How much thought do you usually give to the smell of the food you cook? Of course, you want it to smell good, but do you think about a meal's scent when planning it?
If you watched Nadiya Hussain's recent BBC Two series Nadiya's British Food Adventure, you will have seen the feature on cooking with scent. Fragrance cooking is an emerging trend and involves thinking carefully about which types of smells complement each other in a dish. It's a tactic that could seriously impress at your next dinner party.
To get started, think of your favourite herbs or flowers and build your menu around them. Alternatively, think about how the type of food you like smells when it's cooked and give some thought as to what other scents could work with this.
Menu ideas for a fragrance-themed dinner party
When it comes to cooking with fragrance, keep an open mind and be willing to experiment - you might surprise yourself with the end results!
Few aromas are more enticing than the smell of freshly-baked bread, but this scent could be made even more delicious by adding some homemade bergamot marmalade. Bergamot has a gorgeous citrus-like smell, which means it works perfectly with oranges, lemons and limes - whatever you prefer in your usual marmalade. Just add the bergamot to the pan at the same time as the fruit peel so it infuses the entire batch.
Fragrance cooking also lends itself beautifully to desserts. Impress your dinner party guests with floral-infused bakes, like shortbread studded with dried rose petals, which can be served up with lavender ice cream.
Simply make up a batch of your favourite shortbread recipe, adding the rose to the mix at the same time as the sugar, or scatter it over the top of the biscuit dough before it goes in the oven. For the fragrant ice cream, follow a vanilla ice cream recipe, substituting vanilla pods for dried lavender - you can use a no churn recipe if you don't have an ice cream machine.
Can't cook/won't cook?
If you're not the most confident in the kitchen, don't have much time or like to rely on tried-and-tested shop-bought dishes, you can still turn your dinner party into a fragrant feast by pairing each course with a gorgeous food-inspired scent. This means our new candle in a can range is just the thing!
Canapes from the supermarket will seem all the more impressive when served up in a room filled with the scent of our Black Olive Candle in a Can, which will also add a unique touch to your table decoration.
With never-fail choices like garlic bread or bruschetta to start and pasta or pizza for the main course, Italian cuisine always delights, and you'll make the dining experience even more sensual by lighting a Tomato & Herb Candle.
To finish the evening, you can't go wrong with a chocolate dessert. Whether you prefer ice cream, clotted cream or custard, make sure to team it with our Vanilla Custard Candle for a real treat for all the senses.
If you want to refresh the room in between courses while your guests are chatting, a spritz of one of our fresh-smelling room mists like Wild Lemongrass or Olive & Fig will provide an instant burst of fragrance.
Whatever you choose to serve up for your next dinner party, remember that a fragrant candle can make all the difference to the evening's ambience.