Most of us don't realize it, but our sense of smell is very powerful and can evoke memories and change our mood. Spreading a happy smell through your home can add a really nice touch before your guests arrive.
Here is what you will need:
1 pot filled up to two thirds full
A variety of spices
Bring the water to a boil in the pot and add in your spices. Let it bubble for a few seconds and then bring down the heat till the water is only simmering a little (tiny bubbles that don't break the surface). Give a quick stir and leave.
You will notice almost instantly that the scent will fill your kitchen. Be sure to keep an eye on it. The pot should be good for at least an hour or longer depending on the size. Just drain and dispose of the spices when you are done using them.
Here are a few scent combinations I use for the spices:
For a Holiday Smell: 1 tsp nutmeg + 1 tbsp cinnamon + 1/2 tsp cloves + 1 orange sliced with rinds still on + 1/4 cup whole fresh cranberries (optional)
For a "I've been baking" smell: 1 tbsp vanilla + 1 tbsp cinnamon + 1 lemon sliced with rinds on
For a "Spicy Fruity" smell: 1/2 cup apple cider + 1 tbsp ginger + 1 cinnamon stick + 1 tbsp all spice
For a Fresh Scent: 3 sprigs rosemary + 1 lemon sliced with the rind on + 1 tbsp vanilla
For Another Fresh Scent: 1 lime sliced with rind on + 1 tbsp vanilla + 6 mint leaves + 3 small basil leaves
If you just want something simple, just try boiling a couple tablespoons of cinnamon. It will still have a great smell!
Happy party hosting!