How To Make Stovetop Potpourri: 3 Simmer Pot Recipes (2024)

How To Make Stovetop Potpourri: 3 Simmer Pot Recipes (1)

One thing I love about stovetop potpourri is that I can easily recreatescents from fond childhood memories. A simmering pot of baking spices and fresh citrus, for instance, will make your home smell like Christmas in no time flat. They’re the sort of scents that transport me to holidays gone by when our whole house smelled like Mom’s delicious cooking, and it’s like getting an instant dose of holiday spirit!

But simmering potpourri doesn’t have to be something you only do during the holidays. In this post, I’m sharing a few recipes for homemade stovetop potpourri (or simmer pots, as some people call them) that will fill your home with mood-boosting fragrances.

The first is full ofholiday scents that are perfect for the winter season (it makes a great gift idea for the holidays for that reason!), the second is like a fresh spring breeze, and the third potpourri will have your house smelling just like fall.Stovetop potpourri is one of my favorite ways to make the house smell great, and it adds moisture to dry winter air, too, so it’s a real win-win!

Still have a few names to cross off your gift list? Keep scrolling for simple instructions for giving these potpourri mixtures as gifts!

3 Stove Top Potpourri Recipes That Will Make Your Home Smell Amazing

Note: These recipes are a great way to use up less-than-fresh and sad-looking produce. Those dry, shriveled citrus fruits may not taste very good, but work just fine for potpourri!

How To Make Stovetop Potpourri: 3 Simmer Pot Recipes (2)

1. Scents Of The Holiday Season (Orange, Cranberry, & Baking Spices)

This potpourri features the “Greatest Hits” of holiday aromas: sunny citrus, tart cranberries, and warm baking spices. If you’re looking to generate maximum Christmas cheer, simmering this stove top potpourri will get the job done in record time.


  • 1 mandarin orange, sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 tsp whole cloves

Optional additions: Add other whole spices like whole nutmeg or whole allspice, or try lemon peels, dried orange peels, or even some fresh pine needles. Bulk spices can be surprisingly inexpensive, as well as the bagged spices and herbs you can typically find near the bottled spices. If you don’t mind cellophane and paper packaging, you can get bay leaves, rosemary, and more for a lot less money that way!

How To Make Stovetop Potpourri: 3 Simmer Pot Recipes (3)

2. Smells Like Williams Sonoma (Lemon, Rosemary, & Vanilla)

If you’re looking for a less traditional holiday scent that still fits the season, try this one on for size. This Williams Sonoma stove top potpourri recipe was inspired by the signature scent used in its stores, and has a fresh, comforting scent that will make any space feel more cozy and inviting.


  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
How To Make Stovetop Potpourri: 3 Simmer Pot Recipes (4)

3. Perfect Fall Potpourri(Apple, Ginger & Baking Spices)

Is there any scent more enticing than fresh apples and baking spices? Yes — it’s apples, baking spices, and fresh ginger. Simmer this concoction on your stovetop to fill your home with the scents of delicious apple-filled desserts, minus the temptation of actual desserts.


  • 1 apple, sliced into wedges
  • 2 whole star anise (or a big pinch of anise seed)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 3 slices fresh ginger, about the size of quarters
How To Make Stovetop Potpourri: 3 Simmer Pot Recipes (5)

How To Use Simmering Potpourri

Add the ingredients to a small pot, then add enough water to fill it to about 1 inch shy of the top the rim. Bring it to a boil on your stove top, then reduce to low heat and simmer. You can keep it simmering as long as you like — just be sure to keep an eye on the pot and add water as needed so it doesn’t dry out. (Boiling the water in an electric kettle first will quickly get it back to a simmer!)

You can also bring the potpourri to a boil on your stove, then transfer it to your slow cooker to keep it warm. The recipes will work great as written for a smalldip-sized crockpot, but you can easily double or triple them for a standard-sized crockpot.

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You may be able to use the same batch of stovetop potpourri two days in a row if you cover it tightly and keep it in the fridge overnight. But all of these recipes use inexpensive and simple ingredients, so it’s not a big commitment to make a fresh batch!

If you like the idea of being able to see as well as smell your stove top potpourri simmering away, you might like an attractiveglass simmer pot. Some simmer pots even come with a little hot plate you can use to heat them, leaving your stove free for cooking Christmas dinner!

How To Make Stovetop Potpourri: 3 Simmer Pot Recipes (7)

How To Store Potpourri

Dry stovetop potpourri can last up to a few months if stored in a tightly sealed container away from heat and light. Glass tends to keep it smelling fresh longer. If you plan to make Christmas potpourri ahead of time, dry any fruits or flowers in your oven on the lowest setting, or use a food dehydrator.

If your simmering potpourri starts to lose its scent, you can either make a new batch, add some fresh ingredients to it, or add a few drops of essential oils. Once it starts to steam on the stove it will put out plenty of scent. (You can leave your dry potpourri out in a basket or bowl if you prefer, but it will lose its aroma quite a bit faster!)

How To Make Stovetop Potpourri: 3 Simmer Pot Recipes (8)

BONUS: Give Simmering Potpourri Ingredients As A Gift!

Easy stovetop potpourri makes a great gift idea! Homemade gifts are always appreciated, and you can make several jars of potpourri at the same time to give as hostess gifts, teacher’s gifts, or to give to your neighbors. Just add a pretty ribbon and a handwritten gift tag — a small sprig of pine tied to the ribbon would be a nice touch, too!

Don’t forget to attach a card with instructions for preparing any ingredients that aren’t ready to simmer as is (ex. “slice the orange”) and simmering the potpourri mixture on the stove or in a slow cooker.

For an extra special gift, put a large batch of homemade Christmas stove top potpourri in a cellophane bag and put the bag in a beautiful glass simmer pot or small crockpot. This would be an especially great gift for a new homeowner!

Have you tried a stovetop potpourri for holiday ambience?

How To Make Stovetop Potpourri: 3 Simmer Pot Recipes (9)

Christmas Simmering Potpourri Recipe

Jill Nystul

This simmering potpourri makes it easy to fill your home with the scents of the holiday season, and is guaranteed to improve levels of Christmas spirit!

5 from 1 vote

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes mins

Total Time 5 minutes mins

Yield 1 stovetop potpourri


  • Small pot


  • 1 orange sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks broken in half
  • 1/2 cup whole cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon cloves whole or ground
  • 4 cups water


  • Add all the ingredients to a small pot, then add water until it reaches about one inch below the rim.

    How To Make Stovetop Potpourri: 3 Simmer Pot Recipes (10)

  • Set the pot on your stove and bring the water to a simmer, then drop the heat down to low. Simmer the potpourri mixture as long as you want, adding water as necessary to keep it from drying out.

    How To Make Stovetop Potpourri: 3 Simmer Pot Recipes (11)

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How To Make Stovetop Potpourri: 3 Simmer Pot Recipes (2024)


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