Using our HeadSpace technic we have captured various scents of Christmas to bring to people feelings of warmth & good times. Why? Because “We Create Feelings”, and we believe that an olfactory journey, is a way of bringing Christmas feelings into the homes of those who couldn’t visit their homelands due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Here we tell you the story of the scents of Christmas, according to our international colleagues that have been overwhelmed to share these traditions, strongly tied to special typical foods or traditions in their countries. This inspirational initiative made us realize how much richness can be found in an international work environment.
We have asked them: “What does Christmas smell like?”
- The USA – Rebeca: For me, the scent of Christmas starts with the scent of pine trees which fills the entire house. There is also the smell of gingerbread cookies baking in the oven entangled with the smell of freshly made hot chocolate. There is also a very typical drink called Eggnog which is an egg and cream-based drink that is filled with different spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and most importantly rum! Christmas in the USA is filled with cookies: there are so many different types of cookies – sugar cookies, shortbread cookies, & chocolate chip cookies, to name a few. We love creating cookie tins to gift to family and friends during the holiday season.
- BRAZIL – Catarine & Glaucia: Christmas in Brazil has a whole unique tropical touch. Curiously, « Caipirinhas » isn’t a common festive beverage as they’re more often associated with days on the beach or nights out. The two most common items on the Christmas dessert menu are Panettone and Rabanadas. Panettone is an Italian sweet bread loaf cooked with pieces of dried fruits that are very fragrant and tasty. These are some of the drinks we usually enjoy on Christmas Eve in Brazil: the “Batida de coco”, a coconut cocktail, the “Espanhola” a red wine cocktail, and the “Caju amigo”, a cashew apple cocktail.
- MEXICO – Dunya: We have asked her to tell us what is the most typical smell of Christmas in Mexico, and she has told us that she can recall one of the flowers that are everywhere during these festivity days, called Nochebuenas. Another smell is one of a typical drink “El ponche”, this one is very popular all over the country and is made by infusing the Jamaica flower (Hybiscus) with boiling water. Finally, you add to it fruits such as guayaba, apple, and tejocote. The name is a derivative of the word « Texocotl » meaning stone fruit. They look like miniature pumpkins or apples and have a sweet, concentrated scent reminiscent of apples and roses.
- VENEZUELA – Karina & Delia: Christmas in Venezuela smells like moss that is used in the nativity scene, mixed with the perfume of vanilla, condensed milk, and rum, because it is typical to decore the house while sipping on a typical delicious drink called “El ponche crema”. This specialty is most of the time prepared at home following family recipes passed on from mothers to daughters. A good quality rum and some latín Christmas songs are fundamental to obtain a Good ponche. Venezuela is a melting pot of different cultures and this explains why we have made ours recipes like the “Black cake”, which is easily recognizable thanks to its smell of sweet molasses, blended with chocolate cookies, nuts, hazelnuts, and fruits macerated in rum.
- Cataluña (Barcelona) – Cristina: Christmas in Barcelona means, going to the Christmas markets to buy some things for the home decoration. We usually visit a typical market called: “El Mercat de Santa Llúcia”, which is located in the Gothic neighborhood and is just in front of the Cathedral. There, we can find several booths selling pine trees, Christmas decorations, and typical foods. The typical main sweets are: “Turrones”, “Christmas pastries” and “Hot chocolate”. Another smell of Christmas is the one of moss mixed with warm woods and spices. Fragrant scents of apple and cinnamon from freshly baked cakes, or tasty churros being eaten with a hot cup of chocolate.
- Ukraine – Lana: We celebrate Christmas on January 7 following the Eastern Orthodox religious calendar. Families celebrate with holiday dishes made especially for the festivities which don’t contain meat, dairy nor animal fat. “Kutia” is one of the main courses, cooked with wheat, barley, or rice and seasoned with poppy seeds, nuts, honey, and nectar. The smell of baked apples with honey fills the house during these days, as well as homemade pastries of all sorts, cooked with cottage cheese and cinnamon. It’s typical to end the meal drinking Ukrain Cognac, and eating oranges, mandarines, & chocolate.
- Germany – Javier: In my homeland, Christmas is a very special celebration. Traditionally made to ease from very cold weather, we prepare a spicy hot drink, called “Mulled wine”. This is extremely satisfying thanks to a delightful blend of spices; in particular, it contains orange, cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, honey, and brandy. I recall the amazing scent of “Apfelkuchen”, meaning in German Apple cake that ate during these days, and the fragrant smell of spicy german cookies: buttery spice cookies are a cross between sugar cookies and gingerbread, creating the best of both worlds.
We hope you have enjoyed reading about these traditions we thank our colleagues for having shared their holiday memories with us.
We create feelings.
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