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For many of us, January is a bit of a quiet time – the weather’s still grey, Christmas bills are still lurking unpaid, and party season seems well and truly over. In order to cheer ourselves up at this point in the year (I like to think of it as pre-spring), making your house a little more cozy and welcoming can make all the difference during the dark evenings. Soft rugs and comfy cushions make anywhere a bit more homely, but sometimes you just need a little thing, like a cherished photo in a new frame, or a candle, to make you feel better.
Once the Christmas decorations are packed away again, I like nothing better than an open fire and lots of jar candles to create a warm and comfortable atmosphere at home. While scents such as pine, spice, and mulled wine are too Christmassy now, a gentle floral or fruit scent makes my house smell sweet, even when it’s pouring it down outside. To evoke childhood memories of treats and baking, my personal favorite candle scents are anything which smells like sweet cookies, vanilla, or red velvet cupcakes. The twinkling lights are comforting in the evening as you sit down to read a book, or have a chat by the fire, and they spread a lovely baking smell, with none of the diet-breaking cakes and calories- and none of the mess in the kitchen, either.
No-one likes getting up while it’s still dark outside, but the really important thing to remember is that the nights are now gradually growing shorter, and spring really is just around the corner. One of the things I like to do to cheer myself up after Christmas is to indulge in little inexpensive pampering treats, such as a face mask, or putting my feet up with my favorite book. If I happen to get an evening to myself, I love a soak in the bath with a gently guttering scented candle for company- I love the smell of hazelnut coffee, which seems really luxurious somehow, or the smell of fresh cotton, which makes me think of my warm bed with fresh sheets, ready for me to sink into. Floral fragrances like gardenia and rose work especially well, as they make me think of English summer gardens, and the fun to be had as the seasons change. Maybe post-Christmas isn’t so bad after all.