How to bring Christmas Scents into your home with The Simple Things

Some smells just encapsulate the season – and especially at Christmas. Whether it’s mulled wine simmering on the stove or a festive pot pourri, try these simple projects and recipes from The Simple Things to bring the scents of Christmas into your home.

Words & Photography: Catherine Frawley

Mulled white wine with cinnamon and cloves

Warming spices and wine combine in a toasty tipple that tastes as good as it smells

Serves 6


1 x 750ml bottle white wine

500ml cider

Juice and zest of 1⁄2 orange

1⁄2 lemon, sliced

3–4 star anise

3 cinnamon sticks, plus extra to serve (optional)

1 tbsp cloves

1 vanilla pod

4 tbsp caster sugar


Step 1. (the only step!) Heat all the ingredients together in a large saucepan, until steaming but not boiling. Serve in heatproof glasses, with cinnamon sticks, if you like.

Orange Pot Pourri

Beautifully perfumed oranges holds their own in this eye- catching seasonal arrangement


2 large oranges, thinly sliced, ends and pips discarded

1 lemon, thinly sliced, ends and pips discarded

Peel of two clementines

Cinnamon sticks and bark (aka cassia bark – from health-food shops)

Pine cones

1 tbsp cloves


Step 1. Preheat the oven to very low, about 75C/Fan 55C. Line 2 or 3 baking trays with baking parchment.

Step 2. Put the citrus slices on the lined trays in a single layer, without touching.

Step 3. Use a small star cutter to cut star shapes out of the clementine peel. Add these to the trays with the orange and lemon slices.

Step 4. Bake in the preheated oven for 2 hours, turning once, until the stars are dry. Remove the stars and return the citrus slices to the oven for a further 2 hours, turning once.

Step 5. Set aside to cool, mix with the rest of the ingredients and arrange in pretty bowls.

This article was brought to you by
The Simple Things
a monthly invitation to slow down,
enjoy what you have and make the most of where you live.

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