10 November 1995


I TIPPED a new "fruity" oil into my bath water the other night and it filled the steamy air with the perfume of tangerines, writes Tessa Gates.

It was a smell that transported me back to my childhood and to a warm bed rather than a warm bath as it brought back all the excitement of Christmas morning.

Long before daylight my younger sister and I would be delving into our stockings, searching out the bright new coins wrapped in gold mesh that Father Christmas always included; the tub of bubble-stuff and the tiny dolls bedded on cottonwool in half-walnut shells that we believed were fairy-babies.

In the heel of the stocking there would be an apple, nuts filled the gaps between the trinkets and in the toe we were sure to find a tangerine with lovely loose skin, so easy for little fingers to peel. We always "tested" it and when morning finally came we knew it was really Christmas by the smell of the tangerine peel hidden beneath our pillows.

What smell sums up Christmas for you? Tell us in no more than 150 words and you could win a cash prize not to be sniffed at: We will pay £25 to the sender of each entry we publish.

To Enter:

Tell us what smell makes you think of Christmas and why.

Type or clearly print your entry which must be no more than 150

words and send it to:

Farmlife Christmas Competition,

FARMERS WEEKLY, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey

SM2 5AS to arrive no later than Fri, Nov 24, 1995.