Christmas Trees - Artificial or Real?

I love real Christmas trees, they are beautiful and they make the house smell amazing.  But, I have many allergies and Christmas trees pretty much always bother me... so for that reason I have been using Artificial Christmas Trees for many years. I'm not sure if it's the trees themselves that bother me or if they put some kind of flame retarder on them for us here in California to prevent fires. Cut trees always seem to dry out very quickly here in Southern California!  Anyways, I have stayed away from using fresh cut trees for a long time. This tree on the left is a great example of a beautiful high quality artificial tree available here.

Using a fake tree, my husband always complains because he, originally being from Oregon, misses the smell of a real pine Christmas tree. So although I will still use my artificial tree as my main tree, this year I decided my hubby should also be able to smell the pine fragrance from a real tree.  This past weekend I broke down and I purchased a live Christmas tree, in a pot, from my local nursery.  It's a Colorado Blue Spruce. We live at an elevation of 2600 feet and it will actually grow here. I couldn't believe it cost $65 for a small little (like 3') tree... plus sales tax... Ugh, $70 to smell pine.  But, since we can plant it after the holidays, I decided to surprise him and give it a go.

Well, after having the tree home for two days, I realized the new "real" live spruce tree has NO scent at all... NONE whatsoever!!! Then came experiment time, I cut off one branch, and where I cut, it smelled amazing. So that was it, just cut a little off and smellorama... Yeah, I had success!  However, the next morning I noticed the trees fragrance was completely gone again. I have since found out that "live" trees (with their roots in tact) don't put off any scent. It's once they are cut off at the trunk that they start smelling. So it seems that they smell amazing once they start dying. That seems like an oxymoron! Start dying and you will smell good... Huh... I think it only works for Christmas trees.

How do I get the tree to smell? Well I didn't want to kill the tree. I do want to plant it after the holidays... So, last night I came up with the idea to go buy a Christmas tree scented candle. Yankee Candles makes quality candles and they smell really close to the real thing.  I headed to Bed Bath and Beyond and found the candles. For $22 I could have a jar candle called Christmas Wreath that smelled exactly like the tree. But I'd have to burn it all the time to actually have the smell in the house.  As I was about to purchase it, the girl working at the register told me about these Pine Scented Sticks they had... They are made to smell exactly like a Christmas tree... They come with little hooks so you can actually hang them from the tree like ornaments.... and they were $5.99 for 4 pieces. The lady said they were almost sold out after just a few days of carrying these pine scented things. I guess they are the popular option. So, I opted for the pine (Christmas tree) scented sticks and now our house actually smells like a fresh cut Christmas tree.

Here is a link to the pine scent sticks (ScentSicles) if you are interested... This set has 6 pieces (I only got 4 with my purchase) but I think I will get more for my other artificial tree!

Next year, it's my artificial tree + pine scented sticks for me...

How about you? What kind of tree do you like and why?
I'd love to hear your thoughts!!!

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