#SoCS — sense/scents/cents

This week’s prompt is to use one or more of these words: sense, scents and cents. Linda also gave out a bonus word — sent. At first, this prompt stumped me. I had to dig deep within the cobwebs of my brain to come up with something. The answer was right there in front of me and yet, I couldn’t see it at first.

#SoCS -- sence/scents/cents
Image provided by
Dani Jace @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/85329395@N04/

The Scents of the Holiday Season

I wonder how many others doing this prompt are centering their post around the holidays. It certainly fits. The scents floating through the air during this time of years is one of the very few things I still like about the season. It use to be a time of love and giving of self. Anymore, all I see is buying, and much of it isn’t even for presents to share with someone else.

When I was in my twenties, I tried selling Avon to make some extra money. It didn’t turn out that way though. Even so, I didn’t lose money either. I came out even. I did learn some things about scents though and how to make the best of a few of them during the holiday season.

Oranges and Cloves

Christmas trees and pets may not get along so well, especial if you’re talking about dogs and cats. The dog wants to lay under the tree, making the skirt smell like dog and maybe ruining a few presents in the process. The cat wants to climb the thing.

If you take an orange, cover it with a design using whole cloves stuck into the peel and either hanging it on the tree or just put it inside the tree, close to the trunk and down near the bottom, the pets are likely to stay away from your beautiful tree. In addition, the cloved orange is going to give the whole room a wonderful spicy aroma.

Blue Spruce Boughs

My mom used to use Douglas Fir boughs to create the holiday atmosphere in the home. Living in Colorado where Douglas Firs can be found all over in the mountain, it was thought to be the way to go. But then a Blue Spruce tree was planted in our yard. It took a few years before the branches were touching the house. When that finally happened, my mom and I would go out there and remove some of those back branches so the siding of the house would be alright.

What a difference in the smell that traveled through our home. The aroma made it instantly Christmas in the house. We just put some boughs over the pictures that hung on the walls. A few years after we started gathering the spruce branches, we decided to go a little bit further. We tie a candy cane to each bough using colorful ribbon.

French Vanilla

After I got a divorce from my first husband, my son and I were renting one half of a duplex. I was still visiting the folks at home and was able to collect some of the spruce boughs. I was still making my clove-scented orange for the tree despite the fact that we didn’t have a pet at the time. But I felt that there was still something missing that would give my son even a better experience of the holiday season.

That’s when I discovered votive candles. I tried the cinnamon but it wasn’t quite right. I tried the peppermint. That definitely wasn’t what I was looking for. Then I tried the French vanilla. That was the one. It gave our humble abode a cozy feeling and the anticipation of something yummy baking.

Some Other Holiday Scents

Here’s some other scents that fill the air during this time of year.

  • Spearmint
  • Ginger
  • Myrrh
  • Frankincense

I think it’s remarkable how scents can effect one’s mood. We are rarely aware of how our mood changes. We just know that we’re smelling something, whether it be good or bad.


Resource: ACHS Health and Wellness Blog

20 thoughts on “#SoCS — sense/scents/cents

  1. I love the scents of Christmastime. Maybe that’s why everyone’s in a neighborly and festive mood in December and grow less approachable and reserved in the New Year when they’re gone. After you mentioned the orange and cloves, I scooped one out of the fridge and dragged out the cloves, pushed a few into the fruit and became all smiles. Now my hands smell Christmasy. Must call the grandkids later to see if they’d like to try a new activity. I have made these, but many, many years ago. Thanks for the reminder. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glynis Jolly

      We don’t put up a tree anymore because I can’t do it at all, and it isn’t worth it for my husband to have pain in his back just to put something up that’s going to come down on New Year’s Day. Nevertheless, I’m thinking about buying a few oranges even though they’re a little expensive now. I could put them in different places around the house out of reach of the cats.


      1. MY orange from this morning and my thumb have a story to tell.After many years, I have a spiced orange and a sore thumb and my older granddaughter is enthralled. I believe we may end up with a few more before Christmas. My house–or is it me–smell awesome or should I say Christmasy?


        1. Glynis Jolly

          Awesome? Somehow I just can’t get into the slang term. For that matter, I don’t use the term, ‘cool’ very often. I’m always trying to describe something or how I feel with precision. (It’s that perfectionist in me.) 😦

          BTW, I answered your email.


  2. Lovely overview and tips on holiday scents, as well as a great use of the SoCS prompt! I agree with you on French vanilla; I’ve loved that scent in everything from candles, as you wrote about, to air fresheners and even perfume…


    1. Glynis Jolly

      Thank you for the compliment. One of the many odd things about me is despite my love of the French vanilla fragrance, I don’t like it as a creamer for my coffee.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. mmmmm! I love this post! In fact, I think I shall go downstairs right now and start making some candied oranges for the spice bread that I will make tomorrow, all those scents are my favorites. ❤ winter!


    1. Glynis Jolly

      I love the quick breads. They’re all so good, I can never make up my mind as to which one I like the best.


  4. When I smell spruce, I am quickly transported back to the Christmases of my childhood. How magical they were! Nothing was nicer than waking up to the smell of Christmas tree wafting through the house.

    You’ve inspired me! It’s been awhile since I’ve pierced oranges with cloves. I think it is time again!

    Sweet smells of baking cookies, vanilla candles, cinnamon and spruce. How lovely is the Christmas season! I shall wrap Christmas presents tonight and remember the scents of Christmases past.

    Thanks for the memories… 🙂


  5. I’m a massive fan of anything that emits an aroma that evokes warm memories and emotions. I’m all about cultivating the nose. I train everyday. I’m just slightly neurotic that way, but my sense of smell is probably the one sense I would not want to live without.
    A terrific book recommendation for you if you’re at all inspired: Season To Taste by Molly Birnbaum. Top notch read.
    And thanks for the interesting tip about animals and clove studded oranges. Didn’t know this, and now I’m keen to try it.


    1. Glynis Jolly

      Thanks for the recommendation. I put it on my wish list. It’s peculiar; the hardcover is cheaper than the paperback. :/


  6. Nice job Glynis. Do the oranges and cloves really work for scaring the cats away? every year they fight over the tree skirt and it ends up a mess. Tell me this could solve my problem…


    1. Glynis Jolly

      Yes, it worked great with the cats I’ve had in the past. Right now though, one of the 3 cats we have is a real tree climber. We haven’t had a tree since we’ve had this cat so I’m not sure if he’d stay away or not. Not have a tree has nothing to do with this cat though. My husband has had to work most Christmas in the last 6 years and with it just being the two of us, we didn’t see any reason to put up a tree. However, I do put out some Christmas trinkets for the season.

      Be sure to stick enough cloves into the orange and place it near the bottom of the tree. The aroma is what keeps the little darlings away.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Glynis Jolly

          Let me know if it works with your cat(s). Even though we don’t have a tree anymore, I have 2 clove-oranges out where that silly climbing cat, Marble likes to get to. So far, he hasn’t been up on that table or shelf. It could be, however, that he’s just older now. 😛

          Liked by 1 person

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