Whether you are one of those who love to decorate the Christmas tree and wear ugly jumpers with embroidered reindeers on it, or one of those who cannot tolerate seeing the first Christmas lights in early November, you will agree with us on this: some fragrances have the power to make us jump back in time. They can take us back to a past Christmas, perhaps to our childhood, to that one time when we woke up with the snow on Christmas morning, with the scent of biscuits lingering around the house. Today we want to play this game together, we have thought of collecting some of our olfactory memories related to Christmas, and talking about the images that those Christmas scents make come alive in our minds.
We want to invite you to do the same: whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah or another holiday, take a moment to remember what that festive scent means to you, those days when reality is suspended, and the atmosphere is lighter, that unmistakable smell that can bring you back in time. What are ours, you may ask? Here they are.
The scent of cold and wood
It's morning, you just woke up, it's Christmas Eve and you are home from school. It has been snowing outside since last night, and the little square of sky you see through your bedroom window is white and bright, with tiny snowflakes falling down. Soon you will be out running in the snow, collecting icicles from under the windowsills, playing sledging with your school friends. Someone knocks at the door: you hear the voice of your grandpa who has just arrived, you run down the stairs still in your pyjamas to hug the big man with white hair, who - for what you know - could very well be the real Santa Claus. Grandpa's face is cold and he brings inside the scent of snow and pine needles, which, for a moment, mix with the smokey smell of wood burning in the fireplace, and these two odors together create the magic for you: the scent of your festive days is born. Even many years later, when grandpa is long gone and you are looking at the white sky from another window, this particular scent will always take you back to when you were seven years old.
The food we share
All together at the table, at last, which happens less and less often these days. Every moment is worth savouring. Between a lasagna (veg, to please all the guests!) and a slice of panettone (or maybe you are Team Pandoro!), here it comes, the long-awaited gift exchange. The scent of sundried fruit and the citrusy sweetness of tangerines, combined with the pungent, warm smell of freshly brewed coffee, blend with the sound of tearing wrapping paper, laughter, coffee cups on the table, glasses clinking. The scent of giving: the priceless sensation of gifting an object tied to a thought, to someone we love. For a moment we look at ourselves from the outside, with the firm knowledge that this moment will remain with us for years to come, to keep us company on a rainy day, and to comfort us in loneliness. This is the magic of the warmth of memories, constantly transcending the laws of space and time to come to our rescue whenever we summon them.
These were our Christmas memories. Now we want to know what your holiday scents are!
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