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Our sense of smell is more closely tied to memories than any other sense. Mom’s apple pie baking in the oven, the cologne of a long-forgotten first boyfriend, and yes, the freshly cut Balsam fir in the living room that makes the holidays complete.

These smells invoke powerful connections to the people and things we love. According to Psychology Today, that’s because smells are first processed in the brain by the olfactory bulb, which is directly connected to the areas of the brain that deal with emotion and memory.

All that science and sentimentality mean that what your family and guests smell in your home will likely stick with them over the years even more than what they see.

So what’s a holiday host to do? Sprinkle your holiday décor with a few treats for the senses—especially smell.

Louise’s Hallmark, located at 9533 South Wicker Avenue in St. John, offers a variety of holiday fragrance and gift options for Northwest Indiana residents. Manager Carly Ourednik points out that while holiday fragrance trends come and go, often some scents remain constant.

“A popular scent for the fall and winter seasons is always Thymes Frasier Fir,” Ourednik says. “It is a staple and smells incredible.”

Individuals interested in enhancing aromas throughout their entire homes can also find options at Lifestyles gift shop and gallery, located at 122 East Lincolnway in Valparaiso. Owner Renee Blosky offers a dynamic stock of inventory for customers to consider.

“Lifestyles provides a variety of scents for the kitchen, home, body, spa, and even the fireplace,” Blosky says. “We offer teas, candles, coffee, soaps, wax melts, diffusers, apple cider donut mixes, room sprays, essential oils, lotions, fire pods, and much more.”

For scented holiday gift options, Ourednik says that candles are often a solid source for great smelling presents. “We love candles that have a blend of different scents mixed together,” she says. “Also, too, it’s important to have clean burning candles, which is why we sell soy candles as well.”

Blosky adds that seasonal preferences during the holiday season encompass a variety of aromas. “Scents that are often favored today during the holiday season include pumpkin, spice, vanilla, gingerbread, cinnamon, sage, pine, peppermint, and apple,” she says.

Ourednik recommends scented gift items for entertaining hosts as well. “Gifts that are great for entertaining would definitely be the new Vera Bradley Gingerbread Pumpkin scented candle,” she says. “We also have a specialty Illume candle in Winter White and Pumpkin Peppercorn, which looks beautiful and smells lovely.”

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