When I walk into a space, I use all my senses including my sense of smell. When people walk into our new store one of the very first things they say is that it smells so good in there. When I walk into our loft, if it smells good I instantly relax and if it doesn't, I know something is amiss.
Memory is tied closely to our sense of smell but so is our well being. A fragrance can relax, invigorate or set us on edge. It can put us in the mood to be cozy or get up and get moving. It's such an important and often overlooked way to create hÿgge - a warm atmosphere with a feeling of contentment.
That brings me to toxic chemicals. YUCK.
I don't use any artificial fragrances in my home because of allergies, asthma and having an autoimmune disorder. I'm not going to get up on the soap box about artificial fragrance - there's plenty of info out there and if you're unaware of the dangers, I encourage you to seek understanding. We're not doing that today. Today we're going to chat about making your home smell like autumn just exploded in your kitchen in the best way possible.
AND IT IS EASY!
You know how sometimes you get a big bag of apples at the beginning of the season and cut in and...blech. It's pithy. Just doesn't taste good. Doesn't have that snap. Well, it's not a total loss and it's exactly what inspired this post today.
The thing is, that pithy, meh apple is still useful. It still has a lot to give! Sometimes those apples are just fine when you dice them up and bake them (you might want to give my apple crisp recipe a try). If you're just not up for that much spur of the moment effort though, here's what you do...
A little kitchen witchery.
- 1 small sauce pot or one of those little 1 quart simmering crock pots filled halfway with water
- 1 apple - sliced
- 1 orange, lemon or lime - cut in half, sliced, whatever
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 anise seed star (or a pinch of anise)
- 1-2 cardamom pods - crushed gently with the side of your knife to open them up
- a dash of vanilla
- a teaspoon of oat straw (I always have some on hand for tea) or oats
Each ingredient has a symbolic meaning and while I'm assembling this enchanting cauldron of delightful fragrances I take a moment to quiet my mind and think about each one, how it applies to my life, what I'm grateful for, what I'd like more of. I set intentions, express gratitude for the people I love and the bounty I receive. Whether you believe it to be a spell or not, it is a mindfulness practice that is sure to provide a moment's peace.
Once on the stove, let your concoction simmer for an hour or so on low. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't boil dry.
Symbolism of the ingredients:
- apple - good health and future happiness
- citrus - abundance, friendship and love
- cinnamon - protection, prosperity and passion
- anise - divine healing, protection and attracting good luck
- oats or oat straw - property and sustenance
- vanilla - love, peace, dreams and good luck
Now, make a mug of tea or cocoa, sit back and take a few moments to reflect, set intentions for the coming days, and enjoy the purely healthy aroma filling every corner of your home.