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Scents of the Seasons

Our sense of smell is one of the most powerful - and most overlooked - of our senses for creating 'a mood'. It invokes memories like none of the other senses can match. So it makes sense to change the scents and herbs you surround yourself with, both on your person and in your home, with the changing of the seasons.

The simplest rule of thumb in selecting the scents around you is to think about what reminds you of the given season. For most people, one tends to think of delicate, dewy flowers in the spring; thick leafy greens, more vibrant flowers, and citrus in summer; rich earth, harvested fruits and vegetables, and leaves in the fall; and bakery, evergreens, and 'exotic' spices in the winter. I will outline here some suggestions, on what is commonly used, but the most important thing to keep in mind is it's important what reminds you of the given season.

In the spring, delicate floral scents are almost exclusively used to evoke the season to its fullest. Fresh flowers of course are the best source of this. Failing a garden or buying fresh flowers, you can buy dried rose petals, or various flower essential oils, such as rose, jasmine, gardenia, and so on.

In the summer, go for stronger florals like lavender, jasmine, ylang-ylang, or chamomile. There are also the 'leafy' herbs, such as rosemary, basil, coriander, marjoram, mint, and thyme. And, of course, the scents perhaps most closely associated with the summer are the citruses: orange, lemon, mandarin, and grapefruit.

In the autumn, the earthy tones prevail. Any of the 'woods': sandalwood, rosewood, cedar wood, pines and such; sage, thyme, fennel and similar 'woodsy' herbs also do well. Also due consideration are the scents of the harvest; berries, pears, apples, plums, cranberries. Also many spices are evocative of the harvest season, such as cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and ginger. Even some florals aren't out of place, like lavender and chamomile.

In the winter, you should focus on some of the richest scents. Vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger are goods spices for a winter blend. Of course, you have to include the evergreens, spruce, cedar, pine, and so on. A touch of citrus, especially orange, is also a popular choice. Amber and various resins like frankincense and myrrh are also common for use in the winter.

There are also very many methods of introducing these scents in your home. Simply having the spices, fruits, and flowers about as a sort of 'large scale' potpourri is possible in most cases; and of course, there's regular potpourri as well, easily made yourself with various dried herbs and other items. Some things, like the woods and resins, can be burned either as incense or in larger amounts on charcoal. Many of these things can be added to water and simmered, either watched on the stove on its lowest setting or in a crockpot, as a sort of liquid potpourri.

Find the scents and methods that are right for you, and invoke and enjoy the seasons around you to their fullest!

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