Winter days often find us inside seeking comfort and warmth. Try adding some winter-inspired scents to the mix to create the perfect indoor atmosphere in your home. Whether you like the traditional glow of a scented candle or the rustic approach of stovetop potpourri, the right scent in your home this winter can make you feel calm and comforted. Read on for four different winter fragrances, as well as four different ways to disperse the scent throughout your home.

Soy candles are perhaps the most traditional way to spread fragrance throughout your house. A great choice for smaller areas and those who want the ambiance that a cozy flame adds, it’s easy to find a candle that’s just the right scent for your family. Because it’s burning the fragrance and wick, make sure to purchase soy candles made with non-toxic ingredients – some “fragrance” in household goods like candles can be harmful when inhaled over a long period. You can also practice some basic candle maintenance to ensure that you get the most out of each jar. Trim your wick to ¼ inch before each burn and allow the wax to form a full melt pool on the top each time you burn (that will avoid those frustrating craters that sometimes form in the middle of a beloved candle). Bring a little summer to these dark days with “Driftwood & Juniper” by Downeast Doodle Candle Co. , which is based in Wells and Bridgton. The warm-toned glass jar will complement your décor throughout these cold months. $13 to $29 at

A stovetop potpourri blend of cranberries, cinnamon sticks, and an orange


For a rich, strong scent without any special tools or ingredients, try a simmering stovetop potpourri. By combining several raw ingredients with some water and simmering over low heat on your stove or a hot plate, this potpourri can fill your house with aroma all day. The best part? You can whip up a recipe that uses left-over natural materials and food you may have at home this time of year – think lemon peels, cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, drops of vanilla extract, evergreen stems, or dried and fresh herbs. An organic mix can stay on your stove for up to a week if you keep adding water. Kids will also enjoy helping you put these pots together.

Looking for something low-maintenance and minimalist? Try a reed diffuser. By putting essential oils in a glass jar and then placing reed sticks in the liquid, the oil infuses the reeds and disperses into your home over time. Most reed diffusers offer about two months of scent potency before you’ll need to refill the bottle. Flipping the reeds over every few days will also help the fragrance stay strong throughout the room. While not ideal for large spaces, reed diffusers offer a flame- and outlet-free way to infuse your home with comforting fragrance—the glass jars are also easy to match with your décor in any room, and finding the perfect vessel can sometimes be half the fun. Try “Vanilla and Amber” or “Fireside” fragrances from Tide and Isle Co. in Freeport for the perfect mid-winter blends of sweet and sultry. $34 at 

A plug-in diffuser can be a great option for a strong scent that isn’t limited to the kitchen stovetop. These diffusers use electricity to warm the oils or scent pads inside, thus spreading fragrance throughout your home. Some versions don’t allow you much control over the strength of the scent, and you can’t easily “turn off ” the smell from many varieties since the aroma continues to waft out of the openings, so choose wisely. There are local companies that make diffuser oils, like the scent and candle company Sea Love, which has a factory in Biddeford and a shop in Kennebunkport. $16 at

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