Hosting a Holiday Party That Looks (and Smells) Great

The holiday season is a time of celebration and seeing friends and family members… and if you ask us, there's really no better way to lean into all the festive fun than throwing a holiday party. And when it comes time to plan that party, you’ll want some fragrances on your side. 

The right scents can be a super easy and effective way to make your space smell inviting, welcoming, and full of holiday spirit. Scents play a major role in setting the mood of a gathering — they can bring back old memories, create a sense of comfort, and add a layer of sophistication (or playfulness) to your party. 

So, how can you choose the right scents for your holiday party? Stay tuned. We’re giving you some of the best options from Snif to elevate your party experience.

Why Is Scent Important for Setting the Mood for a Holiday Party? 

Imagine walking into a holiday party only to be met with the smell of freshly baked cookies, pumpkin pie, or Christmas trees — there’s a certain feeling that you’ll experience when this happens. Pleasant, familiar smells immediately transport you to happy memories and past celebrations, and they can be the perfect way to set the vibe. 

Scent is linked to your emotions and memories, aka it’s essential for creating a truly memorable party atmosphere. Scent has the power to welcome your guests, uplift their spirits, and leave a lasting impression. Think about what you want your space to convey during your next get-together, and start your search for scents that make you feel exactly that. 

How Can You Choose the Right Scents for Your Holiday Party? 

Choosing the perfect scents for your holiday celebration involves a few key factors. Here are the top points to keep in mind when choosing the right fragrance:

The Vibe of the Party

Think about the ambiance you want to create at your party. Are you going for a sophisticated, lighthearted, or elegant and poised vibe? Your choice of scents should mesh well with the type of environment you’re dreaming up. 

For example, a more laid-back, relaxing gathering might involve scents like patchouli or pine for earthy, calming vibes, while a high-energy, super playful party might fit well with fruitier, brighter scents. 

Time of Day

Consider the time of day your party will take place, too. It goes without saying that a daytime gathering has a way different vibe than a late-night get-together (but we’ll say it anyway). 

Some scents are better suited for daytime parties, while others can help create the perfect atmosphere for an evening celebration. If your party is during the day, consider leaning towards fresh scents that fit a lighter approach. On the other end of things, try playing with rich, smokey, or earthy smells for evening parties, incorporating scents like holiday spices, spruce, or fir balsam. These options can whip up a perfectly dark, dreamy, and warm environment.

Personal Preferences

Your own preferences are important to keep in mind, too. Choose scents that resonate with you and complement your party theme or holiday decor. If you love the smell of apple cider, pumpkin pie, or campfires, for example, find a subtle and tasteful way to incorporate these scents into your party. The possibilities are endless. 

What Are Some Scents To Elevate Your Holiday Party Experience? 

When it comes to seasonal fragrances, there’s no shortage of options you can use to bring your space to the next level… and here at Snif, we have a range of irresistible scents to give your holiday party a boost. 

Our candles are created for optimal burn and performance, so you can use them for multiple parties and even into the new year. Here are our top picks to help elevate your holiday party. 

Old Saint Wick

This fresh, crisp candle effortlessly captures the feeling of the holiday season with scents of pine, cedarwood, sandalwood, and a touch of festive apple cider. It's the perfect merry and bright fragrance that won't compete with the smell of your baked goods — but it will compete with (and smell better than) your Christmas tree. 

Lost Claus

With hints of holiday spices, peppered gingerbread, caramelized patchouli, and milky musks, Lost Claus is a sweet, spicy candle that brings warmth and sophistication to your holiday gathering. 

Half Baked Pumpkin Smash

This warm pumpkin candle combines pumpkin (surprise, surprise), cinnamon, and roasted chocolate for a perfectly cozy and classic aroma. It's the perfect option to stock up on for all of your holiday season parties, from the first day of fall through the last day of January. 

Sweet Ash

This sweet, earthy candle was created using the scent of one of our most popular fragrances. It blends moss, woods, fir balsam, tonka, and vanilla bean for an inviting and comforting atmosphere that will leave your guests asking, what’s that smell?

Instant Karma

Instant Karma is a dark and dreamy candle combining cardamom, cinnamon, and vetiver to create a spicy, warm, and sensual scent. Reach for this candle to set the mood for an evening gathering or dinner party.

Off the Grid

Seeking an escape? Go Off the Grid with this warm and calming fragrance that blends amber, lily, musk, and sandalwood for a soothing burn. It's perfect for chilled, sophisticated parties for a moment of calming vibes during the most chaotic time of year. 

How Can You Effectively Use Scents in Your Party Décor? 

You know what to look for and where to start. Now, let’s talk about actually Incorporating your chosen scents into your party decor.

Strategically Place Candles

One of our favorite methods is to strategically place scented candles around the party space, like on tables, mantels, and windowsills. They don’t always need to be right in plain sight (though they can make for some great décor) — in fact, placing your candles in less-obvious hiding spots can make your party come across even more effortless and chic. 

Just be mindful of the scents you’re using in your cooking and dining spaces. For these areas, you'll probably want to reach for scents that don't compete with — or clash with — the smell of the food at your party. Keep it light and subtle, or go full-send and choose bold fragrances that fit well with what you’re serving. 

Gourmand candles, for example, can be a great choice near your dining area. Candles with notes of vanilla, pumpkin pie, apple spice, hot chocolate, or sugar cookie can elevate the already mouth-watering smells of the food being prepared. You can even use these candles when you're not cooking to make your guests think you just finished baking some holiday treats. 

Mix and Match Scents

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different scents in different areas of your home to create a multi-dimensional olfactory experience. For example, using a warm, spicy scent in the doorway and a fresh, woodsy scent in the living room can make for a well-rounded experience. 

What Else Should You Consider for an Aesthetically-Pleasing Holiday Party? 

To be honest, a range of factors all work together to create the perfect atmosphere for your party, but the scent can help combine all of these elements to create a truly cohesive feeling. 

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when you’re in your party planning stages: 

  • Organize your space: The first step of getting ready for any gathering should be cleaning up a bit. In our humble opinion, a clean space is the best backdrop for adding fragrance. Aim to do a deep clean a few days beforehand, and then do any last-minute finishing touches on the day of your party. 
  • Choose your lighting: Light plays a big part in the atmosphere of a room. Use a combination of candles, string lights, and traditional lighting to create a warm and cozy space. 
  • Select music: Music can make or break the vibes. The right tunes can transform your party's entire atmosphere — try to create a playlist to match the theme of your party, and incorporate song holiday songs for an extra layer of festive fun. 
  • Pick your color schemes: Choosing a color palette that complements your holiday decor and scent choices can really tie the entire look together. Classic holiday season colors like red, green, and white are easy go-tos during the holidays, but they don’t have to be your go-tos! Choose any color scheme that speaks to you.
  • Choose table settings: Your tablescape can help draw people in and set the mood for your meal (or snacks and apps, depending on the vibe). Use your candles to add a touch of elegance and light to your table settings, and choose a nice tablecloth or a touch of table décor. A table runner and some garlands and garnishes are festive ideas that can add a special touch to your gathering. You can even use fun holiday-themed dishes or a nice set of table napkins and silverware to level up your party even more. 

One for the Books 

Hosting a holiday bash that looks and smells incredible is all about creating a sensory experience. The scent in your space can set the mood and enhance the overall ambiance of your party, and with Snif candles, finding the perfect scents is stress-free. 


How scent, emotion, and memory are intertwined — and exploited | Harvard Gazette

The olfactory experience: constants and cultural variables | NIH

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