How to make an artificial tree smell real

How to Make an Artificial Christmas Tree Smell Like a Real One

Every year, more and more families choose artificial Christmas trees over live ones for the benefits they bring. While artificial trees offer a lot of advantages, many still look for the smell of live trees.

While artificial Christmas trees aren’t scented, there are various ways to enjoy the scent of the real thing.

What Does A Christmas Tree Smell Like?

The smell of a Christmas tree depends on its species. Fir, spruce, and pine trees are the most popular Christmas trees and they produce terpenes that give them their distinctive scents. Fir and pine scents usually have rich camphor or menthol-like fragrances.

Other coniferous trees feature terpenes that give off a variety of Christmas tree scents ranging from citrusy, to warm and spicy, to menthol-like, or a combination of peppermint and citrus aromas.

How To Make an Artificial Christmas Tree Smell Real

For those who love the convenience of artificial Christmas trees but crave the real spruce, fir, or pine tree smell, here are the best ways to make your Christmas tree smell real:

  • Use diffusers and scent machines
  • Light candles or burn incense
  • Use scented sticks or air fresheners
  • Add scented pinecones
  • Mix in fresh branches

Diffusers and Scent Machines

Diffusers disperse essential oils or special Christmas tree scent blends directly into the air and are ideal for those who prefer a longer-lasting release of fragrance. Balsam Hill’s Scents of the Season™ Fragrance Machine is portable, convenient to set up, and can be used all year-round.

Pair it with our line of Christmas tree-smelling essential oils, otherwise known as our Scents of the Season cartridges, which include nature-inspired fragrances such as Balsam Fir, Fresh Cut Evergreen, and Cedar Wood for the sough-after real-tree scents.

Candles or Incense

Add a warm and cozy touch to your spaces with Christmas tree-smelling candles or incense. They also double as décor items when placed on tabletop and mantels.

Choose a Christmas tree fragrance featuring aromas like camphor, warm spices, or citrus. Make sure that you don’t put lit candles too close to the tree and other decorations to prevent fire accidents.

Scented Sticks and Air Fresheners

Christmas tree scent sticks can also be used as ornaments. They accent your tree while bringing your favorite Christmas fragrance into your home for weeks at a time.

Opt for scent sticks that smell like fir, spruce, or pine, and spread them out evenly between the branches of your artificial Christmas tree. Many Christmas tree scent sticks are available in green colors to blend with your tree and other foliage.

Another way to make your artificial tree smell good is by using air fresheners and aerosol sprays. Hang small air fresheners at the back of the tree where they’re hidden from view. You can also spray scented aerosols in the area near the tree but practice caution as they can be flammable.

Scented Pinecones

For that natural evergreen scent, place fresh pinecones in various areas of your home or use them as decorations on your tree, wreaths, and garlands.

If you’re picking them by yourself, make sure to clean them to remove sap and treat them for insects. But if real pinecones aren’t available in your area, you can still achieve a pine scent for your artificial Christmas tree with store-bought natural pinecones infused with scented oils.

Mix in Real Branches

Bring home that authentic evergreen smell by weaving real branches into your artificial Christmas tree and greenery. For this to look natural, combine real branches with realistic artificial foliage. Place them throughout your tree, wreath, or garland to get a true-to-nature scent.

Now you’re all set to welcome the festivities with the fresh fragrance of real evergreens. With natural elements like pinecones and real branches complemented by store-bought scents like Christmas tree essential oils, candles, scented ornaments, and air fresheners, your artificial Christmas tree will look, feel, and smell even more like the real thing.

Visit Balsam Hill for more ideas on how to fill every room of your home with Christmas cheer.


Give Your Fake Christmas Tree a Real Tree Smell with DIY Diffuser Ornaments

One reason why I love the holiday season is that nostalgic Christmas tree scent. But if you are like us and have an artificial Christmas tree, you are missing out on that beloved Christmas wonderful scent. Today we have some simple solutions for making your fake tree smell like it a live Christmas tree – it will smell like it was freshly cut without altering your expensive faux tree.

Let’s add that real Christmas tree smell to our artificial tree this festive season!

With all the allergies in my family, we’ve never been able to have a real Christmas tree. But I still love the strong scent of evergreen trees!

If you do too, you can use this simple craft to make your fake Christmas tree smell like the real thing. Basically, we are making Christmas tree smell air freshener ornaments! These homemade essential oil diffuser ornaments include the pine tree scent for your Christmas tree.

