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Christmas scents for your home...

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas, thanks to these festive top tips from Laurie Davidson, interior stylist and co-founder of The Secret Styling Club.

Christmas mince pies and candles

Why is scent so important for the home, especially during the festive season?

Fragrance really helps to ignite the festive season - it's one of the first things we notice when we walk into a home, and it's ideal for setting a mood. Not only that, but the scents that we associate with this time of year can really help us feel like Christmas is on the way!
Hallway with Christmas decorations

What are the best scents to use for a Christmas dinner party?

Scent is essential when it comes to eating and drinking, but avoid anything too overpowering, which could ruin guests' meals rather than enhancing them. Warm, earthy, spicy ingredients are ideal, if they are delicate rather than dominating. I like Atlas Cedar (from £20, and Cedar + Pine (£24, candles.

Dining room with Christmas decorations

I'm not a fan of musk and amber, what else will conjure up a festive ambience?

Fruity scents can be really uplifting for a celebratory Christmas meal, so you could try the Sparkling Prosecco reed diffuser from Ashleigh & Burwood or the wintry, woody scent of Enchanted Forest, both available at Dobbies Gardens Centres. My personal favorite is Winter from The White Company with notes of cinnamon, clove and fresh orange.
White Company candles

Candles or reed diffusers?

Both work really well alongside each other and both have different benefits. Christmas is busy, so reed diffusers come into their own as they release sent all day long without you having to touch them - ideal when you're rushing about and don't want to worry about lighting candles. Diffusers are also perfect for areas where you might not be able to monitor a candle but still want a beautiful fragrance, such as in a bathroom or hallway. Candles, on the other hand, create a magical ambiance with their flickering flames - whether you're dotting a few along your table or grouping together on shelves or in a fireplace, they can really add that extra, seasonal sparkle. Check on the burn time for candles as it's worth investing in one that won't burn out after a couple of hours.
Mince pies in front of Christmas tree

How much should I spend on a festive candle?

Christmas candles don't have to break the bank. Lily-Flame's festive candles in a tin, such as Christmas Pudding and Festive Cheer, cost £8 at Supermarkets have all signature, seasonal scents, but one of my top buys is the Vanilla and Cinnamon candle, £10.99 at Doobies; it burns for 60 hours to fill your home with a gorgeous festive scent.
Candle surrounded by pinecones

Can I refresh the smell of my Christmas tree and wreath?

Weaving in some fresh foliage always helps, but, for an easier alternative, try using Scentsicles. These scented ornaments naturally blend in and can be hung or hidden in trees, wreaths or garlands. They cost around £6 for six (at Amazon, Lakeland and John Lewis) and you can choose from fragrances such as White Winter Fir, Spiced Orange or Spruce.
Living room with Christmas decorations