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The Scents of the Season

The Scents of the Season

Splash _spicesMy memory must be in my nose, especially this time of the year. Just a casual trip to the grocery store, which is starting to resemble a giant cornucopia, triggers nostalgic flecks of childhood Thanksgivings and Christmases past. The fragrances are evocative of seasonal cheer, so why on earth do I break down into sentimental goo, tearing up when I catch an aromatic trail of rosemary bread, tamales and cinnamon hot chocolate? Call it culinary aromatherapy, heavy on the "therapy": I've had a breakthrough moment. 

Ebenezer Scrooge didn't need the three Ghosts of Christmas to get into the spirit of things; he just needed a whiff or two of nutmeg and vanilla. Chocolate mint would've tamed him in minutes, and fresh outdoorsy pine would've made him über-jolly.

Supposedly, there's scientific evidence that links memory to scent, particularly in the most rudimentary parts of our brain - which, in my case, certainly explains a lot: The family dog and I both seem to go to the same happy place psychologically when the holiday turkey's almost done. (Too bad I don't have a tail to wag.)

This year for the holiday season, it's my goal to have something baking or simmering whenever people stop by. Ideally, I suspect that my house will have the lingering scents of mulled apple cider or savory seasonings, perhaps a little of both. Either way, if you see a tail wagging, you'll know you're at the right place.

May your holidays be smelly and bright!

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