10 Wonderful Scents Associated with the Holidays

In Your Spice Cabinet

3. Warm cinnamon lends depth to your favorite cold-weather recipes (try adding some to baked squash or your favorite chili), and the spice is a common ingredient in pies, breakfasts, and other baked goods.

4. You probably wouldn’t want to bite into a whole clove, but when ground, cloves pair as well with meat and marinade as they do with apples or oranges. Try studding an orange with dried cloves for a room-freshening, all-natural pomander.

5. Fresh and dried (not crushed) rosemary sprigs look like little tiny pine trees themselves – which makes them a natural addition to spice blends for filet or to citrus-based cookies.

6. Don’t discount that little container of nutmeg, either: This is a key addition to holiday drinks (like mulled cider and eggnog) so the scent will be familiar, even if you can’t place it at first.

7. Natural vanilla enhances just about anything, whether it's a scoop of vanilla ice cream next to warm apple pie -- splurge on the naturally, not artificially, flavored version -- or a splash of extract in your favorite pancake recipe (just 1/2 teaspoon will give it a special kick).

8. Candy canes, anyone? Brain-boosting peppermint works in dessert icing, your favorite coffee, or homemade candies.