Spring has the gorgeous flowers, summer the warm sunshine, and fall the spectacular leaves, but winter is the seasonal winner for me in at least one department: the way my house smells. I can't resist the scents of cinnamon and spices, of a crackling wood fire and a real Christmas tree.
We all know there are dozens of ways to fragrance our homes these days, from the old standby scented candles to reed diffusers to plug-ins to wax bead warmers. My very favorite way to make the house smell delicious come winter, though, is on my stovetop. I fill a small pot or sauce pan at least halfway with water, then throw in a couple of cinnamon sticks, a handful of whole cloves, and an orange peel. I set the pot over low heat and just keep an eye on it now and then to make sure it still has water, adding more whenever it starts to run low.
This simple little mixture makes the house smell amazing, and, if you know where to look, it's really inexpensive. So far, I've found the best deal on cloves when I bought them from the international foods section of the mega-grocery in my area. (Who cares that they're some off brand I've never heard of? I'm not eating them!) Trader Joe's has inexpensive cinnamon sticks and very reasonable prices on oranges, too.
What are your favorite wintry and holiday scents?