Related: How to Make a Christmas tree look fuller

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Homemade Essential Oil Diffuser Ornaments

Even if you already have your Christmas tree up, just adding a few essential oil diffuser ornaments can make all the difference. Who doesn’t love a fresh scent during the winter months?

Last year, we made ours look like Christmas trees using cookie cutters and some green paint — I love how they turned out, and I love how they make our house smell – just like Christmas.

Supplies Needed

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • Drinking straw
  • Green paint and paint brush
  • Green floral wire
  • Essential oil (you can use pine or Idaho blue spruce)


[Short Video Tutorial] How to Make Your Tree Smell Like a Real Tree
1. Make the DIY Diffuser Ornaments
  1. Mix flour, salt and water to form dough.
  2. Roll out and cut out shapes using cookie cutters.
  3. Use a straw or toothpick to poke a hole in the top of each ornament to give you a place to hang it after it is completed.
  4. Add color using a paintbrush and paint while the ornaments are still wet. We used a paint brush to give our trees a fun effect.
  5. Lay out on a cookie sheet and allow to dry for several days, flipping them every 24 hours.
  6. Allow to dry completely.
These sweet homemade ornaments will smell amazing…
2. Add Christmas Scent Essential Oils

These homemade salt dough ornaments work great at capturing the essential oils and acting as a diffuser to release the scent of pine throughout the room in a clean and fresh way.

We always recommend using 100% essential oils anytime you are going to be exposed to them on a regular basis because the artificial scents that are often added to low quality oils can have a sharp stronger smell that is unpleasant.

I love how the pine essential oil smells like Idaho Blue Spruce, and these ornaments are awesome for diffusing the smell throughout your home.

If you would prefer just a spicy Christmas scent, I love these essential oils:

  • Frankincense which has a very rich Christmas tradition back to the first holiday!
  • Myrrh essential oil which like Frankincense ACTUALLY smells like Christmas.
  • Young Living’s Christmas Spirit blend, 3 Wise Men Essential oil blend or Thieves.
  • Or create your own special blend with Cinnamon, Cloves and a dash of Lemon essential oils.
3. Add Wire for Hanging on the Tree

Add a wire or ribbon for hanging and then add them to your tree.

DIY Diffuser Christmas Tree Ornaments as Gifts

These make really lovely gifts and can be given with a bottle of your favorite Christmas scent essential oil.

I like to make a stack of similar shaped ornaments and wrap them with holiday ribbon attaching the essential oil bottle to the bow on top.

How Long Will the Scent Last on My Diffuser Ornament?

A quality essential oil scent will usually last several days depending on how much you add to the diffuser ornament. That can keep your fake Christmas tree smelling real for days!

If you feel like you need to refresh the smell of a Christmas tree, all you need to do is add a few more essential oil drops onto the ornament and you are good to go for another few days.

Especially since they’re so easy to make. After the first time you make them, you’ll want to make some for every holiday! You can store these pine scent ornaments and then simply add new essential oil drops when you take them out to use them the following year.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Active Time 20 minutes

Additional Time 1 day

Total Time 1 day 30 minutes

Difficulty easy

Estimated Cost $15-$20


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • Drinking straw
  • Green paint and paint brush
  • Green floral wire
  • Essential oil (you can use pine or Idaho blue spruce)


  1. Mix flour, salt and water to form dough.
  2. Roll out and cut out shapes using cookie cutters.
  3. Use a straw or toothpick to poke a hole in the top of each ornament.
  4. Add color using a paintbrush and paint while the ornaments are still wet. We used a paint brush to give our trees a fun effect.
  5. Lay out on a cookie sheet and allow to dry for several days, flipping them every 24 hours.
  6. Once they’re dry, add floral wire and a few drops of essential oil.


You can also bake them at 250F for about 3-4 hours.


There are so many amazing homemade ornaments you can make with your kids this Christmas. If you need even more inspiration try these:

  • Make this cute handprint ornament!
  • Clear ornament ideas — what to fill those plastic and glass balls!
  • Kid-made easy painted clear ornaments art.
  • Q-Tip Snowflake Ornaments
  • Pipe cleaner Christmas crafts including the cutest ornaments!
  • Christmas ornament crafts for kids <–BIG LIST
  • Make the coolest natural ornaments with outdoor found objects
  • FREE Printable Kids Christmas Ornaments
  • Salt dough handprint ornaments you can make – this one is a nativity scene.
  • Make your own ugly sweater ornament perfect for your Christmas tree!
  • We love these popsicle stick ornaments.

