Holiday Stovetop Potpourri Recipe: The Smell of the Season
Stovetop potpourris, also known as “simmering spices,” have been used for centuries to fill homes with the comforting smells of local fruits, spices, flowers, and herbs. Unlike most store-bought candles, incense blends, and cleaning supplies, homemade stovetop potpourri is entirely natural and free of chemical additives and synthetic fragrances. This Holiday Stovetop Potpourri recipe features warming scents, like orange, cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.), and clove (Syzygium aromaticum) to infuse your home with classic aromas of the season.
In the recipe below, we use fresh cranberries and fresh rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) for the most vibrant colors, so you’ll want to mix the blend just a day or two before gifting it. Let your lucky recipient know that it has a short shelf-life and should be simmered soon.
Holiday Stovetop Potpourri
This Holiday Stovetop Potpourri recipe features oranges, cinnamon, rosemary, and cloves for a warming, spiced blend that’s sure to infuse your home with cheer. We’ve also added a sprinkle of fresh cranberries for seasonal color. To extend your potpourri’s shelf life, you can use dried cranberries and dried rosemary instead, but the color won’t be nearly as vibrant. Yield: one 14-ounce decorative jar.
1 cup fresh cranberries
6-8 dried orange rounds
4-6 cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.) sticks
3 fresh rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) sprigs
¼ cup clove (Syzygium aromaticum) buds
Dehydrate the Oranges
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While you’re waiting for the oven to come to temp, slice the oranges very thinly and lay them on a lined baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake for about 2.5 hours or until the orange peels are dry and the flesh is translucent. Periodically rotate the baking sheet so the fruit dries evenly.
- Remove the orange slices when they’re done, and let cool completely before adding them to your potpourri blend.
- (If you own a food dehydrator, you can use that instead and follow the instructions in your manual.)
Blending the Potpourri
- Because these are made to be gifted, presentation is key! It’s best to layer the ingredients directly in the jar in a way that’s visibly pleasing to the eye.
- Cap the jars, and add a label if you choose. For an extra-special finishing touch, thread twine through a dried orange slice and tie it around the top of the jar.
To use, add the entire mix to a stockpot or crockpot, cover with water, then simmer on and off for a few days. Turn the heat off any time the scent becomes overpowering or if you feel your home smells sufficiently delightful. After a few hours have passed, and the smell has faded, turn the heat back on for a fresh infusion. This blend will last 3-4 days and should be stored in the fridge overnight.
After you’ve extracted as much of the smell as possible, compost your spent herbs and spices and use any remaining water to give your houseplants a holiday-scented drink.
This Holiday Stovetop Potpourri blend is a beautiful gift and a simple, inexpensive way to fill a home with seasonal cheer. If you’re interested in more stovetop potpourri recipes, then see our post 3 Stovetop Potpourri Recipes for Winter.