Here’s an easy recipe for stovetop potpourri that smells just like Christmas! The best part – it can be adapted for slow cooker potpourri and makes for an easy homemade potpourri gift! It’s cheaper than Williams Sonoma potpourri and adaptable for each holiday!
I love the way the holidays smell.
With homemade pumpkin bread and cranberry orange scones baking, and hints of cinnamon granola in the air… there’s something about the pumpkin spice, cinnamon, orange combination that just screams fall and Christmas.
I’m not able to bake our favorite fall treats every day. But I remember as a kid, my mom putting out potpourri to create similar delicious smells in the house. She used dry pieces of potpourri and placed them in a warmer and lit a candle underneath. Before too long, the whole house would smell amazing.
I wanted my home to smell delicious too. So I looked for a similar setup for this dried potpourri and pot and was blown away at the price! My frugal heart just couldn’t do it.
But I also read about putting scraps of food into a saucepan to simmer on the stovetop, essentially creating a homemade potpourri.
And this time of year, I just so happen to have lots of orange peels, cinnamon sticks, and cranberries left over from my baking…
I’m thinking stovetop potpourri is my answer to bring back childhood smells of Christmas!!
Why Make Stovetop Potpourri?
One of the first things I do after dinner is to wipe out the cast iron skillet and stick it on the stove. I turn the heat on low so the skillet dries thoroughly.
And then I finish the dishes, dry my hands and leave the kitchen.
With. The. Burner. Still. On.
So naturally, a simmer pot on the stove that I can walk away from is a good fit!
As long as I set a timer to remind me to check the water or turn it off.
Putting everything into a saucepan, setting it too low, and walking away is right up my alley. The low-maintenance and easy factor is just what I need in this season.
For me, a house smelling nice like Christmas is practically self-indulgent. And it’s a must-do with the holidays just around the corner!
How to Make Stovetop Potpourri
- 1 orange or orange peels
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan that can hold at least 2 quarts.
- Fill the saucepan with water, covering the ingredients by about 2″. Don’t worry if anything floats to the top; the ingredients will settle as they simmer.
- Stir everything together and set the stovetop burner on low, uncovered. Add water as needed to ensure the ingredients don’t burn. Set a timer if you need a reminder that the stove is on!
Additional Sauce Pan Potpourri Tips
Using the stovetop potpourri method filled my home with this amazing scent in just a few minutes. If you want something slower you can walk away from, you can go the slow cooker route.
To Convert this to Slow Cooker Potpourri, follow the same instructions but place it in a crockpot instead (this is the one I have). Turn the slow cooker on low and enjoy!
This Christmas scent is one of my favorites, but there are other combinations that are just as lovely too. You can make your own Stovetop Potpourri for free by using food scraps you don’t have a use for!
- Apples + Oranges + Vanilla Extract + Almond
- Thanksgiving Potpourri
- Winter Potpourri Recipe
- 9 Homemade Air Freshener Potpourri Recipes (including apple pie!)
- 3 Gift-worthy Scents with Printable
Dried potpourri makes great gifts. This dehydrating tutorial will walk you through how to do it!
*A note for pet owners: Be sure to keep your pets, especially cats, away from dried or simmering potpourri. It can be harmful to their digestive systems if ingested.
I am sure that you will have made my wife very happy…she was worried about a visit from a childhood friend and pneumonia is unforgiving to cleaning the house. My sons and I are on the job. This will be the final touch that I know will bring joy to her heart…that and the mopping, lol. God Bless you and all that you do!
You’re so sweet – thank you Joe!
Is this only good for that day? Or can you reheat another day?
You can reheat it for at least one more day Katherine. Possibly two, but look at the ingredients to make sure they’re still good (I’m thinking mostly the oranges). My tip is to freeze orange peels as you eat them so you can make this without worrying about the peels going bad after a couple days. The cranberries and cinnamon sticks are bit more hardy.
I am also guilty with the iron skillet (as well as things in the freezer that I don’t want to explode!). My solution is to set a timer when I put the item in the oven/freezer. Then, if some other member of the family doesn’t turn it off without asking why it was on, I can remove said item.
IWe had a ton of apples from my parents apple trees. After coring and freezing bags upon bags I gave up and decided to juice the rest to save to make apple cider for Xmas. its pretty much the same concept. Only the smell is an added bonus. Only you add oranges. And lemons if u want and cinnamon.
Another thing I want to try this fall/winter is making my own hot cocoa. I’ve made my own hot cocoa out of water or milk and cocoa powder and some kind of sweetener (and vanilla) for years. But I found an old cook book that sneaks in 1/2 cup of sweet potatoe or yam purée as a way of getting more veggies into her kids. And I haven’t tried it yet. But the recipe claims that it makes it really creamy.
I go crazy for these kinds of scents in the house! Love the post Tiffany!
I do the same thing with my cast iron skillet! Luckily I’ve never left it on for TOO long…
Glad I’m not the only one, lol!!
Doing this now with some rhubarb that was too freezer burnt to want to cook with….still smells AWESOME, though!
Thanks for the reminder that even if we don’t want to eat it, we may still be able to squeeze some goodness out of it!
Ooh, rhubarb would be very nice! I was thinking earlier today, working on a granola recipe and I had leftover oranges… they were zested AND juiced, but I bet there was still something smelly left!
Nice! Thanks! I made jam with red delicious apples, clementines that were drying up on the outside, few frozen cherries for colour, and cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom powdered. I was telling my mother that I would toss the peels in with spices for a nice smell. My mother, of course thought that I’m crazy. She said that that was what asafoetida in Indian cooking was supposed to be for :-).
LOL, I don’t think you’re crazy – I think your combination sounds like it smells awesome!!