Related: The best Christmas crafts for kids! <–Over 250 to choose from.

Did you make these Christmas tree scents – and how did they turn out?

Fake Palo Santo - 5 signs of a real tree


The popularity of Palo Santo incense in Russia has greatly increased. How to choose high-quality sticks and recognize a fake?

"This palo santo is fake..."

  • "It's impregnation, palo santo is not real..."
  • "I tried Palo Santo from Peru, GO... , and it wasn't like this one, so it's Palo Santo fake."
  • "Wood smells like rubber, tires, some kind of chimosa - it's fake, not real Palo Santo."
  • "Wood doesn't smell like anything at all, except wood, it's just firewood. "

Let's try to understand the most common questions that may lead to the impression that you have bought a fake palo santo somewhere.

We have not seen the fake palo santo ourselves, because we bring it directly from Peru. We have not seen fakes of Palo Santo in Russia either. If you bought a fake palo santo somewhere in Russia, please write to us.

We will talk about the characteristics of the QUALITY of wood. But let's keep in mind the claims and questions of people who doubt that they were sold a real palo santo. Over the years of working with Palo Santo, we have learned to distinguish the quality of wood by a number of additional features and will try to answer the main causes of doubt caused by color, wood texture, smell, smoke and combustion characteristics.

Quality Harvested Wood

Quality Palo Santo is made from trees that have died naturally. The trunks of these trees cannot be cut for several years after the death of the tree. In some cases, the tree "ripens" up to 10 years in order for a sufficient amount of oils to accumulate in the wood. There are terpenes in the oil produced inside the wood ( α-terpineol and D-limonene ) are elements that produce the positive and uplifting effects you experience when you smoke. Young Palo Santo trees, if illegally cut down (in violation of Peruvian logging laws), are not used as incense. Young wood is simply not fragrant.

It is clear that by the type of stick, or even by the type of a large batch, it is impossible to determine how old the harvested tree is, how much it is “ripe” before cutting into sticks, a year or 10 years. This is nowhere and never written, and no one will ever tell you the exact age of the tree. But determining the readiness of found fallen tree trunks for cutting into incense is the responsibility of those who select these trees for the preparation of sticks in Peru.

“South American shamans teach that these trees should be treated with respect and reverence and should not be cut down. Wood should only be harvested from trees that have died naturally and have been dormant on the forest floor for four to ten years. This shamanistic teaching is not only a traditional but also a practical guide, since the high aromatic and medicinal qualities of the wood can only be fully developed in the aged heartwood collected from naturally felled trees.

The surest way to tell if a Palo Santo is authentic is to scrape off a piece of stick with a knife or cut it in half. First, you will feel that the fragrance comes from "from inside the tree". Secondly, very often the incised (inner) part of the stick is stickier - put your finger on it to be sure. This is the essential oil naturally accumulated in the wood, which gives the tree its fragrance. This is the essential oil naturally accumulated in the wood, which gives the tree its fragrance. Probably the surface of the stick can somehow be treated with flavoring, but definitely not its internal structure. The tree "smells from the inside". Color, wood density, oil and resin content, and flavor nuances can vary greatly from stick to stick, which is normal for a natural, natural product.

Wood color

As a rule, the wood texture of old trees has a rich dark amber color. But it is important to understand that the color of wood may also depend on where the tree grew, on a plain or a hill. There are also light sticks of Palo Santo, which have a wonderful delicate aroma. The color of the wood will not give you an accurate answer about the quality. We met with a very light and fragrant tree from Ecuador. Palo santo can range in color from light ivory to dark brown.

Don't jump to the conclusion that a santo is fake based on the color of the wood.

Wood texture: dense or porous wood.

The density of wood varies as much as its color. Usually denser sticks have a darker tint and weigh more heavily. From dense wood, it is more difficult for the aroma to get out, it remains much longer in the bars. In deliveries, we often come across light porous sticks. Sometimes these are “empty” sticks, they contain almost no oil and resins: either they never formed in this area of ​​the tree in large quantities, or they weathered from the stick due to the porous structure of the tree. This is just the case when, without setting fire to the sticks, it is impossible to determine whether the tree is of high quality or not.

