I never use scented candles or fragrant flowers on my dinner table. The best meals include flavors that work together and a beverage to compliment each course, so adding a floral or other unrelated fragrance to the table can spoil the magic!
At least 70% of what we perceive as "taste" actually comes from our sense of smell. Our taste buds only can taste bitter, salty, sweet and sour flavors. It is actually the odor molecules from food that give us most of our flavor. That's why when we have a cold, food tastes pretty bland.
Pungent Christmas lilies with savory gravy? Vanilla candles with garlic mashed potatoes? I recommend either using unscented candles and flowers, or better yet, creating a centerpiece to compliment your meal.
HERE IS HOW TO MAKE A "SAVORY SCENTERPIECE" FOR YOUR HOLIDAY TABLE...
MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED:
Bunch of dense flowers with little or no scent. I used hydrangeas because they are full and easy to stick herbs in.
1-3 Fresh Herbs: some suggestions
It is best to make these at the last minute as some of these herbs may wilt.
STEP 1: Using your most flexible stemmed herb, place a generous bunch in a bowl or shallow vase and add water. Cilantro is used here.
If necessary, place a smaller bowl or glass of water in the center to weigh it down.
STEP 2 : Trim flowers and wrap stems with a rubber band forming a tight ball of blossoms
STEP 3: Place flowers in center of long stemmed herbs (directly into bowl or into smaller glass container)
STEP 4: Add sprigs of same or other herbs into the bouquet. It is not necessary for the herbs to reach the water if you do this part
shortly before the meal.
STEP 5: Just before seating your guests, rub some of the leaves in your "Scenterpieces"
to release the appetizing aromas!