Nothing says Christmas to me more than the smell of woody spices such as cinnamon and star anise combined with the faint pine smell from the Christmas tree and the fruit cake cooking slowly in the oven. Yes, I must confess that I do love the festive period and I love my home to smell wonderfully festal as I deck my halls with bells and holly. However, scented candles and even burner oils whilst lovely never seem to fill my home with the smell I am longing for and they can also prove quite costly, my little trick requires that you use an small slow cooker and a range of natural herbs and spices that will really give an authentic smell.

Pick up a small second hand slow cooker or find one that you won’t need to slow-cook your lamb in. Place the christmasfollowing ingredients into the slow cooker:

1/2 orange, sliced

3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

1 inch fresh ginger crushed and sliced

1 teaspoon cloves, whole

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

3 star anise

Fill the crockpot with water about 1 ½ inches below the rim and place on a low setting with the lid off. Soon your house will smell of festive happiness.

You can also use this technique for getting rid of lingering food odours. Simply place few tablespoons of baking soda with water in the bow of the slow cooker and add three drops of lemon pure essential oil. Place the crockpot in whichever room is most in need of a little freshening and set it to LOW with the lid off. The odours will soon disappear!

Have fun and experiment with different odours.

About Seren Charrington-Hollins

ABOUT SEREN-CHARRINGTON-HOLLINS Describing my work through just one job title is difficult; because my professional life sees me wear a few hats: Food Historian, period cook, broadcaster, writer and consultant. I have a great passion for social and food history and in addition to researching food history and trends I have also acted as a consultant on domestic life and changes throughout history for a number of International Companies. In addition to being regularly aired on radio stations; I have made a number of television appearances on everything from Sky News through to ITV’s Country House Sunday, Holiday of a Lifetime with Len Goodman , BBC4’s Castle’s Under Siege, BBC South Ration Book Britain; Pubs that Built Britain with Hairy Bikers and BBC 2’s Inside the Factory. Amongst other publications my work has been featured in Period Living Magazine, Telegraph, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Great British Food Magazine and I write regularly for a variety of print and online publications. I am very fortunate to be able to undertake work that is also my passion and never tire of researching; recreating historical recipes and researching changing domestic patterns. Feel free to visit my blog,