But not always light light sticks do not smell. If you cut a dry piece of wood, you can see “traces of oil” inside, and when set on fire, it will emit a fragrance. Technically, no palo santo vendor can scrape wood from each stick or set it on fire before selling it. As for us, if we doubt the aroma of the sticks, they fall into the category "markdown" .

Shades of Palo Santo

After sniffing several tons of palo santo sticks, we came across 4 main variations of shades in the aroma of wood. In most sticks, a sweetish citrus-woody aroma prevails. In others, you can feel the freshness, like mint. There are sticks with a sour smell; it is sometimes described as “smells like a cow”. The aroma of very dense sticks, in which a lot of oil and wood resin has formed, can sometimes be described as the smell of "rubber" (resin is resin) or "tire". To understand the authentic flavor of palo santo, try smelling essential oil of this tree, which is extracted from wood by steam distillation, is the base of the fragrance.

Palo santo is so rich, inimitable and unique because of its many shades.

Smoke and burning characteristics of sticks

Yes, Palo Santo can emit black smoke when burned. Moreover, this happens in most cases. However, when you put out the fire and the wand begins to smolder, the smoke will turn white. It is this smoke that should be used to fumigate the space.

If you light a stick of palo santo on fire and see black smoke, it doesn't mean the wood is fake.

If the tree ignites badly or quickly finishes smoldering, this is also normal. A stick, even if it is very strongly ignited, usually smolders for only a couple of minutes. If the tree quickly goes out, it does not mean that it is a fake.

If the wood does not light well, just keep a larger area above the fire. Each bar is individual, some are more “wet”, some are drier. The drier the top of the bar, the faster it will start to flare up. If the surface of the stick is damp and the process of burning for a long time makes you uncomfortable, leave the sticks for 2-3 days on an open surface without packaging, and they will start to light faster.

Authentic Palo Santo smells like "from the inside of the stick". By setting fire to the stick, you actually bring the aroma from the oils accumulated in the wood to the outside. If, when burning a stick, you see how some kind of liquid begins to stand out, this does not mean that the tree is saturated with something, it means that your piece of wood has a lot of naturally accumulated oil, which indicates its high quality and proper preparation. If no oil is released at all during combustion, this does not mean at all that the wood is not of high quality or authentic. In such a piece, either less oil has simply accumulated and, when ignited, it immediately evaporates, or the bar itself has been harvested for a long time. Palo Santo essential oil is similar to any citrus oil in its properties - it is a very light oil that quickly disappears from the surface in the open air. Therefore, if you are going to store the sticks for a long time, it is better to pack them tightly.

So, we figured out that there are many variations of the natural shades of color and flavor of palo santo. In nature, each tree is unique, the trees lived a life of different lengths, died from different causes, and remained on the ground for different times. The natural or natural characteristics of wood cannot be imitated or faked artificially.

If you have already bought Palo Santo somewhere and thought that you were sold a fake, most likely this is not the case. You have been sold a truly authentic Palo Santo, but not of the quality you expected.

As you can see, the topic of Palo Santo quality is very complex and voluminous, but you do not need to understand all these details. If you buy Palo Santo from our store, you can be sure that you will get a really good product. Less quality wood does not make it into your orders, it falls into the "markdown" category and is sold at a big discount.



About 48% of Russians choose artificial trees for holidays. But this is not always better for nature - it all depends on how many years a person will use the same Christmas tree.

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New York up state

How live and artificial Christmas trees affect the environment

Live Christmas trees

Every year around 120 million trees are cut down around the world for the Christmas and New Year holidays. Usually spruces, pines and firs are used. A tree about two meters high grows for an average of seven years.

Nurseries and forestry stock the majority of legal Christmas trees in Russia. According to the Ministry of Natural Resources, experts control the felling of trees, it is allowed only in certain places so as not to harm the forest.

Another part of the trees is cut down during the construction or cleaning of power lines, railways and roads, pipelines and firebreaks. Since these trees were not grown specifically for the holidays, they are considered less beautiful than those brought from the Scandinavian countries, Canada and Poland.

Preparation of Christmas trees Izvestia

Natural conifers may be grown by farmers using pesticides and chemical fertilizers that are harmful to the environment and human health. They sometimes use herbicides such as glyphosate, which often poison plantation workers.

But farmers are increasingly choosing pest-resistant trees to reduce pesticide use and costs. And in some countries, for the growth of Christmas trees, land is used that is unsuitable for growing other crops.

Artificial trees

They are chosen by 48% of Russians and more than 80% of the US population. About 10 million such Christmas trees are purchased in the country every season.

