matching Christmas pajamas in front of the fireplace.
The coziest winter days are spent around a fireplace where sounds of crackling wood and the smell of a warm fire fill the room — and even better if you’re holding a hot cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa.
A firewood-scented candle can create the same sense of warmth that a fireplace creates and bring back memories of time with friends or family around a fireplace. Whether or not you have a fireplace in your home, get yourself a firewood-scented candle, some of which even have wicks that make a similar crackle sound to fully set the mood. Simply slip on your warmest slippers, light your firewood candle and wrap yourself up in some throw blankets. It doesn’t get much cozier than that.
Few things are as comforting and delicious-smelling as Christmas cookies, which are a popular thing to make in the winter months. When you don’t have time to whip up a fresh batch of cookies but are still yearning for the comfort they bring, try lighting a Christmas-cookie-scented candle, which comes in varieties as wide as Christmas cookie to as specific as snickerdoodle.
Holiday baking is a classic tradition that people from many cultures and parts of the world enjoy — a candle that smells as good as the cookies you make with friends and family is sure to put a smile on your face and the faces of those who enter your cookie-smelling home. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about getting flour on your favorite cardigan when lighting this candle.
The spiced yet warming scent of clove is a quintessential winter smell, thanks to hot ciders spiced with clove, clove-decorated holiday décor, and gingerbread cookies melded with the spice. In addition, clove-scented candles are available at many stores throughout the country and will fill your home with a smell that is perfect for the winter months.
This winter, lean into your sense of smell by lighting candles that remind you of your favorite memories. The candles you light this season can even become a winter tradition in your home, creating happy, scent-driven memories for your kids, too.