They say that smell is one of the strongest memory triggers. I find this to be especially true around the holidays. Some of the memories bring a smile, others tears, but they all remind me of people and things that I love. For example, the scents of fresh pine, cookies and chocolate always send me off on trips to Christmases past. But we can’t always have cookies in the oven or mulled wine on the stove, at least I can’t. For my everyday holiday cheer I usually have a candle or two burning. This year I’ve been especially obsessed with the scents from the Chesapeake Bay Candle Heritage Collection.
This post was developed in collaboration with Chesapeake Bay Candle. I was provided candle samples for testing purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The Chesapeake Bay Candle Heritage Collection brings together fragrances inspired by fruits and plants local to the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Growing up my family used to take trips to the Chesapeake Bay, so it’s really fun to have local candles with familiar smells burning in the house. Each candle focuses on a single ingredient with other complementary layers adding complexity and depth. I love that it keeps the scents simple and not overwhelming. It all smells so beautiful and balanced. Plus the packaging is so cute.
The jarred candles are in frosted glass containers that have a rustic vibe. They would also work really well for a coastal theme as well. My aunt has a vacation spot on the Eastern Shore of Virginia (on the Chesapeake Bay) and every year she does a room in her house with the theme Christmas at the beach. She uses lots of blues, greens, frosted sea glass and “sandy” colors. I could easily see these candles being on display in that space. I’m personally drawn to a more Traditional Christmas palette with some rustic elements. I’ve purchased a few pieces from the Magnolia Hand and Hearth collection and styled them with my candles. I love the warm, cozy vibe it all puts off.
My absolute favorite candle in the Chesapeake Bay Candle Heritage Collection is the Vanilla Biscotti Jar Candle. It smells so much like fresh cookies and I am obsessed. I love the notes of nuts, cinnamon and nutmeg, plus of course the vanilla. I have been burning that candle almost every day for the past few weeks and still haven’t gotten sick of it. I will definitely be buying another when it runs out, though it should last for at least 34 hours. With Mara running around getting into everything this year I haven’t been able to burn many candles in the living room, so this one is on the dining room table. It makes it seem like there are cookies in my oven, even though I haven’t baked a single thing yet.
I’m also really loving the Cinnamon Spice Jar Candle. This one is more complex with hints of eucalyptus, bay leaf, nutmeg, cloves and of course, cinnamon. It reminds me of mulled wine, which brings up memories of Christmas parties with our friends. As we all start families and get sucked into the busyness of the holidays it’s nice to reminisce about the days where there was a different holiday gathering every weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love the “new” traditions we are starting with our little family, but will always treasure those memories. The Cinnamon Spice Double Wick candle also has another fun option for packaging, a galvanized tin. This makes it even more perfect for rustic holiday decor.
And of course, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without the smell of a fir tree wafting through the house. Jesse has always insisted that we buy a real tree every year, so we come by that scent organically in the downstairs of the house. But not so much when I’m upstairs cuddled up in bed watching Christmas movies on Netflix. (If you haven’t watch A Christmas Prince yet, you need to!) Since I’ve been watching cheesy Christmas movies in bed I just turn on our little bedroom tree and light a small Balsam Fir Jar Candle and it smells as good as it does downstairs.
As a kid we never had a real tree, so my mom would burn candles that smelled like a fir tree. There is a large Balsam Fir Coffee Table Jar Candle that I would love to get for my mom so that they can have that smell going in their house. The candle comes in a frosted glass jar with a wooden and twine lid. It’s classic and perfect for any decor or Christmas theme.
I love all of the sights, smells and experiences of the holiday season and I really hope to pass that love/obsession down to Mara. She’s already so excited about the lights up in the neighborhood and our Christmas tree. We turned the tree on earlier this week and as it lit up she yelled “Oooooo! Magic!” It was so cute and made my Christmas-loving mom heart so happy. And she doesn’t even care that I haven’t gotten around to putting ornaments on the tree yet.
What are some of your favorite memories around the holidays? Do you have strong ones tied to certain scents?