Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Scents of the Fall

Scents of the FallSo, as All Hallows Eve approaches, a little fallity. Fallness. Fallsomnity? Well. You know. 

 In Autumn, the scents of flowers and grasses give way to the fragrances of dry, burning leaves, bales of hay, pumpkins (and the spices that make it a pie!), and various fruits. It is the harvest, and the harvest smells wonderful. Traditionally we long for the warmth of the spicy smells of the kitchen as the leaves turn and the air carries a nip. 

A delightfully simple way to bring these spicy notes into your home is to mull some apple cider. The rich apple blends with cinnamon, orange, and cloves to warm up the whole house.
Mulled Apple Cider
½ gallon apple cider
1 orange cut into ¼” slices
¼ C brown sugar
In a muslin bag, combine:
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cardamom pods
2 Tbsp cinnamon pieces
Stir together the first 3 ingredients and place into a crockpot.
Add the bag of spices and heat.
This mixture is an easy way to keep a hot spicy beverage available for an evening of entertaining friends. 

Simmering Potpourris is another great way to add a subtle background “flavor” to the home. There are small electric crocks made specifically to simmer fragrances, but a pan of water or a kettle on the woodstove works beautifully as well.
I always like to put my simmers into either a muslin bag or a large heat-sealable teabag so that they are easy to clean up. This is so much fun, and you are limited only by your imagination and pantry or garden. The following are only some of the ingredients you can consider .
Rose Petals
Lemon Verbena
Cinnamon Sticks
Dried Citrus Peel
Cardamom Pods
Vanilla Beans
Star Anise
Just have fun with it, and surprise yourself with the rich, warm fragrances you’ll create! 

 Loose incense to be burned on charcoal disks or fires is a wonderful choice for Halloween, too. I prefer to burn it outside, but if it is ground well to a fine powder, it can be burned indoors. 

A nice choice is a combination of sandalwood with a pinch of lavender. Myrrh has a dark and mysterious note that lends itself well to this time of the thinning veil. Rosemary, sage, thyme, peppermint, mugwort, rose, lavender, frankincense, copal, pinon, benzoin, coriander, fennel, juniper, pine, and rose geranium are all choices and as you mix and blend, you’ll be amazed at how well it all goes together!

1 comment:

Comfrey Cottages said...

yummmm the smells of fall. nice visuals and i can smell your combos now :) nice post thank you:) i adore apple cider and your mulling choices are nice:)