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The smell of the season: Our favourite fall and winter scents

Oranges, wood, trees and coffee beans.
Image Credit: DKart, bombuscreative, ASKA, jaboo2foto

Every season comes with familiar scents, from the smell of blooming flowers in spring to the fragrance of freshly mown grass in the summer. But what do fall and winter smell like? What aromas do we most associate with this time of year? We’ve compiled some of the Navigator writing team’s favourite fall and winter scents, so make sure to take some time this fall to stop and smell the cinnamon!

Dee-Dee Samuels

Autumn for me is about warmth, so the smell I love is very simple: it’s coffee. Actually, a coffee shop, with all the tasty smells of baked goods, pumpkin spice lattes, chai and cookies all swirling around together. I light a lot of candles in the winter because it invokes warmth. Firstly, the scented candles cannot be made with synthetic smells, they have to be essential oil-based. I love any candle that smells woody like sandalwood, pine, or rosewood. On that same note, autumn reminds me of bonfires and I love the smell of an open fire, wet wood and leaves.

Mauricio Prado

Fresh cut wood/forest: I have always liked the fragrance of wood, especially fresh wood. There are a lot of perfumes that have this fragrance, mainly Polo Green.

Terpenes oil: There is a particular smell that pine trees have. The main component of that smell is the terpenes, which is part of the pine oil used in perfumes and aromatic sprays.

Juniper berry: Some candles use the scent of the juniper berry because is a woody fragrance with a sweet touch of gin and cedar. It resembles wildness.

Clementine fruit: Citrus fragrance with a salty and sweet sense. The combination of both makes it a fresh fruity scent.

Soft cinnamon herbs: Cinnamon is a strong scent but in low quantities, is refreshing and pleasant. It means spiciness and sweetness.

Zoë Alexandra King

As the seasons change from summer to fall, the scent of burning candles is what comes to my mind. As someone who comes from an island where the season is summer year-round, I don’t have the typical nostalgia that fall is associated with. However, in my time in London thus far, the fall season means that I’ll have a candle burning almost every day and it will most likely be Mahogany Teakwood by Bath & Body Works. I love the way this scent fills my house! Its strong dark oak, black teakwood, and rich mahogany, all remind me of walking through Ann St. Park as it allures this forest feeling­, fitting for a city known as the Forest City! Aside from my candles, I often associate the smell of cinnamon with fall. This is usually the time that I find any reason to use cinnamon in my cooking. I love the fresh smell of cinnamon so using it in its purest form, cinnamon sticks, is my favorite way to incorporate the scent in my home.

Alex Allan

The first scent that comes to my mind around the winter time is a candle that I got a few years back from Roots, called Douglas Fir. I like to only burn this candle around winter time. It has a mellow scent of pine but also the wick is more of a stick and has a nice crackling sound to it when it’s lit. I enjoy sitting back and relaxing with this candle and reading a book while enjoying the scent. I like that it’s more of a mellow pine and not one that’s overpowering your nose with a pine smell. It’s also mixed with a nice scent that reminds me of the smell outside on a warmer winter day when the snow has a slow melt right after a big blizzard. Something about the mix of these two scents brings me right back into the middle of winter if I sneak a smell of the candle in the summer. A sense of peace comes over me about this scent and it will always be one of my favourites around the wintertime. 

Hannah Theodore

The fall and winter are all about spice and warmth to me. As soon as September comes, I run to Bath & Body Works to pick up a three-wick of my favourite candle, Leaves. It’s blend of apple and clove with just a hint of sweetness is the perfect aroma to fill my home with as soon as the leaves outside start to change. Come winter, I like to boil a pot of cinnamon and orange peels, letting the natural scent of the season fill my apartment as the pot simmers. This is an easy hack to get the best, all-natural scents throughout your home while also using up old food scraps! You can also add cloves, apples and peppercorns for a little more spice. Ultimately, the flavour combinations are totally up to you, and each pot you assemble will bring a unique essence with it.