I don’t like to stray too far from home without a well-considered playlist. Music might be the the most important in the Holy Trinity of ambiance creators, along with scent and lighting. Since ’tis the season for parties and festive gatherings, keep ambiance in mind as you plan your soiree, whether you’re hosting fifty people, or two.
Mix something special for your guests that has a wintery feel; a favorite of mine, for this, is Laird’s Applejack brandy. Make sure your space smells inviting, too. Scents work in the background of my consciousness and affect my mood (for better, or worse), so choose something that evokes how you want your guests to feel: Cheerful and light? Go with a citrus. Seductive and intimate? Try something with tobacco.
To me, creating an ambiance for your party guests is parallel to a brand gracefully orchestrating your entire experience with their world: when every detail is congruent with the brand’s identity, the interaction is memorable and magic.