Approximately 80% of non-living trees are produced in China. The following materials are used for manufacturing:

  • Petroleum plastic - polyvinyl chloride. Its production leads to the release of dioxin, ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride, which increase the risk of cancer and affect the human immune system.
  • Steel, aluminum and cardboard for packaging and shipping.
  • Spray white latex paint to make the branches look like they are covered in snow.
  • Lead for artificial needles. It affects the health of the kidneys, nervous and reproductive systems.

China Artificial Christmas Tree Factory Vice

Producing a dead Christmas tree emits more carbon dioxide than growing a real one. The increase in the concentration of this greenhouse gas in the atmosphere leads to climate change, an increase in the number of natural disasters and temperature fluctuations.

  • The production and disposal of one artificial tree about two meters high releases approximately 40 kg of greenhouse gases. About two-thirds of a tree's carbon footprint is the plastic it's made from.
  • The total carbon footprint of a living Christmas tree is 2.6 kg. If it is thrown into a landfill, then the figure will increase to 16 kg, the same amount is allocated by the production of 160 paper cups.

An American Christmas Tree Association study says that, when compared over the entire life cycle, a real tree has a lower environmental impact than a fake tree. But the latter will be more environmentally friendly than the living one if you use it for several years in a row.

The association stated that one tree must be used for at least five years. The British organization that helps companies in sustainable development, the Carbon Trust, believes that at least ten years are needed, and Greenpeace - 20 years. On average, in the United States, one artificial spruce experiences about six holidays.

A worker sprays trees with artificial snow Al Jazeera

outside the factory

Which tree to choose

If there is no Christmas tree at home, WWF recommends buying a living one. But you need to buy it only in specialized organizations: forestries, at legal Christmas fairs and in stores that have the appropriate documents. If it is cut down illegally, then this can lead to the degradation of forest ecosystems, since poachers do not plant a new tree to replace the cut one.

With the right approach to forest management, Christmas trees can be produced without much damage to nature. For example, in the United States, more than 50% of forests are private, the purchase of trees gives landowners profit, and farmers plant 1-3 new seedlings in place of the purchased coniferous.

Farmers prepare a Christmas tree for sale in the United States. NBC

You can cut down a Christmas tree in Russia on your own, but not in all regions. To do this, you need to go to the website of the local forest department, department or ministry of nature, find a list of forest areas, select the nearest one and ask for permission.

If the answer is yes, the person goes to the forestry, concludes a contract of sale for a tree of a certain height and, together with the forester, goes to a place where a Christmas tree can be cut down.

Another way to use live conifers in an environmentally friendly way is to rent potted Christmas trees. But WWF says that this does not help restore forest ecosystems in Russia. For such trees to survive until spring, complex care is needed throughout the winter, and even this does not guarantee that they will survive.

If you still choose an artificial tree, you can buy used or made from recyclable materials. The American Tree Association claims that real and artificial trees make up less than 0.1% of our annual human carbon footprint.

Processing of trees after the holiday

Natural wood, unlike plastic, is completely biodegradable. But if you throw it in a landfill after the holidays, it will release methane when it decomposes. This greenhouse gas is 25 times more potent than carbon.

When burned, for example, on a fire, the tree emits carbon dioxide, which accumulated during growth. It is better to cut it or spread it around the garden - this will reduce the carbon footprint by 80%.

Real trees can be recycled: in the process, they are turned into chips and covered in the ground around the seedlings. In some cities, Christmas trees are taken to zoos: they are used to make bedding or feed them to animals.


If it is not possible to hand over the tree for recycling, then it is not worth throwing it into the garbage chute or the general waste container in the house. Wood can damage equipment.

You can throw it into large bins that are in the yards. But if there are none, then it is necessary to cut off all the branches from the tree, saw it, fasten the branches and the trunk and put it in the trash can in this form.

There are several other methods to minimize the negative impact:

  • Tree branches can be used to protect the roots of some plants from sudden changes in temperature.
  • Chopped Christmas trees are suitable as mulch for other plants in the garden.
  • Branch needles can be stored in paper bags to keep their pungent smell, and then used as a flavoring agent.

Most artificial trees are not recyclable and end up in landfills. They can be sold or donated for reuse.

Even if your house has a container designed for plastic, the artificial Christmas tree will not have to be sent to it, but to ordinary, unsorted waste.

Learn more