The Scent of Christmas

Wrapping presents, writing cards, eating chocolate and listening to classic Christmas tunes all help to get me in the mood for the big day. But there’s something missing from the picture, one of my senses is yet to be fulfilled, and that’s when I reach for my essential oils to concoct a festive feast for my nose. There’s so many to choose from at this time of year, each evoking it’s own memory of Christmas past.

Image courtesy of Black Velvet Styling

Pine and fir essential oils remind me of putting up the tree and decorating it, finding those lost baubles I’d forgotten buying and where I lived when they first went on the tree.

Orange and cinnamon bring to mind this delicious Italian chocolate nut Christmas cake by Delia Smith, which is a hit every time. To me it combines my all favourite Christmas flavours in one scrummy treat.

And last but not least, frankincense and myrrh, those most famous of nativity gifts. They bring back memories of my school plays as a girl and more recently my son’s star turn in his play group Christmas play. It was definitely a proud mummy moment.

I add a couple of drops each of 3 – 4 different essential oils to my burner, light the candle and let the scent of Christmas fill my room. If you don’t have a burner, you can always fill a small bowl/dish with water, add the oils to that and carefully balance it on a radiator for the same effect.

Wishing you all peace, joy, love and laughter for Christmas and the new year.

Image courtesy of Black Velvet Styling

My favourite porridge recipe

The nights are drawing in, the mornings are getting darker and the car windscreen needs clearing before it’s safe to drive. All these things make me think about it being cold outside but cosy inside, and one of my favourite dishes to have for breakfast to get me warmed up in the morning is porridge.

Porridge, recipe, cooking, baking, apples, cinnamon, lemon, lemon cheesecake, Belper, massage, aromatherapy, Derby, Derbyshire, essential oils,
Image courtesy of Black Velvet Styling

This recipe happens to be vegan, not that I am vegan (or even vegetarian) but I’m not a massive fan of milk (love cream, cheese and butter though!). You wouldn’t know it’s dairy-free because to me it tastes like lemon cheesecake, I think it’s the oats thickening as they cook that gives it a creamy consistency. It also uses two of my favourite seasonal ingredients – apple and cinnamon.

I hope you enjoy it, let me know how you get on and what your favourite way of eating porridge is.

Lemon Cheesecake* Porridge

Makes 2 generous bowls

  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 cups water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 apple, cored & grated
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Ground cinnamon, to serve


  1. Soak oats, water and lemon juice in saucepan overnight – optional but optimal.
  2. Add the grated apple and maple syrup to the pan.
  3. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbling, thick and creamy.
  4. Divide between two bowls and serve with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

*As mentioned above, this recipe is dairy-free, there’s no cheese in it, it just tastes like lemon cheesecake to me.