4 Natural Simmering Potpourri Recipes to use Year Round

simmering potpourri

Simmering potpourri is an easy, inexpensive, and natural way to freshen your home. All it takes is heating various combinations of herbs, spices, fruits and extracts together with water. You can do this on the kitchen stovetop, in a crockpot, or on top of a wood stove (added bonus of also acting as a humidifier). Far more health friendly than artificially scented candles and far less pricey than diffusing essential oils, there is no better way to fill your house with pleasant aromas than this. Simmering potpourri recipes are an all natural way to keep your home smelling fresh year round.

There are endless possibilities for different ingredient combinations. To get you started, I’ve included my favorite combos for each season. I encourage you to tweak these to your liking and to also come up with your own fun mixes. Go crazy. Leave your stovetop simmering potpourri recipes in the comments. 

For each recipe below, place all ingredients in large pot. Then, add enough water to fill the pot about 3/4 full. Next, place the pot on your stovetop burner on high heat. Bring water to a boil for a couple of minutes and then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer as long as you want, making sure to keep an eye on it to add more water as needed. When you’re done simmering, you can keep the mixture in the fridge and use for several days.

Fall

My personal favorite. New England seems to come alive in the fall, and with this blend, your house will too. It will fill your home with a warm, spicy, and sweet fragrance that may trick others into thinking you’ve been baking apple crisp all day.

Simmering Potpourri Fall
  • 1 Tbsp whole cloves
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1-2 apples (skin on)
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2-3 star anise
  • 1-2 sliced oranges (peel on)

Winter 

This festive mix will make you want to bust out the hot cocoa and watch some really bad Hallmark channel movies. You can even take a walk through your yard and collect pine needles to add for an extra Christmasy kick!

Simmering Potpourri winter
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 Tbsp whole cloves
  • 1 small knob fresh ginger
  • 2-3 star anise 
  • 1 Cup cranberries
  • 1-2 sliced oranges (peel on)
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • Pine needles, pine cones, whatever you may find on a walk through the woods

Spring

Spring is usually season when we give our house a deep clean. This simmering stovetop potpourri smells very fresh and clean, but also has some floral vibes to coincide with the renewal and awakening of life that is unique to this time of year. 

Simmering Potpourri spring
  • 1 sliced lemon (peel on)
  • 1 vanilla bean cut into 1” pieces 
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 sprigs lavender

Summer

Although this season always seems much too short, we sure do embrace it full on while it’s here. No matter what you may be doing, this blend will have you in the chilled out mindset of Jimmy Buffet tunes and tropical poolside bars. 

summer simmering potpourri
  • 1 sliced orange (peel on)
  • 1 sliced lemon (peel on)
  • 1-2 sliced lime (peel on)
  • 1 can pineapple slices, with juice
  • 1 tsp coconut extract