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Homemade Holiday Potpourri is the perfect way to make your home smell like the holidays naturally. You will keep your home smelling wonderful and inviting with hints of fresh pine needles, cinnamon, orange, and fresh cranberries.

The word potpourri has a shocking origin. It is an English word that translates from the French “potpourri,” meaning “putrid pot,” describing the meat stew that simmered in the pot.

Today, the word is commonly accepted as describing a collection of dried flower petals, leaves, herbs, and spices used to scent the air.

Most people love the warm smells associated with the holiday seasons, like the scent of freshly made gingerbread. How do you capture those amazing, cozy smells for the entire holiday season? Creating comforting Christmas and holiday fragrances is simple. By simmering your favorite aromatics like cinnamon, clove, orange, and pine on the stove, you can fill your house with the sumptuous seasonal scents.

To create these scents through your home, all you need to do is fill up a saucepan with water and add your aromatics. You can use simmer pots or a regular pot on the stove. For a low-maintenance version, add your aromatics and water to an uncovered slow cooker and keep it on the low setting.

When simmering ingredients for your stovetop potpourri, it is best to keep your pot on low/medium heat. Keep careful watch on the potpourri. If the water gets low, add more water, enough to cover the ingredients. Simmering potpourris are a great option in that they are nontoxic and can last for a few days.

 This potpourri makes your home smell fantastic and can simmer throughout your family gatherings, or anytime you want the wonderful holiday scents to waft through your house.

As for the aromatics themselves, the possibilities are infinite! You can use orange peels, apple peels, Christmas tree clippings, and various herbs and spices in your homemade potpourri. Using the best ingredients possible will ensure the most potent aromatic qualities of the potpourri.

 You will only need a few ingredients to make a holiday stovetop potpourri. Use whole spices, not ground, as that turns muddy in the bottom of your saucepan or slow cooker.

Some excellent choices are cinnamon sticks, which are found in the spice aisle at the grocery store. Additionally, adding whole allspice smells like a combination of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Using whole cloves offers a sweet and spicy aroma while whole star anise presents an intense perfume that smells like licorice. Fresh or frozen cranberries work well, too. Fruit slices such as oranges, apples, and lemons add a fresh, clean scent and color to your spice mix. You can also use fresh rosemary or bay leaves for more scents and color.

You can create your custom blend of favorite scents. Here are a few stovetop aromatic combinations you can try. Remember to add water.

Homemade holiday potpourri makes excellent gifts. Place each ingredient into a clear bag or mason jar and add a cute bow and a gift tag. Fresh orange or lemon slices look better in gift bags than old rinds. However, the potpourri needs to be used right away.

Holiday stove top potpourri is a terrific way to bring the welcoming smell of the holiday season into your home. These fabulous scents will keep you feeling warm and cozy all season. So, grab a good book and a holiday cookie or two and snuggle in.

Nancy J. Schaaf is a retired English/literature educator and also a retired nurse.

Potpourri recipes

Winter Forest

Pine sprigs; clip a few from the base of your Christmas tree.

Cinnamon sticks

Bay leaves

Lemon peel

Orange or grapefruit peel

Christmas Stove Top Potpourri Recipe

1 orange rind or orange slices

1 lemon rind or lemon slices instead of the rind

2 cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon whole cloves

Small Christmas tree sprig

Fresh cranberries

Pumpkin Spice Stove Top Potpourri

1 tablespoon of whole nutmeg seeds or whole cloves

1 tablespoon vanilla extract or one vanilla bean

2 cinnamon sticks

Cozy Cranberry

Fresh cranberries

Orange peel

Cinnamon sticks

Sprigs of fresh rosemary

Christmas Tree

Small pine tree branch

1 lemon rind or slices of fresh lemon

2 cinnamon sticks

3 bay leaves

Nutmeg seeds

Warm and Cozy

Apple peels

Orange peels

Cinnamon sticks

Whole cloves

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