9 Fabulous Hacks to Make Your House Smell like Christmas

Bowl of fragrant cinnamon and dried citrus with a background of evergreens

If you’ve stopped buying real Christmas trees in favor of an artificial tree, you might find one thing seriously lacking in your Christmas decor…the wonderful aroma of pine floating through your house! I really miss the “smells of Christmas” from my childhood–though I don’t really miss the messy dropped pine needles and fire hazard of a real tree.

How to Make Your House Smell like Christmas

There’s a lot of ways to spread the pleasant smells of Christmas around your house: potpourri, scented candles, air fresheners, reed diffusers, scented oils and more. What you use depends on your personal style, how heavy you want the scent and if you’ve got small kids or curious cats in the house.

Stove Top Potpourri 

I’ve seen bags of dry potpourri at the store and until today didn’t realize that you could through that stuff in a pot of simmering water to make it release the aromas. OK, you could just leaving sitting around the house in little bowls, but that never seems to do anything, right? (Or is dry potpourri’s just decorative…do you really want to boil a painted pine cone? Yuck!)

Home made potpourri just seems more elegant, and definitely cookable–so here’s a great method from Half Baked Harvest for fresh potpourii!

Crock Pot Potpourri

If you’re planning on being home all day, you can simmer potpourri on your stove (no need to boil), but if you need to be in and out of the house, a crock pot potpourri is much safer. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the pot boiling dry.

cinnamon sticks and red berries on a woven trivet

Simply place 2 sliced oranges, several cinnamon sticks, 1 cup cranberries, 2 teaspoons nutmeg and 2 sprigs rosemary in your slow cooker and fill with water until all of the ingredients are covered. Cook uncovered on low for 8 hours.

When you’re done with the potpourri, drain the water and pour the remains into a pretty mason jar to keep enjoying it for a few more days.

Dry Potpourri

Dry potpourri might be more pretty than fragrant, but who cares! Use this festive stuff to fill a basket or vase and set around your house.

Christmas Candles

I really love Christmas Candles, especially ones that leave the house smelling like a fresh cut Christmas tree! You can throw this Balsam & Cedar Yankee Candle into your Amazon cart as you’re online shopping or visit a local shop and make a candle yourself! In St. Louis we have the Candle Fusion Studio with locations in the CWE and Historic St. Charles where you can make clean burning soy-based candles. You can drop by anytime or arrange a party for your group.

Christmas Coffee Scent Hack

candle with coffee beans

Here’s one you can try RIGHT NOW especially if you’re a grind-em-yourself kinda coffee drinker like I am. Place whole coffee beans in a cute mason jar or other heat resistant bowl. Nestle a vanilla scented candle (or something else that goes with coffee–it’s your nose) and burn. The candle will warm up the coffee beans and spread a delightful smell. 

Scented Cotton Balls

Put a few drops of essential oils on a cotton ball and place them around the house–out of reach of little kids or pets, of course! You can buy oils in Pine, Christmas tree blend, gingerbread, peppermint and more!

christmas cotton ball

Yes, I realize that’s an image of ACTUAL cotton, but isn’t it more festive than a bag of bathroom cotton balls? Besides, now I totally want to go get some real cotton and fill a vase with it.

Back to the cotton ball hack: you can also use vanilla from your pantry if you’re not into essential oils or don’t have any handy. I’ve also heard that you can stuff them in your vents to help spread the smells around, but again–not if you have pets or little kids who could mistake them for tasty treats.


I used Scentsicles last year and boy are they strong! You just need to hang one of these scent stick “ornaments” in your artificial tree and it will make it smell like the real thing. Scentsicles last up to 30 days, but I switched mine out after a couple weeks. You can find them at Amazon, Target and Walmart.

Air Freshener Sprays and Plugins

If all that sounds like too much work, you can always pick up a can of Glade Enchanted Evergreens–it’s part of their 2018 holiday collection.

Enchanted Evergreens comes in a super easy spray you can spritz whenever you feel the need for a Christmas boost. They also have candles, scented oils and plugins. Grab it at your big box store, or throw a can into your next Amazon order.

Vacuum Scent Hack

Spread the smells of Christmas every time you tidy up! Just place some of those essential oils or dry potpourri I mentioned above in your vacuum’s bag, or if you’re bagless, in the chamber. If you’re just looking for your vacuum to smell fresh try baking soda–great at absorbing odors–or some laundry scent booster beads.

9 hacks smell like Christmas