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.
Warming spices and wine combine in a toasty tipple that tastes as good as it smells
1 x 750ml bottle white wine
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.
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)
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.