Still smells like Christmas…??

pine tree

pine tree

I’ve just recently ran into an article that explains how Americans love the different scents of Christmas, and particularly the one of Pine Tree. ScentSicles has been working on the development of scented ornaments to make also fake pine trees smell like real trees. How cool is that? This way we can avoid to kill trees and be all earth-friendly (they’re also biodegradable). And still enjoy good smell 🙂From the WSJ article:

Sometimes, all we want for Christmas is the smell. And some Americans, whether they’re pro-fir or pro-faux, are turning to homemade potions or manufactured scents to spruce up the holidays. As they say in Southern California, it’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas.

People long have used decorative candles, potpourri or air fresheners to liven the holidays, or, as Febreze commercials make clear, to make garbage smell like a day in May. Some people use low-cost tricks such as soaking pine needles in water placed at the base of trees or tossing pine cones in the fireplace.

Today, people seeking smells-like-Christmas have more options than ever [aaaand, Scent Sciences is ready for the LATEST TREND!). Sean Selman, a 40-year-old communications official, tried out a Fraser Fir candle as an alternative to the effort of trimming his Atlanta apartment with garlands of greenery. Mr. Selman knew the candle was just the thing when he opened the box at his office desk.

“Everyone’s head popped up and said, ‘What’s that smell? Why does it suddenly smell like a Christmas tree in here?'” he says.

People seeking holiday-odor oomph say Christmas just feels wrong if the smell is off. Pamela Dalton, an olfactory scientist with the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia, says the link between warm emotions and evergreen may be strong because people don’t typically use conifer scents at other times of the year.


“There’s a uniqueness to that particular association that makes it a little more salient,” Dr. Dalton says.

Scent-seeking sometimes goes awry. Last year, Ruth Kaplan of Austin, Texas, took home a free sample of ScentSicles she picked up at her exercise club. But a couple of days after Ms. Kaplan hung the ornament in her kitchen, she was hit with the overwhelming scent of what she thought was a leaking container of “those nasty pine cleaners.”

Ms. Kaplan relegated the ScentSicles to a guest washroom. “It was not a successful experiment,” she says.

“Not everyone is going to love every fragrance,” says Amy Sleep, ScentSicles’ vice president of marketing, who says the Atlanta company makes a range of scents for different noses. Nick McKay, chief executive of ScentSicles maker EnviroScent Inc., says ScentSicles combine natural and synthetic evergreen oils, and the fragrances go through as many as 40 rounds of development before they are deemed just right.

Naturally, traditionalists say humbug to dressing up artificial trees with evergreen smells. “It seems like the same thing as giving people fake flowers for Valentine’s Day,” says Rick Dungey, spokesman for the National Christmas Tree Association, in Chesterfield, Mo., representing tree growers and retailers.

Mr. Dungey refers to artificial Christmas trees as “plastic tree-shaped decorations.”

The smell of the holidays doesn’t always mean evergreens. Senior Fragrance Development Manager Deborah Betz of International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.,IFF +0.19% in New York, says changing holiday-odor fashion is trending this year toward hybrids of food and traditional Christmas scents like pine-cone-plus-apple.

Ms. Betz says manufacturers are also beginning to cater to foreign noses with different Christmas ideals. “A lot of people think the holidays should smell like booze,” she says. She says she has seen a cranberry pear Bellini candle and one called bubbly champagne, with hints of citrus and red currant.

Even some people who buy real trees want extra Christmas zest. Graphic designer Brendan Hooley tried to amp up the smell of his live evergreen with scented candles, but found they “just didn’t quite smell right.” He liked a woodsy incense but was wary of burning it in front of smoke-sensitive friends.

Then last holiday season, Mr. Hooley, 36, found an evergreen-tree oil online. He dabbed a few drops on his branches and on pine-cone displays in his West Hollywood, Calif., home. “It smelled like Christmas,” he says.
So, would you buy such decorations? What would prevent you from purchasing them? I personally really like the idea, why not saving a tree’s life and still enjoying its wonderful smell? 🙂

Reference: Wall Street Journal, Everybody Pines for That Christmas Tree Smell, but It Can Be a Tall Order

Carlotta Zorzi

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