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What Does Clove Smell Like?

Spring and summer bring about the scent of flower blossoms, summer rains, ocean tides and sandalwood. It’s invigorating and fresh and leaves one feeling optimistic and ready for adventure. But once the autumn season rolls around and heads into the crisp chill of winter, we long for something more warm and homey — like clove!

Clove is just one of those scents that you probably know, but you can’t place. So let us remind you. What does clove smell like? In this ultimate guide, we will discuss the clove spice in full detail, explain what it smells like and offer a list of our many candles with clove notes.

Where Does Clove Come From?

Before we dive into what clove smells like, let’s talk about what it is and where it comes from. Clove is essentially a spice used in a lot of desserts and cocktails. This spice, which resembles a small nail, sometimes a crooked nail, is actually a dried flower bud taken from the clove tree. Clove trees are a type of evergreen tree that is native to the eastern Indonesian Maluku Islands, also called the Spice Islands.
What Does Clove Smell Like?

To many, clove calls to mind delectable desserts and drinks like cookies and mulled wine. Some think of little pomanders, tree decorations made of clove-stippled oranges. So one could easily say that clove smells a lot like Christmas or the winter season. But that would be underselling this lovely little culinary spice. When, in fact, clove can present a wonderful grounding scent for a lot of candles, reed diffusers and other aromatic products that are for much more than the holidays.

But to someone who is not used to its unique wintry scent, what does clove smell like exactly? Clove is often described as being spicy and sweet, but with a warm and woodsy foundation. Often, it can even have a fruit top note that further lends to the sweetness.

The Benefits of Clove

Clove offers several benefits, many of which have been known about and used for some time now. And, no, it wasn’t always used in pies and drinks. In fact, cloves have been incorporated into medicinal aids as far back as the 6th century BCE. The Charaka Samhita recommended cloves and cardamom to be used as a digestive aid. The clove and cardamom mixture was wrapped in betel leaves and betel nuts and chewed after meals, which is said to increase saliva production to help digestion and, conveniently, also make someone’s breath smell better.

Today, we still use cloves in the same way. Only now, we understand how it works. Cloves, or more so its oil, creates an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory compound called eugenol. Eugenol is frequently used to help relieve pain through its numbing qualities, which is why chewing on a clove bud is often recommended as a natural pain-reliever. The Charaka Samhita also suggests cloves as an aphrodisiac.

What Scents Go Well with Clove?

Clove is a warm, spicy scent that pairs well with other autumn-like scents. Woodsy scents like sandalwood and musks also lend themselves well to clove too. When choosing a Homesick candle with a clove note, pay attention to the other complementing fragrances. Fruity notes like orange, plum and apple are perfect with clove.

And it’s safe to say that anything else nutty and spicy lends itself nicely, enhancing the clove bud aroma too. Cinnamon, which is essentially dried tree bark, as well as cedarwood, sandalwood and more woodsy aromas are a safe bet, as are warmer resin-derived scents like amber and Frankincense.

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